Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A loud, discordant noise.
  • n. A hangover.
  • n. A state of depression or bewilderment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. hangover
  • n. jitters; discord; confusion
  • n. depression

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. loud confused noise from many sources
  • n. disagreeable aftereffects from the use of drugs (especially alcohol)

Etymologies

German, hangover : Katzen, pl. of Katze, cat (from Middle High German katze, from Old High German kazza; akin to Old English catt; see cat) + Jammer, wailing (from Middle High German jāmer, from Old High German jāmar, misery).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
German Katzenjammer ("the wailing of cats"), hangover; a compound formed from Katzen (plural of Katze), cat + jammer, wailing or distress. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • (Alas! as I was to learn at a later period, intellectual intoxication too. has its katzenjammer.) « Table of contents

    Chapter 21

  • From below deck, a katzenjammer of libidinous voices is heard.

    La insistencia de Jürgen Fauth

  • If in doing so he were to be perceived as another wealthy and indolent foreigner (usually German or French but not always so) suffering and despondent because of a katzenjammer from a previous night of quaffing Laos Beer, so be it.

    An Apostate: Nawin of Thais

  • Afar from honks of motor cars, and all the city's clamor, I'd like to sleep beneath the stars, and feel no katzenjammer when in the vernal dawn I wake, as chipper as the foxes, to eat my frugal oatmeal cake put up in paper boxes.

    Rippling Rhymes

  • You've got an awful katzenjammer from the Stokes 'dinner, and all you men ought to be horsewhipped for letting yourselves in for such a party.

    The Heart of Rachael

  • The cynic who housed in a tub and clothed himself with a second-hand carpet is as rich to-day as he that reveled in the spoil of Persia's conquered king and kicked the bucket while enjoying a case of katzenjammer.

    The Complete Works of Brann the Iconoclast, Volume 12

  • In an orchestra of eighty men there is inevitably at least one man with a sore thumb, or bad kidneys, or a brutal wife, or _katzenjammer_ -- and one is enough.

    Damn! A Book of Calumny

  • (Alas! as I was to learn at a later period, intellectual intoxication too. has its katzenjammer.)

    Chapter XXI

  • An orgy in cans and bottles, a bacchanalian revel: a cupboard full of indigestion, joy, forgetfulness and katzenjammer.

    Where there's a Will

  • Should he find a man suffering with katzenjammer he would pronounce him a "suspect."

    The Complete Works of Brann the Iconoclast, Volume 10

Comments

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  • dfgheherhre

    November 1, 2012

  • The first thing this word reminds me of is "The Katzenjammer Kids", one of the comic strips I tried to follow in the 1940s when I was first looking at newspapers -- it didn't set the best example for reading, or for anything else I was learning then. Its ongoing continuation can be easily found on the web, along with accounts of the comic strip's complicated history. Its 100th anniversary was Dec. 12, 1997.

    November 1, 2012