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Geist – a German zenword

by zenwords staff

We’re still exploring Big Picture zenwords. Today’s zenword comes from Germany. It’s a scary one!

PS. We’ve added a DID YOU KNOW? section for some of our more interesting zenwords! Be sure and check it out.

Geist(guyst) n. mind,spirit; world view (German).

Alpha Sigma Delta’s irreverent party geist seemed to sweep across campus.


Geist is a German word with an otherworldly connection. Depending on the connotation, it can mean mind, spirit, ghost or intellectual inclination. Other popular ‘geist’ words are zeitgeist (the spirit of the time), weltgeist (world spirit) and poltergeist(a noisy, mischievous ghost).  The popular Poltergeist movie series ran from 1982 until 1988 and grossed over $132 million in the US alone. Steven Spielberg c0-produced the first Poltergeist film.

(photo by

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