Political buzzword 'Jamaika-Aus' is German Word of the Year, 2017

From 'Heisszeit' to 'Abwrackprämie': Germany's words of the year 2009-2018

2018: 'Heisszeit'

The term "Heisszeit," or warm age — as opposed to an "ice age," which sounds quite similar in German: "Eiszeit" — was chosen as the Word of the Year 2018, reflecting not only Germany's extreme summer this year, but climate change as as whole.

From 'Heisszeit' to 'Abwrackprämie': Germany's words of the year 2009-2018

2017: 'Jamaika-Aus'

"Jamaica coalition" refers to the symbolic colors of three parties in German politics: black for the conservative CDU/CSU, yellow for the liberal FDP and green for the Greens. In 2017, coalition talks kept Germany busy for weeks, but then came to an abrupt halt. This was "Jamaika-Aus," or Jamaica Out.

From 'Heisszeit' to 'Abwrackprämie': Germany's words of the year 2009-2018

2016: 'Postfaktisch'

During the US presidential election campaign, and after Donald Trump's victory in the Fall of 2016, the word "postfaktisch," or post-factual, came into common usage as it denoted the spread of fake news. Even Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) couldn't abstain from using it. It comes into play when public opinion is formed by emotions and resentments rather than objective facts.

From 'Heisszeit' to 'Abwrackprämie': Germany's words of the year 2009-2018

2015: 'Flüchtlinge'

"Flüchtlinge" — refugees. Undoubtedly, no other issue had a bigger impact in 2015. The closest runner-up was "Je suis Charlie," an expression with which people expressed their solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attack against the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo. Number three was "Grexit," which referred to the possibly impending expulsion of Greece from the Eurozone.

From 'Heisszeit' to 'Abwrackprämie': Germany's words of the year 2009-2018

2014: 'Lichtgrenze'

The winning word in 2014 was "Lichtgrenze," or border of light, which refers to a light installation on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was followed by "Schwarze Null," black zero, describing government efforts to not incur new debts. Another favorite was "Götzseidank," alluding to "Gott sei Dank" (thank God) and the legendary goal of soccer star Mario Götze in Brazil.

From 'Heisszeit' to 'Abwrackprämie': Germany's words of the year 2009-2018

2013: 'GroKo'

"GroKo" is short for Grosse Koalition, a grand coalition of the CDU/CSU and the SPD. Recalling "Kroko," or crocodile, the word also expresses derision. The runner-up was "Protz-Bischof," or braggy bishop, referring to Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg who came under fire for his prestigious construction projects. The term was followed by "Armutseinwanderung," poverty-driven migration.

From 'Heisszeit' to 'Abwrackprämie': Germany's words of the year 2009-2018

2012: 'Rettungsroutine'

"Rettungsroutine," rescue routine, reflected the repetitive efforts to stabilize the European economy. "Kanzlerpräsidentin," chancellor-president, came second: It derided Merkel for acting as neutral as the German president. Third was "Bildungsabwendungsprämie," education-refusal-bonus, derogatorily used for non-working mothers who demand a bonus for not sending their kids to a kindergarten.

From 'Heisszeit' to 'Abwrackprämie': Germany's words of the year 2009-2018

2011: 'Stresstest'

According to the GfdS, "Stresstest," stress test, so superbly expressed the spirit prevailing in 2011 that it became part of everyday speech. It referred to stress surrounding banks, train stations, governments and nuclear power stations. "Stresstest" was followed by the verb "hebeln," to lever, associated with the expansion of euro saving efforts, as well as "Arabellion," or Arab Spring.

From 'Heisszeit' to 'Abwrackprämie': Germany's words of the year 2009-2018

2010: 'Wutbürger'

"Wutbürger," angry citizen, described the impression that political decisions were being made without asking the population first. It was followed by "Stuttgart 21," the heavily criticized reconstruction of Stuttgart's main station, and "Sarrazin-Gen", the gene of Thilo Sarrazin, a politician and author who holds highly controversial views on migrants.

From 'Heisszeit' to 'Abwrackprämie': Germany's words of the year 2009-2018

2009: 'Abwrackprämie'

You got an "Abwrackprämie," a wreck bonus, for turning in your old car to receive a new one at a reduced price. Close favorites were "kriegsähnliche Zustände," war-like conditions, referring to Germany's involvement in peace-keeping missions in Afghanistan. And finally, the "Schweinegrippe," swine flu, turned out to be less dangerous than thought, but continued to stir public hysteria.

In a year that has been full of political extremes, buzzwords that highlight government collapse, movements for marriage equality and women's rights are some of the German words of the year in 2017.

A political term that arose during the recent German election, "Jamaica-Aus," meaning Jamaica Out, has been chosen as Germany's Word of the Year for 2017.

It might sound strange to non-German ears, but the buzzword refers to the collapse of "Jamaica Coalition" talks between the Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens — the parties are respectively represented by the colors black, yellow and green, which also feature on the Jamaican flag.

Denoting the ongoing failure to form a governing majority in German, Jamaica Out was one of several political neologisms chosen by the Society for German Language (GfdS) on Friday for its Word of the Year, which has been awarded since 2009. 

This year's runner-up is "Ehe für alle," or Marriage for all, which became a rallying cry on social media after gay and lesbian couples were finally granted full marriage equality in Germany —  including the right to adoption — on October 1.

Read more: Marriage for all: celebrities tying the same-sex knot

Number three was "#MeToo," a twitter hashtag turned global forum through which women shared their stories sexual harassment and abuse. These women were collectively honored this week as Time magazine's Person of the Year in 2017.

The "Me Too" hashtag, featured here at an October 2017 demonstration in Berlin, has become a global buzzword

According to the GfdS, Me Too drew attention to the extent of the problem, especially in the world of film and entertainment, with multiple women, for example, making sexual abuse allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Read more: Time names 'The Silence Breakers' Person of the Year

When choosing the Word of the Year, the GfdS focuses on expressions or terms that have significantly shaped public debate over the calendar year. What counts is not the sheer frequency with which the terms have been used in the media, but rather their significance, and linguistic quality. 

The winner of 2016 was "postfaktisch", or post-factual, the use of which became widespread in Germany during the US presidential campaign when Donald Trump triggered a public debate about post-truth politics and so-called 'alternative facts.' Prior to the rise of the buzzword late in 2016, the term "Brexit" was seen as a favorite.

ka/suc/ag/sb (dpa/gfds.de)

Germany's Youth Words of the Year since 2008

2018: Ehrenmann / Ehrenfrau

Man or woman of honor: that's the German Youth Word of the Year for 2018. It refers to a person you can always count on and who's loyal to his friends and family. It can also be used ironically as an insult, when someone claims to have strong principles but doesn't apply them in real life. German rappers often use "Ehrenmann" in their lyrics and it's also the name of an energy drink.

Germany's Youth Words of the Year since 2008

2017: I bims

To be or not to be? Germany's young people would answer Shakespeare's most famous existential question with "I bims," derived from "Ich bin" — I am. It was chosen as the "Jugendwort des Jahres" (German Youth Word of the Year) in 2017.

Germany's Youth Words of the Year since 2008

2016: am Fly sein

When a person feels in a particularly high and sexy mood and is ready to, say, party all night, German teens will highlight this energy by borrowing from US hip-hop slang, literally saying "you're on fly." In English, "I'm so fly" is a rapper way of saying you're cool. It was embodied by the main character in the film "Super Fly" from 1972, with its famous Curtis Mayfield soundtrack.

Germany's Youth Words of the Year since 2008

2015: Smombie

Do you check your phone while you're walking and run into things? Then apparently you have something in common with German teens. The 2015 German Youth Word of the Year was "Smombie" — a cross between smartphone and zombie. Walking while checking for a new like, follow or message can be hazardous. Perhaps Germany should adopt this phone lane idea spotted in China.

Germany's Youth Words of the Year since 2008

2014: Läuft bei dir

As with most of the youth words of the year, this one can also contain traces of irony. If you say "läuft bei dir" to someone — basically "things are going well with you" — it probably means nothing is really as it should be. Maybe they were up all night on Snapchat and completely forgot to cram for their algebra test.

Germany's Youth Words of the Year since 2008

2013: Babo

Who's the leader of the pack among your friends? Chances are, they're the babo: that is, the boss, the ringleader, the head honcho. German rapper Haftbefehl (pictured) may also like to see himself as the babo. In 2013, he released a track called "Chabos know who the babo is." While "chabos" (roughly, guys) is derived from Angloromani, babo comes from Turkish.

Germany's Youth Words of the Year since 2008

2012: YOLO

In 2012, an English abbreviation won German Youth Word of the Year. YOLO stands for You Only Live Once. In that case, live it up. Maybe that means launching your singing career on YouTube, getting a colorful tattoo or just having another drink. The youths of 2012 couldn't care less about the consequences.

Germany's Youth Words of the Year since 2008

2011: Swag

It's not surprising that teen speak is heavily influenced by the music scene. Swag was borrowed from the American rap scene and made it over to Germany around 2010, becoming popular thanks to Austrian rapper Money Boy's track "Turn My Swag On." If you've got swag, you radiate coolness.

Germany's Youth Words of the Year since 2008

2010: Niveaulimbo

Ever played limbo? Then you know there's a limit to how far down you can go — even if you're really good. "Niveaulimbo" — literally, limbo level — refers to the ever-sinking quality of something. That could be a TV show, a joke or a party that just starts getting out of hand.

Germany's Youth Words of the Year since 2008

2009: Hartzen

Who says young people aren't interested in politics? In 2009, the Youth Word of the Year was a sharp social and political criticism. Derived from Hartz IV, the German welfare program, "hartzen" is a verb meaning "to be lazy."

Germany's Youth Words of the Year since 2008

2008: Gammelfleischparty

In 2005-2007, Germany experienced a number of rotten meat scandals mainly impacting doner kebab production. The 2008 Youth Word of the Year drew on the meat scares, but linked them to another youthful fear: getting older. A "Gammelfleischparty" (rotten meat party) refers to an event for adults over 30. Now doesn't that make you feel younger?