“SCHNAPSIDEE” AND ‘KUMMERSPECK”. Mark Peters identifies that an important reason that “ninnyhammer” gives pleasure is the combination of the two words “ninny” and “hammer”. Lauren Collins had an article in the New Yorker (August 8 and 15) about the complexities of learning French, her husband’s language. In the course of the article, she provides many delightful details about languages. Among them are a couple words which, like “ninnyhammer”, give pleasure because of their derivations. Collins defines “schnapsidee” as “the way a German would describe a plan he’s hatched under the influence of alcohol”. I take it that schnapsidee is derived from “schnapps” and “idee”. She praises as the best of many wonderful words “Kummerspeck”, or “grief bacon”. This entry by Constanze on the German Language Blog defines “Kummerspeck” as “excess fat gained by emotional eating – specifically, the excessive eating people do in times of stress or sorrow.” The entry elaborates that “der Kummer… refers to emotional pains like concern, worry, sorrow or anxiety” and “speck” means either “fat” or “bacon”.

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