Living in the wiki

Just to show you that you never know when you’ll follow a reference down the rabbit hole: I was struck by a greeting that one of my German coworkers gave another. Looking it up, I was quickly sucked into a maze of Frisian and Jutish dialects and German comic book characters.

The greeting used is moin, which (Wikipedia says) comes from the Frisian and is commonly used in the eastern Netherlands and Schleswig-Holstein. As with all central European languages, there are cognate greetings in closely related languages, including Old Saxon and Jutish.

The rabbit hole part is the way the greeting likely spread to my coworkers, through the German comic book character Werner, who consistently uses the greeting (apparently when not consuming large amounts of beer). And yes, it all comes back to beer as well: the official website for Werner feature promotes a special sixpack of Werner’s favorite beer, Bölkstoff, including judicial actions by the Guild Brewery of Hanover and corporate takeovers by Inbev.