German Language/heruntergerockt


QUESTION: Hi Cornelia,
Could you please explain to me this word "heruntergerockten" in the following phrase:" Berlin-Neukolln.In einem etwas heruntergerockten Altbau Erdgeschoss hat Verein " Katze in Not " [...] einen Ort geschaffen... " [from Stern magazine 47; 2012]


I'd say it's a building that is looking a bit run-down, in poor condition, because people have lived in it for a long time.

Hope this helps,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks a lot,but,could you tell me something more about it - from where did this word originated ?
It has something  to do with rock music ?
It is a musician slang ?
I could not find it anyone dictionary.

 Thank you in advance,

Actually it appears that this a new word, freshly made up, a neologism. If you google the infinitive you get a full 88 results, and about 1330 hits for "heruntergerockt".
I have no idea how it developed but if you are a student of Germanistik you could suggest this as a topic for a term paper. That would be some truly original research. :-)
Seriously though, I guess the music connection seems logical but there is no way to *prove* it without looking through the first uses of the word in publications.

Hope this helps,

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Cornelia Neumann


I can answer questions regarding grammar and style, as well as many questions about German culture, history, and literature.


I am native speaker with a German degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and German. I lived and worked in the USA for seven years (taught high school and all college levels) and spent three years as a high school teacher of German and EFL at an international school in Mexico. In 2006 I returned to Germany, where I am currently working as a teacher in Hamburg.

M.A., M.Ed., ABD, etc. etc.

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