This weeks German Word of the Week is a word that has sparked a large-scale public discussion in Germany in 2007: Herdprämie. Literally, it translates to Stove Bonus. It is essentially a child-rearing allowance that parents receive for children up until they start school. This allowance is granted to parents who don’t send their children to the state-run kindergartens, but look after them privately – either by one parent staying at home, hiring a nanny etc. It was because this child-rearing allowance was seen as a distractive remedy from the fact that there were not enough state-run nurseries for all children to attend and that mothers (and fathers to a lesser extent) would be paid for not pursuing their careers, but for being stay-at-home mums instead, that it got the less cajoling nickname Stove Bonus. In Germany, the Association for the German Language have been issuing their Word of the Year and their Faux-pas Word of the Year annually for over 20 years and Herdpräme was the Faux-pas Word of the Year in 2007.

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