Aufgebrezelt

Aufgebrezelt: When you dressed yourself in an overly flashy or dolled-up way, Germans will say you are “pretzeled up”

Literally “prezeled up” / meaning: dressed in a way that may seem exaggerated

Everyone knows that one person who is always dressed a little too fancy and always has a little too much makeup on—even in completely inappropriate situations. In the office, for example. Or while dropping off empties. Or at the divorce lawyer’s office.

In Germany, these people are called aufgebrezelt (“pretzeled up”). It’s a term that is fairly often used—however, its exact origins remain unclear. The word “pretzel” itself comes from the Old High German “brezzila,” which is cognate to the French term “bras” and Spanish “brazo” (both meaning “arm”). However, the key to its deeper meaning probably lies in the special treatment for lye pastries (in German Laugengebäck). 

When it is baked, a chemical reaction turns the sad looking, limp mass of dough into a shiny-brown, appetizing, crispy-fluffy specialty. And after all, that’s pretty much what aufbrezeln is all about.

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