Literally: “poop wing” / meaning: fender of a car
Germany has a longer automotive history than basically any country in the world. Enjoying motorized private transport is an even older tradition in the Federal Republic than complaining about Deutsche Bahn.
However, the invention of the Kotflügel predates both of these. The word comes from a time when streets were still dominated by horse-drawn carriages—and the tons of excrements they left behind. In defense of the horses, it must be said that they were not the only creatures whose droppings could be found on the road. Rather, the townspeople also drained their chamber pots on the cobblestones with great fondness.
To protect the passengers from splashing poop, special wings were installed over the wheels of the carriages. So Kotflügel are literally “poop wings”—it’s as easy as that. What’s surprising however is that the word has survived into modern times. Thus, even a Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid has a part whose name implies that the car is ready to drive over a manure-covered Autobahn.