Word of the Week: Welpenschutz

Feb 18, 2011

© colourbox Enlarge image (© colourbox) Over the course of the year, Germany.info and The Week in Germany will highlight a different "Word of the Week" in the German language that may serve to surprise, delight or just plain perplex native English speakers.


Isn't it great when an expression is created to finally describes something that we've seen or experienced, but could never really name?

Welpenschutz does exactly that.

This expression is more commonly used in northern Germany and describes a phenomena that can be witnessed daily at workplaces all around the world.

Picture the following: fresh out of college, Ben starts working at an office. He has lots of energy, is full of ideas, but doesn't know a lot about the office culture or workplace etiquette. Ben simply hasn't learned this yet.

Consequently, some older workers in the office get a little annoyed by Ben. But others start treating him like a little puppy that still needs to learn his way around in the real world.

Just as older dogs often protect their young, Ben's colleagues handle him with a little extra patience and gently correct him.

The literal translation of Welpenschutz is "puppy protection". So all you "puppies" out there: enjoy it while you can!

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