sturmfrei

Sturmfrei ("storm free"): The state where no parents are at home and children are free to do whatever they want

Literally: “storm free” / the state where no parents are at home

Back in the days, shortly before our Abitur, we often had these special weekends when someone from the clique had the privilege of sturmfreie Bude: an expression that roughly translates to “a shack free of storm.” These nights regularly resulted in ill-advised alcoholic escapades and, optimally, a permanently uninhabitable house.

Sturmfrei is a word so perfectly German that dictionaries won’t even give you a vague translation. That’s understandable because the term carries so much meaning. It does not only describe the state of having no parents around, but a special feeling where you really intend to use the freedom that a place all to yourself offers. To clarify the contrast: sturmfrei would never be used to describe a state of loneliness. You’re more likely to use it when you send a message to your WhatsApp group saying, “Come over tonight, everyone, I have sturmfrei.” 

However, the term is not necessarily limited to young people happy to turn the house upside down. Some people might also use it in a text to their Tinder flame when their partner is on a business trip.

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