I don't know how many of you are aware of my Tumblr, There Oughta Be A German Word For That! My guess is probably relatively few. For the vast majority of you who are unaware, it's a blog where I attempt to invent complicated German compound words to describe impossible-to-describe modern conundrums.
I've been on a bit of a hiatus because of the summer, because of the book release hoopla, but over the past few months I've brought the world concepts such as:
Wunschvaterundmenschen--the sensation of wishing simultaneously that someone was your husband and your father;
Kentnissvonstolzundschande--the pride felt in arcane knowledge that one is also deeply ashamed of having;
And Selbstliebedurchhassenselbst--the act of self-deprecation in the service of self-promotion.
Anyway, I thought of a new one today and I thought I might share it with you here.
Halbwahrerfreund: an acquaintance that is more than a Facebook friend, but less than a real friend.
A Halbwahrerfreund is someone you have met, but have never hung out with one on one. You can email a Halbwahrerfreund directly, even frequently, but it would be very strange call one on the phone. You can ask a Halbwahrerfreund for professional favors disguised as friendly overtures (and expect them to be asked of you in return) but you can't ask them to help you move, to catsit, or to visit you in the hospital. It is appropriate to invist a Halbwahrerfreund to your book release party, but not to your birthday party, and DEFINITELY not to your wedding. A Halbwahrerfreund requires a great deal of encouraging thank you emails when they show you any notice, in order to lull them into thinking your are perhaps something more than Halbwahrerfreunden. You are never sure precisely how much Halbwahrerfreund actually likes you. If you live in New York City, fully 85% of the people you know are Halbwahrerfreunden.
Have you air-kissed your Halbwahrerfreund today?