Chris Haller from Stuttgart has been in the USA for five years and on his website www.spreadgermanisms.com he is campaigning for an increase in Germanisms in the English language.
There are a number of German terms for which there are no useful English equivalents. Because of their usefulness and beauty, these terms called loan words have entered the English lexicon. While there are large amounts of useful and plenty more ridiculous English loan words in the German language, barely any made it the other way over the big pont.
When Chris Haller moved to the United States in 2004, he knew the obvious Kindergarten and Bratwurst and over the years discovered lesser known Germanisms like Kitsch, Doppelgänger or Schmutz. If only folks in the US would learn about them, he thought, and what about all the other fun German words? The ones daisy-chaining multiple Nouns to build fun words like Fussballgott?
I’m not sure what the purpose of this is: whether to take revenge on the English language for the excess of anglicisms in German, or whether to fill in these putative gaps in our ability to express things.
I’m separated from my OED at the moment or I would show that some of these actually started in British English, i.e. this side of ‘the big pond’.
Experten kratzen sich angesichts dieses Trends zu Germanismen den Kopf. Auch Stefan Brunner, Leiter der Sprachabteilung des Goethe-Instituts in Washington, hat keine Erklärung für das Phänomen gefunden. Ein Grund könnte in der Herkunft mancher US-Bürger liegen. Immerhin behaupten 17 Prozent von ihnen – also rund 50 Millionen -, deutsche Vorfahren zu haben. Und Deutsch rangiert nach Spanisch und Französisch an dritter Stelle der Popularitätsskala.
LATER NOTE: The Bremer Sprachblog has taken up this very article (Nürnberger Nachrichten) and had great fun with it.