Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz is one of the longest German words in use

beef labeling supervision duties delegation law

It is a widely known fact that the German language gives you the opportunity to stack words on top of each other to create genuine lexical monstrosities. Perhaps the most famous example is Donau­dampfschifffahrts­elektrizitäten­hauptbetriebswerk­bauunterbeamten­gesellschaft (“Association for Subordinate Officials of the Main Maintenance Building of the Danube Steam Shipping Electrical Services”)—which, however, seems to be a mere invention of a creative mind.

In contrast to this, the Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz is a real thing. The word describes a law that was passed in 1999 by the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. This 63 letter tapeworm of a word was even proposed as “German word of the year” by the Association for the German Language.

Despite these ginormous composite words coming up from time to time, it might surprise you that German in general is not at all characterized by a large word length. In fact, words in standard German texts are more than 2% shorter than those in English. Still, Germans have the better options to drive people crazy when playing hangman. 



German Is Weird: Crazy Words von Arschkarte bis Zielwasser - from "ass card" to "aiming water"

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German is weird: Fun Facts and Trivia about the German language

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German Is Weird: Crazy Words von Arschkarte bis Zielwasser - from "ass card" to "aiming water"

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