OK, it's German (sort of), but like schadenfreude, schnitzel, and schnauzers, it's easily adopted. George Dyson explains:
My favorite (descriptive if not lengthy) German word is Froschmausekrieg. It means "war between the frogs and the mice" and the file in this photo was so named by Helen Dukas (Einstein's secretary and literary executor) to describe the long and bitter dispute between the School of Math and the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study. A good word to know when facing such a dispute.
The German word should be Froschmäusekrieg with an umlaut over the 'a' (alt 132) It is actually a poem attributed to Homer (Batrachomyomachia) and is a good satire about the pointlessness of war or feuding. But for more fun -- and real -- German words, see my visual lexicon for German: Link.
Another great German word is "lustigmacabre." "Lustig" means funny, the rest you can figure out. Think "Hitler in a tutu." Only the Germans ...
Reader comment: Roger Braun says,
I don't want to spoil the fun, but don't go around telling Germans how "lustigmacabre" something is. I am a native german speaker and have never heard the word, and neither has Google (It's still a nice word, it's just not german). Rather give a link to Mark Twain essay about the awful german language (Link) which is also mostly correct ;-) Or try to figure out what "Donaudampfschiffahrtskapitänskajütentürschlüsselbart" means...
At The Malware Musuem you can enjoy the experience of DOS-era viruses, trojans and other digital beasties without any of the risk. Many of them manifested as wild graphical tricks and other spectacular coding feats, distracting you as they formatted hard drives or corrupted files. The Malware Museum is a collection of malware programs, usually […]
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
Light used to just be one of two things: on or off. Simple as that. Either a flood of yellow or total darkness. Then the dimmer switch happened and you could adjust the brightness to meet your seductive needs and suddenly everyone looked a little better in the gentler light. And now your luminary universe […]
Projects will always need management. And now with the tech gold rush it feels like there are more projects than ever with fewer managers than there’s demand for. But it takes too much time and money to go back to school full time so luckily the Project Management Professional certification training course is now 96% […]
If you’ve been blessed enough to avoid them yourself, you’ve definitely heard the horror stories. Late night, crushing out a ton of work, writing, coding, anything, then boom – your computer crashes. The battery blows, you spill water or coffee all over the place, or it just shuts down with no explanation, and you’re screwed. […]