FW: katzenjammer: M-W's Word of the Day

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Tue Jan 30 19:55:40 UTC 2007

>    I enjoy Merriam-Webster's daily Word of the Day e-mails (distributed
>free for the asking) but would suggest a possible correction to today's
>item, Katzenjammer.  I say "possible" because I don't find it in my two
>standard dictionaries of German etymology, but I do remember reading
>somewhere that the "Katze(n)" part of Katzenjammer was originally "kotzen"
>(= to puke). Kotzen fits the idea of a hangover very well, but since it's
>a rather vulgar word, the similar sounding Katzen was euphemistically
>substituted for it.
>Gerald Cohen
It may have been something like this that my father told my brother & me
when we were Katzenjammer Kids readers back in the 30s.  He had been   in
Germany just before WWI (& nearly  caught there by the outbreak of the war)
& brought back some examples of German comics, hardbound, one of which was
clearly an influence on  KK.  My understanding of what he told us was that
"Katzenjammer" meant catshit (a word unutterable by me in those days, of

~@:>   ~@:>   ~@:>   ~@:>

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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