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Learn a funny, quirky German word each week with DW's Word of the Week feature. This week: Rabenmutter.

Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Since raven chicks leave the nest even before they can fly, it is sometimes assumed that they are anxious to get away from mothers who don't take good care of them. The term "Rabenmutter," or "raven mother," is used to refer to absent moms of the human species. They may give up their children for adoption or neglect them. These days, career vs. family is a hot topic, and "Rabenmutter" is sometimes used to criticize working moms. What is less known, however, is that raven mothers continue to feed their young on the ground for weeks after they've left the safety of the nest.

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