P panzer adj., n.
from Panzer, Panzer- "armor, armored": armored, belonging to an armored division; a vehicle, especially a tank, in a panzer division [German Panzer "armor" < Middle High German panzier "breast armor" < Old French pancier, panciere "coat of mail, literally belly piece", pance "belly" < Italian panzia, pancia "belly" < Latin pantex, panticis "belly", related to paunch].
patzer n.
probably from Patzer "bungler": a poor or amateurish chess player [German patzen "to blunder"]. This entry suggested by Andreas Kempf.
  • "I'm a 'patzer,' a chess player who knows how to move the pieces fairly well but is forever doomed to mediocrity." Mike Adams, "Check mate; Game brings out the best and the worst in many players" The Baltimore Sun, Jan. 11, 1999.
PezPez, PEZ n.
short for Pfefferminz "peppermint" (the first, middle and last letters): a brand of candy invented by the Edward Haas company of Vienna, Austria, in 1927, originally with peppermint flavor as an alternative to smoking, now sold with plastic dispensers that have heads of familiar characters and are collectors' items [German Pfefferminz "peppermint" < Pfeffer "pepper" + Minze "mint"]. See also hasenpfeffer.
  • "'They collect Elvis everything--plates, towels, napkin holders, we even have an Elvis Pez dispenser.' 'They have Elvis Pez heads?' 'Some lunatic collector in Alabama put sideburns on a Fred Flintstone Pez, filed down the nose, and painted on sunglasses.'" Brad Meltzer, The Tenth Justice, 1997.
  • "Wesley collected PEZ dispensers, and she mentioned that since they had moved from Boston to Silicon Valley, she was having trouble finding fellow collectors to trade with." Adam Cohen, The Perfect Store: Inside eBay, 2002.
  • "He realizes he's a lucky monkey, someone who made an accidental $50,000 guessing that eBay, a Web site designed for buying and selling Pez dispensers, would emerge with a market capitalization comparable to General Motors." Thomas A. Bass, "Don't Quit the Night Job", The New York Times, Apr. 23, 2000, review of Dumb Money: Confessions of a Day Trader, by Joey Anuff & Gary Wolf.
  • "WHEN THE WEB WAS really young, cyberspace was dominated by academia and personal home pages were dedicated to pressing topics like spelunking and Pez dispensers, the online community's response to proposals of governmental regulation was a consistent and resounding 'hands off.'" Justin Oppelaar, "Sign on the Dot-Com Line", Variety, Dec. 18, 2000.
  • "4th Annual Los Angeles PEZ-A-THON/MAR. 26-27. Twenty-five hundred Pezheads gather to buy and sell thousands of Pez dispensers and search for the long-lost '63 Bullwinkle Mom tossed aeons ago." Gia Gittleson, "the guide", Los Angeles Magazine, Apr. 1999.
  • "Simple bead kits, a deck of cards, a Pez candy dispenser - all will be received as cherished treasure by the child who keeps asking, 'When are we going to get there?'" "Destinations & detours: California family travel planner", Sunset, May 1996.
  • Collectors Guide to Pez: Identification and Price Guide, by Shawn Peterson, 2001.
pilsnerpils, pilsner, Pilsner, pilsener, Pilsener n., adj.
from Pils, Pilsner, Pilsener "of Pilsen": a pale, light lager beer originally brewed in Pilsen, Bohemia, Czech Republic; Pilsner glass, a tall glass tapered at the bottom used especially for beer [German Pils shortened from Pilsner, Pilsener < German Pilsen < Czech Plzen].
  • "I believe I may even have failed to notice them edging away when, emboldened by seven or eight glasses of Jupiler pils or the memorably named Donkle Beer, I would lean towards one of them and say in a quiet but friendly voice, 'Je m'appelle Guillaume. L'habite Des Moines.'" Bill Bryson, Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe, 1991, p. 20.
  • "NATASHA LYONNE: What kind of beer do you have? CHLOE SEVIGNY: A Pilsner." Gus Van Sant, "The Bonnie and Clyde of Indie Film", Interview, Nov. 1999.
  • "Today the spectrum of beer flavors runs from the crisp, slightly hoppy freshness of pale, European-style pilsners to the creamy-sweet maltiness of an English-style brown ale." Jeff Phillips, "Beer! And the foods that love it", Sunset, Oct. 1996.
  • "When the project is done, fill your 'window sill' with technicolor flowers, such as these gerber daisies lined up in pilsner glasses." Rebecca Jerdee, "Weekend decorating", Better Homes and Gardens, Aug. 1996.
  • "If Eloise had made it past adolescence, she might well have been smoking Marlboro Lights, drinking Pilsner beer and belching freely, as Ms. Roi was on a recent evening as she sat on a couch in her mother's hotel, next to her boyfriend of four months, Marc Beckman." Alexandra Jacobs, "Alice Roi, the 25-Year-Old Designer, Is Thinking Girl's Anti-Shoshanna", The New York Observer, May 7, 2001.
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pinscher n.
from Pinscher "terrier": a breed of dog [origin unclear but probably from Pinzgauer "from the region of Pinzgau in the province of Salzburg in Austria"]. See also Doberman pinscher.
New!plattenbau n.
from Plattenbau "panel building": a building whose facade is constructed of large, prefabricated concrete slabs, often found in eastern Europe [German Platte "panel, plate, sheet" + Bau "building, construction"]. This entry suggested by Christiane Leißner. See also Bauhaus.
  • "For a generation of West Germans, to whom East Germany was synonymous with ugly, old-fashioned and second-rate, nothing symbolized that inferiority better than plattenbaus, the high-rise apartment buildings from the postwar period that sprawled endlessly over the Communist landscape." Alisa Roth, "In Chic New Berlin, Ugly Is Way Cool", The New York Times, Jan. 24, 2002.
  • "Plattenbau (Bosna), 2000, is an exact copy of an entrance to a government-planned high-rise apartment block that had been built using prefabricated panels." Harald Fricke, "Sabine Hornig", ArtForum, Apr. 2000.

"Polka Dot" by HotForWords
polka n., adj., v.i.
from Polka: a fast dance for couples developed in Bohemia, Czech Republic; music for this dance; to dance the polka; of the polka, as in polka dots [< German Polka & French polka < Czech polka "Polish dance" < Polish Polka "a Polish woman"]. See further example under lederhosen.
  • "He was wearing a wide-collared polka-dot shirt, yellow on black." T.C. Boyle, Drop City, 2004, p. 130.
  • "My great-grandfather John Tollefson was not a pietist, he was one of the Happy Lutherans: he loved to dance the polka, which is a Norwegian martial art, and to drink beer and tell jokes." Garrison Keillor, Wobegon Boy, 1997, p. 46.
  • "Thalassa's leading composer had contrived a witty musical score beginning with a slow pavane and culminating in a breathless polka—slowing down to normal speed again at the very end as the final block of ice was jockeyed into position." Arthur C. Clarke, The Songs of Distant Earth, 1986, p. 282.
  • "She picked out some things by Caruso and Tetrazzini and piled them on a chair, but James had things to himself up there, and played The Spring Chicken through three times during dinner, with Miss Cobb glaring at the gallery until the back of her neck ached, and the dining-room girls waltzing in with the dishes and polka-ing out." Mary Roberts Rinehart, Where There's a Will, 1912, p. 178. Polka-ing can also be spelled polkaing.
  • "When they reached the ballroom the band was striking up a polka, and presently Mr Bunker, with his accustomed grace, was tearing round the room with Lady Muriel, while the Baron -- the delight of all eyes in his red waistcoat -- led out her sister." J. Storer Clouston, The Lunatic at Large, 1905, p. 103.
  • "The hall was empty, and they had a grand polka, for Laurie danced well, and taught her the German step, which delighted Jo, being full of swing and spring." Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, 1869.
  • "And now we began with waltzes, which passed into polkas, which subsided into other round dances; and then in very exhaustion we fell back in a grave quadrille." Edward Everett Hale, The Brick Moon and Other Stories, 1809, p. 353.
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"Poltergeist" by HotForWords
poltergeist n.
from Poltergeist "noisy ghost": a spirit reputed to make much noise [< German poltern < boldern "to be noisy, make noise" (onomatopoeic) + German Geist < Middle High German geist < Old High German geist "ghost, spook, spirit, essence"]. See also hopfgeist, zeitgeist.
  • "He [Harry] expected to encounter an obstacle at any moment; his worst fear was Peeves, and he strained his ears with every step to hear the first, telltale signs of the poltergeist's approach." J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7), 2007, p. 472.
  • "Harry looked up, and saw, floating twenty feet above them, Peeves the poltergeist, a little man in a bell-covered hat and orange bow-tie, his wide malicious face contorted with concentration as he took aim again." J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4), 2000, p. 152. This is one of four German words mentioned in this book. The others are burger, rucksack and waltz.
  • "He led them along the deserted corridor and around a corner, where the first thing they saw was Peeves the poltergeist, who was floating upside-down in mid-air and stuffing the nearest keyhole with chewing gum." Joanne K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3), 1999, p. 99. This is the only German word mentioned in this book.
  • "Peeves was the school poltergeist, a grinning, airborne menace who lived to cause havoc and distress." Joanne K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2), 1999, p. 126. This is one of only two German words mentioned in this book. The other is waltz.
  • "Nearly Headless Nick was always happy to point new Gryffindors in the right direction, but Peeves the poltergeist was worth two locked doors and a trick staircase if you met him when you were late for class." Joanne K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Book 1), 1997, p. 145. This is one of only two German words mentioned in this book. The other is rucksack.
  • "The room was clean and passably swank, but the television didn't work, and when I went into the bathroom to wash my hands and face, the pipes juddered and banged like something from a poltergeist movie and then, with a series of gasps, issued a steady brown soup." Bill Bryson, Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe, 1991, p. 301.
  • "And finally I made a list of beliefs about which I hold no opinion, either because evidence is lacking, or because the issue seems to me fundamentally a matter of faith. These beliefs include reincarnation, past lives, entities, poltergeists, ghosts, the yeti, the Loch Ness monster, and the power of crystals." Michael Crichton, Travels, 1988, p. 384.
  • Poltergeist, starring JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke, et al., 1982.
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pretzel, copyright 2002 Robbin D. Knapp
pretzel n.
from Brezel, Bretzel, Pretzel "pretzel": a bakery product in a particular shape; this shape [< Middle High German prezel, prezile, brezel < Old High German brezzila, brezitel, brezitella < Middle Latin bracellus "bracelet" or Latin brachiatus "having branches like arms" < Latin brachium, bracchium "arm"].
  • "Robbie's [the robot's] chrome-steel arms (capable of bending a bar of steel two inches in diameter into a pretzel) wound about the little girl gently and lovingly, and his eyes glowed a deep, deep red." Isaac Asimov, I, Robot, 1950, p. 28.
  • "Along Getreidegasse, the site of Mozart's birthplace, every shop had one of those hanging pretzel signs above the door, including, God help us, the local McDonald's (the sign had a golden-arches M worked into its filigree), as if we were supposed to think that they have been dispensing hamburgers there since the Middle Ages." Bill Bryson, Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe, 1991, p. 252.
  • "'Aside from an occasional visit to the Loewen Garden "over the Rhine," with a glass of beer and a few pretzels, consumed while listening to the excellent music of a German band, the theatre was the sum and substance of our innocent dissipation.'" Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin, Edison: His Life and Inventions, 1910.
  • "'I 'spect the tickets cost a heap,' he thought ruefully, as he drew himself up into a regular pretzel of a boy; 'but, then, she never does have no fun, an' never gits a thing fer herself.'" Alice Caldwell Hegan, Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch, 1902.
  • Pretzel Logic: A Novel, by Lisa Angowski Rogak Shaw, 1999.
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pumpernickel, copyright 2002 Robbin D. Knapppumpernickel n.
from pumpern "to break wind" + Nickel "a goblin; devil; kobold": a coarse, dark bread reputed to be hard to digest.

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Knapp, Robbin D. 2009. "GermanEnglishWords.com: P". In Robb: GermanEnglishWords.com. Jan. 2, 2009.

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