New Word Wednesday: über

Happy Wednesday! Here’s your new word for the week:


über preposition, German

  • about, over, via, above, across, beyond, up above. Indicating a state or action involving increased elevation or quantity in the physical sense, or superiority or excess in the abstract

Examples: überdacht, roof-covered, roofed (“dach” means “roof”)
über 100 Meter, more than 100 meters


über prefix, English

  • denoting an outstanding or supreme example of a particular kind of person or thing. Or, to a great or extreme degree.

Example: that guy is übercool


Interesting side note: the national anthem of Germany, the Deutschlandlied, originally had several more stanzas. Since World War II the first stanza, which begins “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, Über alles in der Welt” (Germany, Germany above all, above all in the world) has had a poor reputation, and a meaning applied to it quite different from the one the composer originally meant for it to have. The lyrics were written in 1841, to a tune written by Haydn, by the poet August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben. It was not meant to imply that Germany was the greatest country in the world; indeed, at the time the song was written, “Germany” did not exist as the unified country we know, but as a number of German-speaking states each ruled by a monarch. Hoffmann wanted to emphasize to those monarchs the importance of having a unified German nation, even above their desire for individual independence.


Enjoy your new word!






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