Projekt 365 „A German Word“ #3: Pappschächtelchen

Pappschächtelchen. A little cardboard box. To be found everywhere containing — whatever. Little secrets, a life’s achievements, collections of buttons or screws, drugs, love letters … if you know what I mean.

A friend of mine, a spanish physician, once told me a little story. The physician’s uncle, a madrilenian doctor, was on standby when he received an emergency call from the Queen’s palace. Nothing serious, just stomach trouble. After having examined closely, he suggested a therapy. The Queen asked him to wait, left the room and returned with … a cardboard box full of medicines.(An astonishing fact, isn’t it?)

Let’s conclude: You’ll even find carboard boxes where you do not expect it. Sometimes you’ll find surprising things in cardboard boxes. As Forrest Gump said: „Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get.“ 

Everbody owns little, tiny cardboard boxes but the English language doesn’t know the German -chen. The diminutive -chen makes things smaller. And cozy, somehow. Almost evanescent.

I love this word: Pappschächtelchen. It’s like an unfilfilled  pledge in a cubbyhole.


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