[kat-suh n-jam-er]


the discomfort and illness experienced as the aftereffects of excessive drinking; hangover.
uneasiness; anguish; distress.
uproar; clamor: His speech produced a public katzenjammer.

Origin of katzenjammer

1840–50; < German, equivalent to Katzen (plural of Katze cat) + Jammer “discomfort,” Old High German jāmar (noun and adjective); cf. yammer
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for katzenjammer

Contemporary Examples of katzenjammer

Historical Examples of katzenjammer

  • "I am ashamed to say the Katzenjammer Kids in the comic supplement put it in my head," blushed Annie.

  • In a German work on pharmacy I find that it is recommended in catarrh of the stomach and for "Katzenjammer."

  • Also, the normal state of Melancholy is such that even a case of Katzenjammer merely blends in with the surrounding Drabness.

    Ade's Fables

    George Ade

  • Next day they suffer from Katzenjammer, but feel that they are upholding ancient tradition.

    Home Life in Germany

    Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick

British Dictionary definitions for katzenjammer


noun mainly US

a confused uproar
a hangover

Word Origin for katzenjammer

German, literally: hangover, from Katzen cats + jammer misery, wailing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for katzenjammer

1849, "a hangover," American English colloquial, from German katzen, comb. form of katze "cat" + jammer "distress, wailing." Hence, "any unpleasant reaction" (1897).

Pleasure can intoxicate, passion can inebriate, success can make you quite as drunk as champagne. The waking from these several stages of delights will bring the same result--Katzenjammer. In English you would call it reaction; but whole pages of English cannot express the sick, empty, weary, vacant feeling which is so concisely contained within these four German syllables. ["Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine," August 1884]

Katzenjammer Kids "spectacularly naughty children" is from title of comic strip first drawn by German-born U.S. comic strip artist Rudolph Dirks (1877-1968) in 1897 for the "New York Journal."

"THE SHENANIGAN KIDS" is the new American name for the original "Katzenjammer Kids." Although the original name and idea were pure Holland Dutch, some people may have had the mistaken impression that they were of Germanic origin, and hence the change. It is the same splendid comic as in the past. [International Feature Service advertisement in "Editor & Publisher," July 6, 1918]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper