Advent Calendar 20 – “The Chain of Compound”

Written By: Emanuel Updated: February 19, 2020



Hey everyone,

welcome to day 20 of our Advent Calendar,
and today, we’ll play a little game with German compounds:

We’ll create the longest compound ever.
Now, you might have heard one of these two as the most longest word ever…

  • Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän 
  • Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungs­gesetz

Those two did get their butts handed to them, though, in 2003 when the parliament passed this piece of legislatio

  • Grundstücksverkehrsgenehmigungszuständigkeitsübertragungsverordnung

Ironically, the actual law text isn’t much longer than its title. I am not kidding!!!! You can find it here.
But yeah, today we’ll create something that is MUCH longer and much more beautiful with our game called

** Compound Chain **

Here’s how it works:

I start with one compound made up of two nouns, for instance
Weihnachtsgeschenk (christmas present) . The next person takes
the second half (Geschenk) uses it as the start of a new compound… like…
say… Geschenkpapier (present wrap) and so on and so and so on.

  • Weihnachtsgeschenk
  • Geschenkpapier
  • Papierstern
  • Sternschnuppe… oh wait, that’s kind of a dead end, so let’s continue with Stern.
  • Sternbild
  • Bild….
  • ….

Easy right?

What’s there to win?
A word that is an allegory for life – chaotic and yet full of meaning and beauty. A word that is a symbol for infinity – because it has no determined end. A word that shows us how quantum physics in language – because its gender is only ever fixed the moment you look at it.
Seriously though.. it’s just a fun little game to train vocabulary, creativity and to learn a bit about how compounds are compounded because I will correct you guys, if you get the connection wrong. You know… like, if you’re missing one of those connection letters.
Oh, and if you want you can try and use it in a sentence and I’ll correct you.

Now, since I have to approve some comments before they show, it’ll probably be a bit of a mess and we’ll have chains with loose ends, parallel univer… I mean chains. But hey, that’s just how it is. Let’s just have fun :).
So here’s the word we’re gonna start with:


First person to comment pick up Sonne and so on and so on.
I’m really curious where we’ll go.
Viel Spaß und bis morgen.

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