On 27 June Germany scooted around England to rip off their shorts and leave them gawping in the last eight of the world cup 2010; they ate four goals. Not a week later, we got a bit of perspective; Argentina wolfed down a fourth goal courtesy of Germany, again, in the 89th minute of a breathtaking quarter-final. As an Englishwoman at 'the German cafe in Paris', I shared the two-time vanquer's slap in the face as the oxygen-deprived crowd exploded around me.
Between expats gurgling over currywurst and the shapely German proportions of a bottle of Becks or an Erdinger at the Cafe Titon, which is run by a French couple, a new chant did the rounds. The abbreviation of the German word for Germany, Deutschland ('German-Land'), it is correctly bellowed Schlaaaand, and is accompanied by a gesture with arms outstretched and hands pointing forward. Schland O Schland is a national chart-topper now, first coined by TV presenter Stefan Raab, who produces the 2010 unofficial world cup anthem. The cashed-in parody comes from eight German students from Muenster who call themselves Uwu Lena, a cheesy play on the wordsvuvuzela, retired footballing legend Uwe Seeler and eurovision-winning singer Lena Meyer-Landrut, who sang the original hit. Satellite won it for Lena during the eurovision in Norway in May; will it clinch it for Germany's fourth world cup title in South Africa on 11 July?
Ruminations aside, there's no deeper explanation for a word which many natives will admit sounds a bit ugly. The introductory video on the Schland official website only features beer-guzzling men shouting the word, whilst one German forum suggests its use emerges out of those too drunk to enunciate Deutschland.