Most Americans know of the common English slang „to chill.“ It is clearly a verb, and used to describe teenagers what teenagers do when they go somewhere together. My understanding of chilling is that it is something you do with friends, it is unplanned, and you do low key sort of things like lie on a couch, talk, watch videos, play games, and eat doritos.
My daughter Kirsten came home from her German school yesterday to tell me that she had learned a new adjective at school “chillig” which is a borrowing from English of the word “to chill” but with the German adjectival ending making it into the English equivalent of “chill-ish.”. What is more she said, the kids were talking about the best club in town which not only is chillig, but the chilligstes (i.e. the German superlative form, making it into the English equivalent of “most chill-ish”) club in town.
This defied Kirsten’s sense of American teenage propriety. Dance clubs are great, she pointed out, but there is no way that you can chill at them. They are just too noisy and active.
Tony Waters is czar and editor of Ethnography.com. He came to us from the Sociology department at California State University at Chico where he has been a professor since 1996. In 2016 though he suddenly found himself with a new gig at Payap University in northern Thailand where he is on the faculty of the Peace Studies Department. He has also been a guest professor in Germany, and Tanzania. In the past, his main interests have been international development and refugees in Thailand, Tanzania, and California. This reflects a former career in the Peace Corps (Thailand), and refugee camps (Thailand and Tanzania). His books include: Crime and Immigrant Youth (1999), Bureaucratizing the Good Samaritan (2001), The Persistence of Subsistence Agriculture: Life Beneath of the Marketplace (2007), When Killing is a Crime (2007), and Schooling, Bureaucracy, and Childhood: Bureaucratizing the Child (2012). His hobby is trying to learn strange languages–and the mistakes that that implies. Tony is a prolific academic, you can read more of his work at academia.edu.or purchase one (or more!) of his books from Amazon.com.