Otto Waalkes’ Ottifant has made it into the dictionary


cult figure
Ottifant by Otto Waalkes has made it into the Duden

Otto Waalkes 2018 at the opening of his exhibition in the Caricatura Museum Frankfurt

“The Ottifantenking”: Ottifanten have always been one of the comedian’s trademarks. Now the humanized elephants, drawn by Otto Waalkes himself, have made it into the dictionary.

© Fabian Sommer/dpa

Holdrio – the Ottifant is now in the dictionary. Anyone who has always wanted to know how to correctly pronounce the animal created by Otto Waalkes can now find out online. And the comedian even learned something new about his elephant in Duden.

Ottifanten have always been one of the comedian’s and actor’s trademarks Otto Waalkes (74). Now the humanized elephants drawn by Waalkes have made it into the Duden – at least in the online version of the standard work on German spelling. “The Ottifant has been available online in Duden for a day or two,” said the head of the Duden editorial team at Cornelsen Verlag of the German Press Agency in Hamburg.

Otto Waalkes celebrates with an Instagram post

It remains to be seen whether the famous figure will also be included in the next printed Duden, she explained. “That will be decided in a complex editorial process in the months before the next edition is published.” However, it is not yet certain when this will be published.

Waalkes had a deal with one Instagram-Post reported and was happy about the Duden entry. “Staaark – my Ottifant is now in the dictionary!” Posted the East Frisian. The comedian even learned something new about his iconic character. He can now always read how to spell and pronounce the word correctly and even look up the genitive of it. “I didn’t even know he had a genitive – he never showed me that.”

Incidentally, the Duden describes the Ottifant in the online text as follows: “Ottifant, the figure of an elephant designed by the German comedian Otto Waalkes, which has human characteristics. Made-up word, formed from the first name Otto and “elephant”.

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