Pick-A-Day

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Whatchamacallit 91: Renouncement

Renouncing uninvited visitors

This hanger was attached to a window somewhere in Germany – it is dual language with a terrible, almost literal, translation of the German text on the other side:

Liebe Gäste,

Sie verzichten gern
auf ungebetene
Besucher?

Dann halten Sie
bitte dieses
Fenster
geschlossen!

Vielen Dank

Nobody speaking English would say “renounce from uninvited visitors” – and the textual formatting is definitely German in origin: the “y” in the you is small; it should be large. Plus “that window” should absolutely be “this window” – the hanger was attached to the handle of the window.

For fun, I ran the German text, as is, through DeepL, the current best machine translating program out there (but still far from human quality). It suggests:

Dear guests, you like to do without uninvited visitors? Then please keep this window closed! Thank you very much.

I’m still not happy with “you like to do without uninvited visitors” – Google Translate suggests, “Do you like to avoid unwanted visitors?” – which is closer to the goal. I would probably say something like “Would you like to avoid unwanted pests?”

However, I’m neither a professional nor an amateur translator, so I would leave the better translation to an expert.

I have no clue when or where I acquired this gem: I believe I got it before I moved to Berlin, so it would be back before 2010, but everything else is a guess. Clearly it is from a German speaking country, probably Germany – and I would hazard a guess that it was from a large chain hotel – I don’t think a small hotel would spend money on this kind of hanger for its windows – unless I got it in a particularly buggy part of Germany; but I don’t remember ever having stayed in Moskitostadt.

This hangs on a door handle in my apartment – I don’t see it too frequently, but I love it for its bizarreness.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

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