[texhax] What is a TeXpätzer?

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Wed Feb 16 04:31:16 CET 2011

On 15 February 2011 Herbert Schulz wrote:

 > On Feb 15, 2011, at 7:05 PM, Philipp Stephani wrote:
 > > Hello,
 > > 
 > > IÕve read the interview with Herb Schulz
 > > ( http://tug.org/interviews/schulz.html ), and noticed that he
 > > considers himself a TeXpŠtzer. Now what is that? A Google search
 > > for ÒTeXpŠtzerÓ returns exactly one page Ð the interview itselfÉ
 > > 
 > > Philipp
 > Howdy,
 > You don't play chess. Take a look at
 > < http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/patzer >.

Well, with the dieresis it sounds quite Austrian.  Simarly, "TeXpŠtzli" 
sounds quite Swiss. :)


   $ dictcc patzer
   blunder                                 Patzer
   slip                                    Patzer
   patzer                                  Patzer
   snafu                                   Patzer
   goof-up                                 Patzer
   gaffe                                   Patzer
   fish                                    Patzer
   blooper                                 Patzer
   boob                                    Patzer
   goof                                    Patzer
   whammy                                  Patzer
   patzer of a player                      mittelmŠ§iger Spieler
   to boob                                 einen Patzer machen

The German word "Patzer" denotes a slip, a stupid mistake you usually
don't make.  Maybe the word originates from chess (don't know), but
it's quite conventional in German.

However, in German the word "Patzer" denotes a mistake, one wouldn't
associate it with a person.  One wouldn't say "Ich bin ein Patzer".  
I suppose that this is the root of the confusion (besides the dieresis).

According to the output of dictcc, in English the word has another
meaning too:

    patzer of a player          mittelmŠ§iger Spieler

I wasn't aware of it.  I'm not sure whether the word "Patzer"
originates from chess, we Germans use it whenever we make a mistake
which we usually don't.  But maybe chess made the word propagate to


Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
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D-30167 Hannover                              mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
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