Rampensau | Culture | Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 14.09.2011

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


Imagine a large pig running along a ramp, jumping and squealing, or showing off its skateboard skills -- like it or not, it commands your attention. That is exactly what a human Rampensau -- "ramp sow" -- aims to do. Whether it's on stage, in a concert, on a TV shows or during an otherwise boring presentation, a Rampensau wants to be center stage and attract everyone's attention. The term comes from the theater world where "ramp" refers to the boundary between the stage and the audience. Originally, a Rampensau was an actor who reveled in his role and made the best of it, minor though it may be. While a Rampensau may steal the limelight, the term is used more in a descriptive than a negative way.

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