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Class in Germany is today a question of lifestyle rather than birth-right. The following terms and phrases give you an indication of the group in society a person is associated with.

People with money
People without money
Working class
Other

(* = familiar, ** = very familiar, *** = vulgar, s = slang, Lit. = Literally)

People with money

Der Spießer (**) short for der Spießbürger, a narrow-minded, conformist person. Every parent dreads to be called Spießer by their children, who grow up thinking of themselves as liberated and open minded by comparison. Buying a house, having a mortgage, driving a family friendly car and enjoying working in the garden definitely qualifies you as a Spießer.

Der Bonze (**) Big wig. Derogatory for someone belonging to the establishment, holding a high governmental rank.

Der Neureiche (*) Nouveau riche. Someone who has made a lot of money in a relatively short space of time and is not shy about showing it off.

Der reiche Sack (s) Loaded geezer. Lit. Rich bag.

Der Schnösel (**) Snotty, arrogant person.

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People without money

Der Lebenskünstler (*) Person embracing life without much money. Lit. Life artist.

Der Hungerkünstler (*) Person working as an artist, but making no money. Lit. Hunger artist.

Der ewige Student (*) Lit. The eternal student. A German phenomenon as most students graduate between 26 and 30 and some even manage to go on until they're 40. Due to the German tax system it is sometimes more lucrative to hold on to the student status to avoid paying high taxes while working.

Der Parkbankphilosoph (s) Low life, bag lady. Lit. Park bench philosopher.

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Working class

Der Assi (**) Scumbag. Short for Asozialer, antisocial person.

Der Prolo (**) Derogatory abbreviation for proletarian, working class.

Der Mantafahrer (s) Serious stereotyping here: a person who drives an Opel Manta car, has tattoos and a mullet.

Die Mantalette (s) The girlfriend of Manny, der Mantafahrer. She's blond, her name is usually Gabi or Mandy and she often works as a hairdresser.

Der Vokuhila (s) Mullet. Abbreviation for the forever popular hairstyle VOrne KUrz und HInten LAng, short at the front and long at the back.

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Other

Der Müsli (*) Person who is very much into environmental issues, eating mainly organic food and supporting fair trade products. Lit. Muesli eater.

Der Schnorrer (**) Scrounger, sponge.

Der Vereinsmeier (**) Club maniac. Narrow-minded person who is only interested in club activities, often joining clubs such as collecting model trains, breeding rabbits and pigeons.

Das Weichei (s) Softy. Lit. Soft boiled egg. Endearing term for males who are more in touch with their feminine side.

Der Warmduscher (s) Softy. Lit. Person who only takes warm showers.

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