Raffzahn | Word of the Week | DW | 16.04.2013
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Word of the Week


Got it! It's mine!

"I want, I want, I want!" That's the central thought in the mind of a Raffzahn. The verb raffen means to grab something, so a Raffzahn is someone that snatches up whatever they get their hands on.

The word is misleading, though, since no Zähne (teeth) are actually involved. Rather, it's a person who is already rich, but greedy for more. A Raffzahn could be a child that hoards their toys and doesn't share, for example.

The most famous Raffzahn is the cartoon character Scrooge McDuck, the wealthiest individual in the Disney universe. Despite his affluence, generosity is a foreign concept to Uncle Scrooge. Only his great-nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie occasionally receive a coin - not one each, but one coin for all three. That means, at least, that the trio learn to share and are less likely to become Raffzähne themselves.

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