Word of the Week: Schattenparker
Enlarge image (© picture-alliance/chromorange ) In German, there's a descriptive word for almost anything - even for a man who lacks manhood. The word Schattenparker ("shadow parker") refers to a wimp - a person who would rather take the easy route because he's afraid of or not interested in the alternative.
A Schattenparker is usually a man that some would say is "not a real man". The word Schatten means "shadow" and Parker means "someone who's parking" (a car, for instance). A Schattenparker, therefore, literally describes someone who always parked under the shadow of a tree or a building to avoid being in the heat of the sun. According to the meaning of the word, a real man would leave that spot open for handicapped or pregnant people, rather than taking it himself.
Metaphorically speaking, however, a Schattenparker is simply a man who lacks the traits that are typically expected of a good man. For example, someone who refuses to give up his seat for an old man on the bus might be considered a Schattenparker.
Enlarge image (© dpa) And Germans don't seem to respond lightly to wimps; there's plenty of other names for those who lack masculinity. Someone might be called a Warmduscher ("warm showerer"), a Sockenschläfer ("sock sleeper"), a Zebrastreifenbenutzer ("crosswalk user"), a Damenradfahrer ("women's bicycle user"), a Beckenrandschwimmer ("edge-of-the-pool-swimmer"), a Frauenversteher ("woman understander") or a Handschuhschneeballwerfer ("glove-snowball-thrower"). So if you're a man reading this, try not to be a wimp - there's plenty of ways Germans might choose to describe you!
By Nicole Glass, Editor of The Week in Germany