Cultural Watch

ersatz – Word of the Day

Ersatz \ ER-zahts, -sahts, er-ZAHTS, -SAHTS \ adjective


1. serving as a substitute; synthetic; artificial: an ersatz coffee made from grain.

1. an artificial substance or article used to replace something natural or genuine; a substitute.


“Home” consisted of a room on a subsurface level of a huge apartment building. Once, the Jiffi-view Company of Greater Cleveland came by every six months and created a 3-D projection, animated, of a view of Carmel, California. this “view” filled his room’s “window,” or ersatz window.
— Philip K. Dick, Galactic Pot-Healer, 1969


Ersatz is borrowed from German, where it derives from the verb ersetzen, “to replace.” It entered English in the mid-1800s.

Source: ersatz – Word of the Day |