W Waffen SS n.
"weapon SS". See also Schutzstaffel.
waldmeister, Waldmeister n.
from Waldmeister "forest master": an Old World flower and herb, sweet woodruff, Galium odoratum; an operetta by Johann Strauss II, 1895 [< German Wald "woods, forest" < Middle High German walt < Old High German walt + Meister, see -meister].
Waldsterben n.
"forest death": the dying of forest ecosystems by acid rain or other forms of pollution, first described in Germany and the former Czechoslovakia.
  • "Waldsterben—the death of forests from air pollution—is costing Europe (including Russia) at least $29 billion annually in lost timber, tourism, manufactured goods and other social benefits—losses that may continue for the next century." Don Hinrichsen, "Computing the Risks: A Global Overview of our Most-pressing Environmental Challenges" International Wildlife, Mar.-Apr. 1996, p. 28.
waltz n., v.i., v.t., adj.
from walzen "to roam, travel around, waltz": a certain dance, to do the dance, to cause to do the dance, pertaining to the dance, also fuguratively. A waltzer is one who waltzes, although in German Walzer is the dance itself. See further examples under schottische and polka.
  • "'I like this one,' said Luna, swaying in time to the waltz-like tune, and a few seconds later she stood up and glided on to the dance floor, where she revolved on the spot, eyes closed, and waving her arms." J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7), 2007, p. 123.
  • "On the third day of my hospital stay, my surgeon came waltzing into my room, all chipper and smiles, followed by Doctor #8, the gynecologist who'd finally diagnosed me." Fran Drescher, Cancer Schmancer, 2002, p. 132.
  • "I jumped around for several minutes doing the Nutcracker Waltz while simultaneously singing the lost lyrics, which go something like this: 'EEYOWWW!!! OUCH OUCH OUCH AAAUUUAAAAHHH!!!'." Scott Adams, The Joy of Work: Dilbert's Guide to Finding Happiness at the Expense of Your Co-workers, 1999.
  • "If the Cardassians waltz away with the photonic pulse cannon, do you think they're going to admit to us that it's a piece of junk?" Dafydd ab Hugh, Balance of Power (Star Trek: The Next Generation), 1995.
  • The Book of Guys"Hector was doing obese male exhibitionists who enjoy putting on organdy tutus and dancing to the 'Waltz of the Sugarplum Fairy' in public and were pleased to do so on his show..." Garrison Keillor, "The Chuck Show of Television", The Book of Guys, 1993.
  • "The risk was too great: could you imagine yourself waltzing into the Mem outpatient clinic and waltzing out with a box of morphine bottles under your arm?" Michael Crichton writing as Jeffery Hudson, A Case of Need, 1968.
  • "Ten minutes after that she would be home, and the husband would be there to greet her; and even a man like Cyril, dwelling as he did in a dark phlegmy world of root canals, bicuspids, and cares, would start asking a few questions if his wife suddenly waltzed in from a week-end wearing a six-thousand-dollar mink coat." Roald Dahl, "Mrs Bixby and the Colonel's Coat", Kiss Kiss, 1959, p. 91.
  • "No doubt the dogs had found the place where we had entered the stream, and were now waltzing up and down the shores trying to pick up the trail again." Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, 1982, first published 1889, p. 208.
  • Music and books about waltz
wanderlust n.
from Wanderlust "desire to wander": strong longing to travel. Wandern more often means "to hike" than "to wander" in German; to emphasize the difference a German-speaker will say herum wandern, literally "to wander around".
wedeln n.
from wedeln "to wag": a skiing technique first developed in Austria in the 1950s that consists of high-speed turns made in succession with both skis parallel while not noticeably setting the ski edges on a slope. Using this technique one's rear end wags like a dog's tail [< German wedeln "to wag (the tail), fan" < Middle High German wadelen, wedelen < wadel, wedel "fan, tuft of hair" < Old High German wadal, wedil].
Wehrmacht, Wehrmacht n.
"defense force": the German armed forces before and during World War II [< German Wehr "defense" < Middle High German wer, were < Old High German weri, wari "defense" + Macht "force, might" < Middle and Old High German maht "ability", related to English might]. See also Landwehr, Machtpolitik.
  • "In the back seat, reading some papers, was – I swear to God – the famous Dr Kurt Waldheim, the aforementioned Wehrmacht officer and now president of Austria." Bill Bryson, Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe, 1991, p. 264.
  • "During World War II, the Soviet Union began to build what Soviet sources refer to as history's first coalition of a progressive type when it organized or reorganized the armies of Eastern Europe to fight with the Red Army against the German Wehrmacht." Stephen R. Burant, East Germany, a Country Study, 1987.
  • "Incorporated into the Wehrmacht, the corps was composed largely of anti-Soviet émigrés who had served in the armies of the Czar; many of the personnel were incapable of extended field service, and the Germans generally restricted them to such security duties as the protection of the vital Belgrade-Nish railroad line." Robert M. Kennedy, Hold the Balkans!: German Antiguerrilla Operations in the Balkans 1941-1944.
  • "One of them was Lieutenant-General Kurt Dittmar, a fifty-seven-year-old Wehrmacht officer who had made a name for himself broadcasting communiques from the front and was known everywhere as the 'voice of the German High Command'." Ada Petrova & Peter Watson, The Death of Hitler: The Full Story With New Evidence from Secret Russian Archives, 1995.
  • "The entire Western campaign of 1940 had cost the Wehrmacht only 156,000 casualties (with 30,000 dead)." Howard Andrew G. Chua-Eoan, "War in Europe", Time, Dec. 2, 1991, p. 62.
  • More books and products related to Wehrmacht
Weihnachtsbaum, Der n.
from Der Weihnachtsbaum "The Christmas Tree": set of 12 piano pieces by Liszt, composed 1874-1876 [< German der "the" + Weihnacht "Holy Night, Christmas Eve" + Baum "tree"].
New!Weismannism, weismannism, Weissmannism, Weismann's theory n.
from Weismannismus "Weissmannism": the theory that the contents of ova and sperm are not affected by other changes in the body, thus ruling out the possibilty of inheriting acquired characteristics from one's parents, a key element of neo-Darwinism [August Friedrich Leopold Weismann (18341914), the German biologist who propounded this principle < German weise "wise" + Mann "man"].
  • "Publications [of the fictitious George Challenger]: 'Some Observations Upon a Series of Kalmuck Skulls'; 'Outlines of Vertebrate Evolution'; and numerous papers, including 'The Underlying Fallacy of Weissmannism,' which caused heated discussion at the Zoological Congress of Vienna." Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World, 2004, p. 12.
  • More books and products related to Weismannism
Weltanschauung, Weltansicht n.
"world view": one's philosophy or conception of the universe and of life, a particular attitude toward life and reality. The difference between Anschauung and Ansicht is the same as that between look and see. This entry suggested by David.
  • The New Yorker"The ideological school plumbed the equally murky depths of his [Hitler's] prose and claimed to find in his feverishly logorrheic discourse an intellectual coherence, a serious Weltanschauung that was the true engine of his murderous acts." Ron Rosenbaum, "Explaining Hitler", The New Yorker, May 1995.
Weltpolitik n.
from Weltpolitik "global politics": the theory that politics is global in scale [< German Welt "world" + Politik "politics, policy"]. See also Machtpolitik, Ostpolitik, Realpolitik and Westpolitik. This entry suggested by Richard Hartzell.
Weltschmerz, weltschmerz, Weltschmerz n.
from Weltschmerz "world pain": sorrow which one feels and accepts as his necessary portion in life; mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state; sentimental pessimism or sadness. This entry suggested by Frank Weller. See also angst.
Westpolitik n.
from Westpolitik "western politics": a policy of a Communist country of adopting trade and diplomatic relations with non-Communist nations [< German West "west" + Politik "politics, policy"]. See also Machtpolitik, Ostpolitik, Realpolitik and Weltpolitik. wiener, Copyright 2001 by Robbin D. Knapp
wiener, wienie, wienerwurst n.
from Wiener Wurst "Viennese (sausage)": a kind of sausage used in hotdogs, a frankfurter, not to be confused with what Americans call Viennese sausages, which are pretty much the same thing but smaller and canned in liquid. Austrians call wieners Frankfurter (Würste). I've never seen Viennese sausages in Vienna. See further example under sauerkraut. See also Wiener schnitzel and wurst.
  • "Did he fall into his wienie fire and get all singed around the ears?" T.C. Boyle, Drop City, 2004, p. 162.
  • "Cooking chicken thighs recently, I caught the exact aroma of a Balboa wienie roast, when the fire was ready and the first wienies were deployed above it on long forks with wooden handles." Paul Fussell, Doing Battle: The Making of a Skeptic, 1998.
  • "He bought one and it didn't taste like dog meat at all; it reminded him, instead, of a cross between salami and a German wiener." Rosario Ferre, The House on the Lagoon, 1995.
  • "With Casey prostrate in the dirt amid the screams and jeers/We threw wieners down at him and other souvenirs." Garrison Keillor, "Casey at the Bat (Road Game)", The Book of Guys, 1993.
  • "In Austria, noted for its tasty sausages (Würstel), the word for Vienna is Wien, and for Viennese, Wiener. It is easy to see where 'wienie' comes from." George W. Long, "Occupied Austria, Outpost of Democracy" National Geographic, Jun. 1951, p. 766.
  • "Author Frederick Simpich was aghast at buildings shaped like 'owls, derby hats, shoes, airships, dogs, teakettles, windmills, mosques, wienerwursts, zeppelins, and igloos.'" "From our Archives: Dog Gone" National Geographic, Nov. 2000, p. 135. Original quote from 1934.
  • "He seemed to tower over the pitcher—Red was six feet one—and he scowled and shook his bat at Wehying and called, 'Put one over—you wienerwurst!'" Zane Grey, The Redheaded Outfield, 1915.
schnitzelWiener schnitzel, Wiener Schnitzel, schnitzel n.
from Wiener Schnitzel "Viennese cutlet": a thin breaded cutlet traditionally of veal but more usually of pork and sometimes turkey. See further examples under bratwurst and stein.
  • "Dirndls, Mozart, The Sound of Music—genug! Enough already. It gets cloying, like being presented with an extra-large Salzburger Nockerln after too much Wiener schnitzel." Roger Kimball, "Salzburg, for Real", National Review, Sep. 17, 2001.
  • "With the increasing interest in beef and other meats, Wiener Schnitzel and other veal dishes are in demand." Florence Fabricant, "As German and Austrian cuisines gain in popularity, schnitzel waltzes onto menus", Nation's Restaurant News, Mar. 6, 2000.
  • More books and products related to Wiener schnitzel
Wirtschaftswunder n.
from Wirtschaftswunder "economic miracle": the fast rise of the economy in West Germany in the fifties and sixties [< German Wirtschaft "economy" + Wunder, "miracle, wonder"]. See also Frauleinwunder and wunderkind. This entry suggested by Bastian Sick.
  • "Ruff's photographs from the 1980s of corporate and industrial architecture in Germany's Ruhr area were already mediated by other depictions of such buildings: picture postcards from the fifties and sixties, with which companies advertised their prosperity of the Wirtschaftswunder (industrial miracle, or boom) years." Sven Lutticken, "Haunted space", Afterimage, Sep.-Oct. 2002.
  • "The German population is rapidly aging, the country's wage bargaining, labor rules, and product market regulations came from another era, and Germany's days as a Wirtschaftswunder are long gone." Donna Harsch, review of From Rugs to Riches: Housework, Consumption and Modernity in Germany by Jennifer A. Loehlin, Journal of Social History, Spring 2002.
  • "Postwar Germany, absorbed in rebuilding and mesmerized by its prodigious Wirtschaftswunder, deliberately forgetful of both the horrors it had caused (Auschwitz, etc.) and those it had suffered (Dresden, etc.), was unthinkable as a homeland." Peter Heinegg, "Memory's martyr", Cross Currents, Spring 2002.
  • "They regard the old D-mark as the creator of dos [sic] Wirtschaftswunder (the economic boom) and question whether it is any accident that monetary union has coincided with Germany experiencing economic decline of a type that has left it struggling to comply with EU rules on debt as a proportion of national income." Tim Luckhurst, "A reluctant people see the bigger picture", New Statesman, Jan. 7, 2002.
  • "It has also, along with the Bundesverfassung (the Federal Constitution), been one of the few acceptable tokens of national pride, as the emblem and motor of the Wirtschaftswunder, the 'economic miracle' that saw Germany become the most powerful economy in Western Europe." Jonathan Williams & Andrew Meadows, "Europe's national currencies: Jonathan Williams and Andrew Meadows review the history of the various currencies being replaced by the Euro", History Today, Jan. 2002.
  • "The German population is rapidly aging, the country's wage bargaining, labor rules, and product market regulations came from another era, and Germany's days as a Wirtschaftswunder are long gone." Adam S. Posen, "Who's the comeback kid? France, Germany, and Italy are struggling to recover. Who'll come out on top?" The International Economy, Fall 2003.
  • "Walther Groz belonged to the large number of entrepreneurs who were the driving force of Germany's Wirtschaftswunder in the 1950s and 1960s." Jurgen Hambrecht, as quoted in "Gaining executive mindshare: US and European chemical CEOs", by Cynthia Challener, Chemical Market Reporter, May 26, 2003.
  • More books and products related to Wirtschaftswunder
wrack n., v.t.
related to Wrack "wreck": ruin; destruction, now chiefly in the phrase wrack and ruin; wreck; wreckage; seaweed or other marine plant life cast up on shore. One of the several meanings of Modern English wrack comes from Low German wrak and is similar in spelling, meaning and origin to Modern German Wrack.
  • "The study of algae is called phycology (from the Greek phykos, meaning seaweed) or algology (from the Latin alga, meaning sea wrack)." Paul C. Silva, "Algae", Microsoft® Encarta® 96 Encyclopedia.
  • "In the longer run, British rule brought widespread administrative and social modernization to a land that, except for the benign efforts of King Mindon, the builder of Mandalay, had been swamped in reclusive policies and wracked by court intrigues." James F. Guyot, "Burma", Microsoft® Encarta® 96 Encyclopedia.
  • "From the fabric of the beach, wrack and wreckage of the world before things changed." William Gibson, Idoru, 1997.
  • Wrack: A Novel, James Bradley, 1999.
  • More books about wrack
wunderkind, wunderkid n.
from Wunderkind "miracle or wonder child". See also Frauleinwunder, über- and Wirtschaftswunder.
  • wunderkind: Liev Schreiber in Sphere"Harry? Harry, 19, wunderkind!" Liev Schreiber as Ted Fielding in Sphere, produced by Michael Crichton, 1998.
  • "Classmates Shamed By Wunderkid's Incredible Talent", Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, May 6, 1993.
  • "When the half-year hazing was over, Lovell, it was announced, had finished first in his class, edging out even such Pax River wunderkinder as Wally Schirra and Pete Conrad." Jim Lovell & Jeffrey Kluger, Apollo 13, 1995. This example illustrates the correct German plural of the word.
  • More books and music about wunderkind
wurst n.
from Wurst "sausage": often in compounds such as bratwurst, liverwurst, knackwurst, etc.

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