Model, das

Model can be a dangerous term in German, since it is used in small ads in newspapers such as the Hamburger Morgenpost as a euphemism for a prostitute. One should be careful to avoid any ambiguity when applying the word to an honest working girl enhancing some clothes with her smile. The Duden distinguishes das Model with one L (plural die Models) from das Modell with a double L (plural die Modelle). The former is regarded by Germans as a true Anglicism, and can only be applied to fashion models. The latter is a multilayered German term that can variously mean a prototype, a miniature replica (Modelleisenbahn) or an artist's (frequently human) model. But the latter has also acquired senses of the English word model, including that of a scientific model or of a model of car (derived term: die Modellpolitik). To avoid ambiguity when referring to a female demonstrator of clothes, the media often use inflated terms such as das Fotomodel, or, since the wild success of a German knockoff of America's Next Top Model, das Topmodel. One recent dpa story about das Magermodel (below) described the workers as das Topmodel or das Supermodel, but in only two instances deep in the text as plain old das Model.

  • Weil die Kleider noch Spiel zum Körper haben sollten, bevorzuten die Modemacher oft magere Models. (dpa, 2008-07-11)

  • Die Bilder von Topmodels beeindruckten junge Frauen am stärksten. (dpa, 2008-07-11)

  • Der Fall des brasilianischen Supermodels Ana Carolina Reston, die vor zwei Jahren mit 21 Jahren an Magersucht starb, hatte die Branche aufgeschreckt. (dpa, 2008-07-11)

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