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Sun., March 17, 2013, 7:50 p.m.

A Word A Day — katzenjammer

Good evening Netizens...

March 17, 2013

Word of the Day

  • katzenjammer
  • audio pronunciation
  • \KAT-sun-jam-er\


: hangover
: distress
: a discordant clamor

The morning after the wedding, Pamela woke up with a blinding katzenjammer.

"Combating your attack of the katzenjammers with more liquor may seem absurd, but desperate times demand desperate measures." — From an article by Lissa Townsend Rodgers in the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise (Oklahoma), August 16, 2012


Have you ever heard a cat wailing and felt that you could relate? Apparently some hungover German speakers once did. "Katzenjammer" comes from German "Katze" (meaning "cat") and "Jammer" (meaning "distress"). English speakers borrowed the word for their hangovers (and other distressful inner states) in the 19th century and eventually applied it to outer commotion as well. The word isn't as popular in English today as it was around the mid-20th century, but it's well-known to many because of the "Katzenjammer Kids," a long-running comic strip featuring the incorrigibly mischievous twins Hans and Fritz.

From Merriam-Webster Online at



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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.