Word of the Day – “satt”

Hello everyone,This guy is satt

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will have a look at the meaning of

satt

 

We’ve all been there. Dinner at grandma’s. Bravely, you fork up the rest of the mashed potatoes from the plate, totally determined to never eat anything ever again, when you suddenly realize that you made a grave mistake. But it is too late. SHE has seen it. AND she will not have it.
A white, empty porcelain plate is nothing  grandmothers can accept.
“Nimm noch was… du bist eh so dünn.”
And that’s when you remember that it’s the grandma speaks German and you have to speak German, too, if you want to have even a slight chance to fend of more food.
Come on brain! What’s the word for full. Wasn’t it something remotely related to saturated… and then you remember what you’ve read in this artilce and the words come out of your mouth..

  • “Danke. Ich … uh … ich bin total satt.”

Anxiously you gaze at your plate  … one second… 2 seconds… 3 seconds. Still no new pile of mashed potatoes … and you start to realize that you made it. Thank you, word of the day!!
Satt is the German word for full and it most likely comes from the same Latin word that saturated. Which is also why it doesn’t work in a “normal” sense of full.

A bottle cannot be not satt, for example, a bottle is voll.
Voll actually also works in the context of food but it wouldn’t sound good for a question. There, satt is the way to go.
So your partner’s mom might ask you

  • Bist du satt?
  • Are you full?

Just like saturated, satt is also used in context of colors. Ein sattes grün is a rich deep green.
And then, there are a number of idiomatic expressions with satt. But the idea of having enough of something is always pretty present, like here, for example.

  • Der Marathonläufer hat einen satten Vorsprung.
  • The marathon runner has a comfortable lead.

And while here, we have enough in a good way, it also works in a negative way, which is why it makes perfect sense that etwas satt haben is the German equivalent for being fed up with something. I mean… fed up is also a food metaphor after all :)

  • Ich habe etwas satt.
  • I am fed up with something.

So when your roommate has left the kitchen trashed yet again these phrasings may help you.

  • Ich habe es satt, dass du nie die Küche aufräumst.
  • I am fed up with you never cleaning the kitchen.
  • Ich habe deine Ausreden satt.
  • I am sick of your excuses.

Besides the word itself, there’s also the word sättigen which means to make full and a few relatives of that like die Sättigung or sättigend (saturating).

  • Ballaststoffe sättigen dich ohne viele Kalorien.
  • Fibres make you feel full without many calories.

And then, there is the artificial laboratory creation sitt, which was supposed to mean the opposite of thirsty.
Back in 1999 the Duden – something like the Merriam Webster- and an Ice Tea manufacturer decided that German needed a sister for satt, that would express “not thirsty anymore”. And they started a competition and asked people to send in their ideas. Sitt was the winner and then guess what happened… people didn’t care. Not even one bit.
Language is one of the most democratic things ever. The majority wins, no matter how much the corporate elites try to influence it.
Ugh… those elites, trying to impose. Power to the people!!! To the barricades, against language fasists. I want my prepositions to dangle as far as my… anyway, I think we’re done for the day :).

This was our look at the meaning of satt, the German word for full in context of food.
If you want to check how much you remember, you can take the little quiz we have prepared for you.
And of course, if you have any questions or suggestions pleas drop me a comment.
I hope you liked it and see you next time.

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pmccann
pmccann
2 years ago

I think the word “sate(d)” really wants to be part of the action here, as a close friend of the “satiated” that MacFeagle mentions below. That said, you’d probably get a couple of weird looks if you finish a sizeable lunch with “Aah, that was great: I’m now sated” (as in “stuffed”/”full”), or even “… : I’m now satiated”. But it’s definitely still used, if only with a vaguely antiquarian wink. Somewhat interestingly, Google’s ngram viewer shows that “sated” has pretty much maintained its frequency of usage over the last hundred years or so, while “satiated” has plummeted almost to “sated”-like levels!

ps Damn that impatient Grandma, ruining my (until then) perfect score…

fairyhedgehog
fairyhedgehog
2 years ago

I love your sense of humour!

Even though it meant I got one of the questions wrong. I underestimated Grandma’s persistence.

PeterB
PeterB
3 years ago

Great article, as usual. I’ve noticed this typo: should be “debt” in “I have some dept to pay”.

wiztroubjest
wiztroubjest
6 years ago

Ah, cool! “Fed up”. That’s got fed in it! (fed-feed-food. Satt deals with food!)

Anonymous
Anonymous
6 years ago

Hi

Celal
Celal
7 years ago

Reading your blog is fun besides being instructive.

James
James
8 years ago

A slightly fancy word for “full” in this sense in English is “satiated”, and of course “satisfied” is also related.

MacFeagle
MacFeagle
8 years ago

An English word that sounds close to satt would be saturated, especially in terms of colour, in your example one could say ‘a saturated green.’