Nacktschnecke

Nacktschnecke: A slug is simply called a “naked snail” in Germany

literally: “naked snail” / meaning: slug

Have you ever heard the cliché of Germans being somewhat uptight? Well, that’s not true across the board. It may well be that, for instance, on German dance floors, things are a bit less untamed than in some other countries. However, when it comes to nudity, Germans are stunningly open-minded.

At the time the country was divided, nudism was even a central part of the GDRs culture. But also being born in West Germany, I remember seeing bare breasts on TV ads during the day as a young child already. Needless to say, saunas in Germany are almost all mixed, and nearly every bathing lake offers a designated area for skinny dipping.

That being said, the Nacktschnecke would make a great German national animal. Apart from that, it demonstrates how German frees you from the trouble of learning an all-new word (like “slug”) by taking an existing one (like “snail”) and combining it with a characteristic feature (“naked”). At least, the cliché of German efficiency continues to hit the mark.

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