Achtung! Alle Herhren! Der Winner Ist:

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Als der Sauerkrautfresser der TTAC Mannschaft (der ausgerechnet in Peking wohnt) wurde ich gebeten, den Gewinner des Wasistdasverteufeltstedeutscheautowort-Wettbewerbs zu wählen. Ach, Entschuldigung, die Macht der Gewohnheit. Nun denn . . .

As the resident Kraut at TTAC (who resides in Beijing) I was asked to pick the winner of the German phrase contest, in which the most deserving contestant would walk away with his very own copy of the Taschenwörterbuch der Kraftfahrzeugtechnik.

In the risqué dept., Chuck Goolsbee definitely scored with “Einspritz” —although proponents of safe sex could possibly object. “Auspuff,” nominated by Matt, came close. Especially for the connoisseurs of the Teutonic language who, for one reason or another, know that a “Puff” stands for a bordello.

In the essential-components-of-a-car category, bjcpdx leads with “Kraftstoffverdunstungsanlage”, and he also gets points for political correctness. The more common word “Vergaser” comes with some, shall we say, historical baggage in Germany.

“Eingebaute Vorfahrt” was already disqualified, and my own favorite “Wartungsintervallverlängerung” did play, but not compete.

Old standbys such as “Vorsprung durch Technik” and “Fahrvergnügen” won the Evergreen Award but no book.

Choosing the final winner was a hard decision. Aber verdammt nochmal, einer muss gewinnen! Nach erheblicher innerer Konfliktbewältigung, BS decided that the winner is:


Kurbelgehäuseinnenbeleuchtung embodies the sheer essence of the language of Goethe, Schiller, and Gottfried Daimler. Extra points for “Axel“ being a German name, but misspelled, it could also be a central shaft for a rotating wheel or gear.

The Axle: Contact RF or Ed Niedermeyer (another good German name) with your particulars, and the Taschenwörterbuch der Kraftfahrzeugtechnik will be on its way to you.

Wir gratulieren!

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

More by Bertel Schmitt

Join the conversation
2 of 6 comments
  • The Axel The Axel on Jun 23, 2009

    I'm not a man of big words, but... Thanks, Bertel Schmitt, for the nomination! Thanks, TTAC, for the contest and prize! Thanks, Chuck, BlueBrat, everyone, for the congrats! All the best from...well, Detroit. Axel (My actual name. Believe it or not, I once worked for a lead engineer whose name was Mr. Carr.) PS: By the way, Chuck, do you have a few examples for Einspritz double entendres? May I suggest "Einspritzventilduesenrechteckbohrer"? :)

  • Matt Matt on Jun 24, 2009

    BS: Do I win if I knew that a "Puff" was a bordello, but forgot to mention it? Besides, the only guy I ever hear Puff from is Austrian, and that's not really German that he speaks. :-)

  • Leonard Ostrander We own a 2017 Buick Envision built in China. It has been very reliable and meets our needs perfectly. Of course Henry Ford was a fervent anti-semite and staunch nazi sympathizer so that rules out Ford products.
  • Ravenuer I would not.
  • V8fairy Absolutely no, for the same reasons I would not have bought a German car in the late 1930's, and I am glad to see a number of other posters here share my moral scruples. Like EBFlex I try to avoid Chinese made goods as much as possible. The quality may also be iffy, but that is not my primary concern
  • Tsarcasm No, Japan only. Life costs by Rank:#1 - House (150k+)#2 - Education (30k+)#3 - Automobile (30k+) why waste hard earned money in inferior crap =&gt; Korean, Chinese, and American cars are trash. a toyota or honda will last twice as long.
  • Tassos In the 90s we hired a former PhD student and friend of mine, who 'worked' at GM "Research" labs, to come work for us as a 'temp' lecturer and get paid extra. He had no objection from GM, came during the day (around 2 PM), two hours drive round trip, plus the 1.5 hour lecture, twice weekly. (basically he goofed off two entire afternoons out of the five) He told me they gave him a different model new car every month, everything (even gas) paid. Instead of him paying parking, I told him to give me the cars and I drove them for those 90 mins, did my shopping etc. Almost ALL sucked, except the Eldo coupe with the Northstar. That was a nice engine with plenty of power (by 90s standards). One time they gave him the accursed Caddy Catera, which was as fun driving as having sex with a fish, AND to make it worse, the driver's door handle broke and my friend told me GM had to pay an arm and a leg to fix it, needed to replace almost the whole damned door!