Re: virus: happy bloomsday

Tim Rhodes (
Wed, 16 Jun 1999 14:43:11 -0700

psypher wrote:

>...I first noticed it about 6 months ago while leafing through the
>Utne reader, then it popped up in Harpers and a few other places
>before trickling down into more pop-culture venues. Now it's turned
>up in a friend of mine who has little or no contact with the printed
>word. I speak of the prefix "uber" as in
>"that girl is ubercute!"
>, I'm more or less familiar with what it means [having read my
>nietzsche] but I'm hoping there's a German speaker out there who can
>provide a more comprehensive translation than I've been able to
>cobble together...

Well, it's been a good ten+ years since I took German, but...

The prefix in das Deutsche more or less translates to "over" or "by way of" (depending on the case). For example: "nacht" is "night" and ubernachten means "to spend the night" (the verb form), "morgen" means "tomorrow" and ubermorgen mean "the day after tomorrow", etc.

I suspect the usage you're seeing is more of a corruption of Nietzsche's term "ubermann" than from the actual Greman roots of the word.

-Prof. Tim

P.S. please excuse the lack of umlauts in the above.