The Verb “To Chill”

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.