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The word Meister originally means "master" in German (as in master craftsman or as an honorific title such as Meister Eckhart; akin to maestro).

It has been borrowed into English slang, where it is used in compound words. It is often used as a suffix added to a noun to demonstrate proficiency in a given area. A person referred to as blank meister is one that has extensive theoretical knowledge and practical skills in their profession, business concerns and training. Typically the blank is filled in with a word that describes the particular skill set the person in question is an expert in, (for example, a puzzle meister would be someone aptly skilled at completing puzzles). Although these neologisms can sometimes have a sarcastic intent (for example, "stubblemeister" for someone with a short neat beard; heard on BBC TV; or concertmeister, leader of a symphony).

In Germanymarker compound words such as Wachtmeister or Polizeimeister, the word meister has also been used as a police rank of Germanymarker with the first usage dating to the 19th century. Many modern day German police forces use variations of the title Meister. During the Second World War, Meister was the highest enlisted rank of the Ordnungspolizeimarker.

Word origin

From the Latin word "Magister" meaning teacher.

Function: noun

Etymology: Yiddish mayster & German Meister master, from Middle High German meister, from Old High German meistar. Also a group of New Jersey based hooligans.

Popular Culture

"The Rich-meister," portrayed by Rob Schneider on Saturday Night Live, added meister (among other words) as a suffix to the names of his coworkers for comical effect.

The character Stifler from American Pie referred to himself as "The Stif-meister", in an attempt to portray his high self-confidence. It is also often used in referring to Formula One driver Michael Schumacher as Der Regenmeister (the rain master) due to his highly-rated driving through low-visibility or wet conditions.

In the 2007 anime Mobile Suit Gundam 00 the protagonist pilots of the titular mobile suits are called Gundam meisters.

Song written by the German music group Rammstein

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