Zielwasser ("aiming water"): That’s how Germans refer to an alcoholic beverage that you drink with the intent to improve your aiming skills.

Just to get that right out of the way: I do not intend to glorify alcohol. It’s already glorious enough.

However, it is an intriguing question whether, despite the undisputed risks, alcohol consumption also brings any medically proven benefits. While not advertising to start drinking solely for health reasons, the authors of an Austrian “responsible drinking” website share some impressive discoveries. Under certain circumstances and in moderate amounts, alcohol can protect against cardiovascular diseases, dementia, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes.

Other sources suggest that small amounts of alcohol can actually reduce involuntary muscle tremors. This may also be the background of the word Zielwasser. It refers to a little schnaps that Germans drink whenever they need a good aim—like bowling, minigolf, or a shooting gallery at Oktoberfest. The word first appeared in the military slang around 1900 and from there entered everyday language. No matter how effective Zielwasser turns out to be, I clearly prefer drunk Germans when they are unarmed.



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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