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The oldest documents in this collection dated back to the year 1411.
Photographs and film of a younger vintage were also contained in the original archive, much of which was contributed by non-governmental sources.
And it's not the only term for a body part that sounds a little grim. Why have a completely new word for things we put our hands in, when they are really just shoes for your hands? So it's simpler to call it a Büstenhalter, (bust-holder) right? That first house meeting with our German flatmates when the topic of cleaning comes up.
How many of you were left wracking your brains at what on earth these dirty Klobrille (toilet glasses) could be?
A simple example of this is the German for compound word Wortzusammensetzung (word-together-setting).
Sometimes the meanings are obvious, while others are a little harder to grasp... Brustwarze - breast wart The German language doesn't mess around when it comes to body parts.
It may be a tricky language to master, but one of the great things about German is that you don't actually need a particularly large vocabulary.
That's because, rather than inventing new words, Germans are big fans of creating compound words out of existing ones.
That is, the little lift for food you sometimes see in restaurants if the kitchen is on a different floor to the dining room.While you might at first guess that this is some strange device Germans use to help inspect every inch of the toilet bowl, it actually just means loo seat. But isn't "stink animal" so much more accurate? And the one that spends the whole day eating - the wolverine - let's name that the eat-a-lot (Vielfraß). Eselsbrücke - donkey's bridge The meaning of the word “donkey's bridge” certainly isn't obvious, but it's a lot more approachable than our word for it - "a mnemonic device". A mnemonic device is just a trick you invent to help you remember something.Don't worry, Germans aren't that fussy about cleanliness! Stinktier - stink animal This one is beautifully blunt and gives you the impression that, when it came to naming animals in Germany, kids got to do it rather than scientists. That thing that's like a snail but hasn't got a shell... The German word actually comes from the Latin term “pons asinorum” (bridge of donkeys) that refers to a point that people find hard to remember. Donnerbalken - thunder beam The word Donnerbalken is surely one that makes any of us too young to have done military service rue the day it was abolished.Brustwarze literally translates as “breast wart”, and yes, it means nipple.It may seem crude to name such a sensuous part of the body after a viral growth, but, hey, whatever makes sense to Germans. Handschuhe - hand shoe Moving on from our body to what we dress it in, Germans also like to keep the language absurdly simple. Isn't that just something for propping up your boobs? Klobrille - toilet glasses We've all been there.