Thursday, 30 May 2013

Katzenjammer musings

So today is my last work day of the half term. I have returned back to school on the previous two "first day back" feeling overwhelmed by the unpreparedness. Or ratehr the feeling of treading water as soon as the term starts.

I purposely didn't book myself up for this half term, such was the need for rest. (Oh, and such was the state of the bank account, but that is neither here nor there!). So I have spent the last couple of days marking, planning revision lessons for our KS3 classes and more CA lessons for Year 10. The good thing with Year 10s is that they are my guinea pig year group - I have two groups, and they are so positive and responsive to new ideas that I can trial anything with them and we can work out what works and what doesn't.

While I have been glued to my desk, I have listened to my music. It makes working so much more relaxing. I love my music. I was sat on Brighton beach in the sun on Sunday (how apt) with a friend, and she asked me, "If you had to live without either music or laughter, which would you choose?". To anyone who knows me, you will know that this is a very tricky one. I think I went for no music. My reasoning: "Laughter is like sun on your face".

"Alright, there's no need to get poetic on me!"

Yesterday I started listening to my choons in alphabetical order, as I was less inspired by what Dr Shuffle was offering me. I worked all day yesterday and didn't make it out of songs beginning with A... Today I have nudged into the B songs. One song that I have had to play over and over is today's choon, by Katzenjammer.

Which got me thinking about the German language and cats. The German language doesn't seem to hold cats in high esteem.

Here are my examples....

Katze = cat. A harmless word, and close to the English for our learners to grab hold of.

Kätzchen = kitten. Still no harm there, and a good example for learners to see that the addition of -chen to a noun puts it into a derivative form. (eg Brot (bread) -> Brötchen (bread roll)...)

So far so good.

Kater = tomcat. Oh, and hangover. Is that because tomcats behave in a hangover way? Or do people with hangovers behave like tomcats?

Katzenjammer - another word for a hangover. Jammer means misery or wailing. My questions above apply again!

A Katzenbuckel is a hunched back. Literally meaning "cat hump". Why involve the cats in that? All I can think of is when a cat is on your back, you hunch to prevent it from falling off (and to prevent it from digging those claws in!). Alternatively it could come from the arching of a cat's back when they are being scary!

"Das ist für die Katze" = "that is a waste of time". Poor cat.

Interesting that cats form and influence the language so.



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