Katzenjammer: What the term is all about

Katzenjammer: What the term is all about

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The term "Katzenjammer" originates from the 18th century and is originally a word creation in the student language. Like the hangover after a night of drinking, Katzenjammer describes the painful effects of consuming too much alcohol. But that's not all. "Katzenjammer? No, I'm just taking a nap here," thinks this cat - Shutterstock / Anatoliy Tishin

Anyone who has ever heard of a lovelorn hangover who serenades his beloved knows how real cat woe sounds. The students in the 18th century found the velvet-puffed lamentation to be an apt description of the feeling of waking up with a grumpy headache and nausea after a wet night in their local pub. In some cases, however, the term was also generally used for physical discomfort and pain.

What does cat woe mean?

However, the term "Katzenjammer" gradually found its way into general usage. Nowadays, the term "hangover" is more common for student cat woes during the Sturm und Drang period; if the pain is not due to too much alcohol, but due to physical strain, "sore muscles". But the word has meanwhile gained other meanings. For example, there is great cat woe when a particularly disappointment is followed by a bitter disappointment.

Occasionally there is a little mocking of "Katzenjammer" when someone too theatrically sinks into self-pity and complains loudly about his suffering. The cat-like whine is also great when it comes to frustration, depression, strong feelings of guilt, remorse and torment of conscience. Incidentally, in US American English there is also the word "Katzenjammer", which was borrowed from German and describes a great disappointment or a hangover after a night of drinking. There is also a Norwegian folk rock music band that calls itself that.

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How did the term "Katzenjammer" come about?

The term "hangover" is believed to have originated from the term "catarrh". In the past, everything associated with malaise and headache was called "catarrh", which eventually turned into a "hangover" due to a careless pronunciation. This hypothesis does not apply to Katzenjammer; here is the inspiration for the word creation actually with the velvet paws. Especially when hangovers or cat ladies are in a hurry, they make the most curious lamentations, like hangover Lucky in the video:

However, the howling cat sounds are sometimes a threatening gesture in territorial fights or an expression of fear, insecurity or frustration. The two cats in the next video met on the street and apparently got into a fight:

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