I was poring over the list of documented dings, dents, and scratches when I stumbled upon a word I’d never seen before. Thanks to German being such a fan of compound words, and having acquired a decent vocabulary in most of the last decade, it’s not often (anymore) that I encounter a stumper. But this one threw me:
We decided to ask the native speakers upon our arrival. They busted out laughing when I asked, in English:
Just what the heck is a turdwing?
They knew pretty much what part of the car it is, but there was some discussion about whether best term was “wheel well” or “fender.”
“We never thought of it like that,” was their excuse. “That does seem to be a weird name upon reflection.” As a foreigner assembling concepts with German Lego bricks, I fail to see how any non-native speaker could NOT think of it like that. But after giving it a little more thought, we decided my rather literal interpretation of the term must be the most accurate: a holdover from the days when coaches needed to protect their passengers from the, shall we say, exhaust flying up from the street.
Here’s a much nicer sort of wing to consider.