Kraut
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Kraut

Kraut is a German word recorded in English from 1918 onwards as a derogatory term for a German, particularly a German soldier during World War I and World War II.[1] Its earlier meaning in English was as a synonym for sauerkraut, a traditional Central and Eastern European food.

Etymological foundations

In German, the term means "herb", or designates the leaves and stem of a plant as opposed to the root. The term is more often used in compound nouns for herbs, and also for cabbage and cabbage products:

  • Weißkraut = white cabbage (also called Weißkohl)
  • Blaukraut or Rotkraut = red cabbage (also called Rotkohl)
  • Sauerkraut = fermented white cabbage or 'sour cabbage'
  • Unkraut = weed
  • Bohnenkraut = savory
  • Rübenkraut = thick sugar beet syrup

The plural Kräuter is commonly used (herbs, weeds), but when talking about spices, the singular is often replaced by Gewürz which can refer to any spice.

Slang

It was recorded as a colloquial term for Germans by the mid-19th century. During World War I Kraut came to be used in English as a derogatory term for a German. In World War II it was used mainly by American soldiers and less so by British soldiers, who preferred the terms Jerry or Fritz.[] It is considered offensive by Germans.[2][3]

Demonym

The Bauer Krauts were an atom-level hockey team based in Kitchener, Ontario (known as "Berlin, Ontario" prior to the outbreak of the First World War) in the twentieth century.[4]

Music

Krautrock is a popular term for a form of experimental German prog rock of the late 1960s and 1970s. Krautrock was typified by acts such as Amon Düül II, Kraftwerk, Neu!, Tangerine Dream, Faust, Can and David Bowie on his "Berlin Trilogy" albums Low, "Heroes", and Lodger, as well as many others.

Kraut was the name of a New York punk rock band in the 1980s. Their song "All Twisted" was the first independent video to air on MTV.

"Magic Kraut" is the name of a song in the album Fresh by Teddybears.

Industrial rock band KMFDM's song "Kraut" appears on the b-side of their "Juke Joint Jezebel" single, and on their Extra, Vol. 3 compilation.

Krauts with Attitude is the title of the record released in Germany in 1991 which is credited for playing a prominent role in establishing the German hip hop scene.

The Swedish indie rock band Peter Bjorn and John composed the track titled "School of Kraut".

See also

References

  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. Second edition, 1989. "1. = SAUERKRAUT, SOURCROUT. Also attrib. and Comb. 2. (Often with capital initial.) A German, esp. a German soldier. Also attrib. and Comb. Derogatory."
  2. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1616745.stm
  3. ^ http://www.dictionary.com/browse/kraut
  4. ^ "Murray Russell Fried". regionofwaterloo.ca.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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