Sturmfrei translates to “storm free.” Now, one could think that it has something to do with the wind and weather conditions outside, a post-winter idyllic day with a lot of sun.
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Yet in reality this word means something completely different than its literal translation.
First of all, it is a very colloquial word. When you are a parent of a teenager and you decide to leave for the weekend and leave your kid alone at home, the child has sturmfrei.
It simply means: The parents leave and you have the house for yourself. You might even call it a sturmfreie Bude (Bude is colloquial for “house.”)
Leaving your child alone at home and giving them sturmfrei is always potentially worrying for parents.
Many teenagers use their parents’ absence for throwing a house party. And since here is no one there to call it quits, those parties can escalate quite heavily.
The origin of the notion isn’t really clear. Earlier, it was used in the military and described a place or position that was impregnable.
The connection to an empty house is probably that no parents can tell you what to do or impede you in your freedom when said parent is gone for the weekend.
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Teens having fun at a "sturmfreie Bude". Photo: depositphotos/MilanMarkovic
Kommst du zu meiner Party am Samstag? Ich habe sturmfrei.
Are you coming to my party on Saturday? My parents aren’t there.
Ich hab' bald eine Woche sturmfreie Bude, weil meine Eltern in den Urlaub fahren.
I'll soon have the house to myself for a week because my parents are going on holiday.
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This article was produced independently with support from Lingoda.