auf, v. (Project Runway)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu Sep 14 17:39:52 UTC 2006

On the competitive reality show "Project Runway", host Heidi Klum's
terse send-off to booted contestants is "Auf Wiedersehen." So now
"auf" is getting used as a playful variant of the verb "off". It seems
to have spread from blogs and online forums to the mainstream media.

"heybd", Livejournal entry, Dec. 8, 2005
As long as Nick stays on, I'll be guaranteed to keep watching. Plus
there's nothing quite like watching a designer get Auf'ed by Heidi
Needs Inspiration (blog), Dec. 22, 2005
What really bothered me this episode, all the sex they tried to pump
into their thirty-some-odd little pictures. I know, lingerie episode,
but they have Heidi kissing an aufed model on the lips.
Fuquad! (blog), Jan. 27, 2006
For some reason, however, you've sorta softened me to you. I don't
know why. Not by much, though. Just enough for me to regret that
you're gonna get _Auf'd_ next week.
USA Today, July 2, 2006
Michael Knight racks up his second win while the judges _auf_ Alison
Kelly for her sculpted manila paper dress, saying it makes her model
look like "a fat Minnie Mouse." ...
We learn the offense that gets one designer booted from the show. Will
one of the other "auf'd" contestants be asked back to fill the empty
Gothamist, Aug. 3, 2006
We guessed that Bonnie would be auf'd, and we were right: Robert's
outfit was conservative, but Bonnie's was stale.
Denver Post, Aug. 8, 2006
Tummy-baring midriffs have been "auf'd" Heidi Klum-style this season
as tops become longer and more voluminous.

Note the extended use of the last example. It's also used adjectivally
in Klumian contexts:

Fort-Worth Star-Telegram, Aug. 27, 2006
Her [sc. Heidi Klum's] best accessory was her proud husband, Seal, who
bragged that Klum has been pregnant 104 of the 156 weeks they've been
together. He's definitely "in" not "auf."
Philadelphia Inquirer, Sep. 13, 2006
If she doesn't extend her design skills, she's going to be "auf."

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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