Word Nerd Wednesday

Word Nerd Wednesday: Kummerspeck

KUMMERSPECK. German words are fun to say, once you know how the pronunciation works. It’s a guttural language. Speaking it feels kind of like therapy. I wanted to take German or French in 8th grade but my dad convinced me to take Spanish. I later took French in high school, but I still wanted to learn German. My ethnic background is mostly Irish and British, with some German. I live in a heavily Italian area and many kids I went to school with took Italian to learn their mother tongue. I always thought it would be cool to learn a language spoken by my ancestors, so I started to use German language learning apps. I use DuoLingo and Mind Snacks. There are tons of German words with no English equivalent and they’re all super fun to say, and I thought I’d start with one most of us could connect with, being the holiday season.


Kummerspeck – weight gained due to emotional overeating.

I’ll be up front; this is one of my fatal flaws. Unless you have a medical condition, isn’t most excess weight from emotional overeating? Is there anyone who overeats unemotionally? I have yet to meet someone with that problem.

Emotional overeating is always associated with soothing negative emotions like grief, depression, and anger. I would argue the opposite is true as well. You can overeat when you’re gloriously happy! Who hasn’t filled their plate to unconscionable heights while celebrating a holiday, a wedding, a birthday, or having a great time with friends? We’ve all done it. Embrace it!

Now that you know what it means, here’s how you pronounce it:

Practice it a few times.  Try saying it in an angry voice, a happy voice, William Shatner voice, whatever strikes your fancy.  You’ll soon find that you could very easily insert this word into everyday life and possibly impress/confuse someone.

“Ugh this post-Christmas kummerspeck is gonna rip my pants wide open.”

“Going to the gym to work off this kummerspeck!”

“I don’t know why he keeps saying he’s fatter than me, look at this kummerspeck!” (dramatically grab your gut to drive your point home)


So when you see those extra numbers on the scale, don’t fret. You can work them away. Now you know those pounds have a correct German term! Use it! Love it! Knowledge truly is power. And let’s be honest, you don’t really regret some of the overeating you did…I know I sure don’t regret that third helping of boeuf bourguignon.

What delicious dish did YOU maybe eat a spoonful too much of over the holidays? Do you regret it? (Of course you don’t.) Are you sick of everyone telling you how fat they got overnight? I am! Lemme know in the comments!


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