Veet-suhl-zoot-ehn; high-falootin'.
January 3, 2013 3:29 PM   Subscribe

What is this non-English, possibly German word? Sounds like veetsul zooten, means emotional from an impending change.

My father says that while he was flying home from Tanzania, transiting through South Africa, he met a man who told him about a German (or Swedish, or Yiddish...) word meaning to be emotional about an impending change or period of transition. He says he recalls it being pronounced veet-suhl-zoot-ehn but as it has been years, he could be remembering it incorrectly.

My google-fu is failing me. Seeing as I am currently and frequently feeling this word, I would love to know what it is. Any guesses?
posted by BusyBusyBusy to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Not an answer, but given the area he was traveling in it could Afrikaans/Dutch rather than German.
posted by tommasz at 3:41 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

First word sounds like wechsel: change.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 3:41 PM on January 3, 2013

LONGSHOT: could it be something related to Sehnsucht?
posted by kariebookish at 3:44 PM on January 3, 2013

Best answer: I was thinking that it could be "wechselsüchtig": that is, having a yearning for change. It would be pronounced, more or less, as "VECK-sell-SOUK-tig" (a gross approximation, to be sure).
posted by brianogilvie at 3:48 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I agree with qxntpqbbbqxl that the first part is probably ‘Wechsel’ in German, ‘växel’ in Swedish, or some cognate in another Germanic language. I can't guess at the second part, but note that Germanic languages tend to be pretty easy about coining compounds on-the-fly.

Wechselangst more or less fits the bill, but it's a long way from "Angst" to "zoot-ehn".
posted by pont at 3:50 PM on January 3, 2013

This is a major reach, but just in case: verklempt?
posted by threeants at 3:55 PM on January 3, 2013

posted by willem at 3:56 PM on January 3, 2013

Since your father was in South Africa, maybe it's an Afrikaans word instead of a German one? I too think "veetsul zooten" doesn't resemble any German word I know.
posted by ms.codex at 5:36 PM on January 3, 2013

Best answer: Could it be Afrikaans "vrees te sluiten", which would mean something like "fear of closure/closing/concluding"?
posted by trip and a half at 5:37 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

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