Word of the Week: Muffensausen

Jan 27, 2017

scared Enlarge image (© picture alliance / blickwinkel/M) When you are absolutely terrified of something that is about to happen, how do you describe your feelings? You might say you are "scared to death", "scared sh*tless" or "scared stiff".

In German, you would say that you are having Muffensausen. This ultimately means that you are so scared that you are losing control of your bowels.

The term consists of the words Muffe, which defines a sleeve using in piping or, in this context, your anus. The term sausen means "to swoosh by/out". It's not difficult to figure out what these two words mean when they are combined.

Germans use the term to describe feelings of fear or anxiety before a challenging situation. If you are about to take a difficult test, for example, you might be having Muffensausen. If you are about to jump out of a plane with a parachute, you might have Muffensausen as you look at the terrifying view below you. If you are about to go on a first date with someone you have a huge crush on, you may also be having Muffensausen.

Muffensausen Enlarge image (© www.colourbox.com) Of course, we sincerely hope that when you have Muffensausen, you have them in a metaphorical sense and not in the literal one - otherwise it could get rather messy.

By Nicole Glass, Editor of The Week in Germany

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