German teens are using Chancellor Angela Merkel’s name as slang – and it’s not flattering. ‘Merkeln’ is one of the entrants in German dictionary maker Langenscheidt’s, ‘Youth Word of the Year’ contest. The verb, which means “to do nothing, make no decisions, issue no statement”, refers to Angela Merkel’s wait-and-see political approach.
The term is presently leading the pack for this year’s national poll among other phrases created by teenagers such as ‘earthporn’ meaning amazing scenery or ‘smombie’ meaning a person who is so absorbed by his mobile phone that he turns into a zombie-like creature.
For the past seven years the contest has been held by Langenscheidt and it aims at reflecting the sprouting nature of the German language. German citizens can select their preferred word online up to the 31st of October. A panel will then pick the 10 trendiest terms, choose the word of the year and come up with a top-five ranking.
Despite being far from flattering, the word ‘Merkeln’ is seen as a good indication within her political party. At a time when the young people are less and less involved in politics her party takes this as a sign that she has at least managed to capture their interest.
According to Reuters, Angela Merkel is commonly viewed quite positively by Germans and has been asked to run for a fourth term as the country’s chancellor in 2017.
A recent opinion study placed support for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and its associate party, the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, at 43 per cent.