Farfegnugen (also known as fahrvergnugen, fahrvergnuegen) is a term that was introduced to the English language based on the German word “Fahrvergnügen”, which generally means “driving pleasure”.
The loanword became popular in the United States in the 1990s, after automotive company Volkswagen launched a huge TV advertisement campaign throughout the country, diligently emphasizing the expression Farfegnugen within the commercials.
Because of its tricky spelling and pronunciation, farfegnugen also became something that people say as a sarcastic reply when somebody says something really fast in a foreign language.
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“Fahrvergnügen” was the advertising slogan of the German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen in a 1990 U.S. ad campaign that featured a stick figure driving a Volkswagen car.
The word “Fahrvergnügen” is a neologism German word, meaning that it is a compound-word that was created for the sole purpose of serving as the campaign’s catchphrase.
One of the lines using the word in the commercials was: “Fahrvergnügen: It’s what makes a car a Volkswagen”.
The campaign reached a wide spectrum of people who kept on using the term in relation with high-quality driving experience, eventually converting the word to a more friendly version for English-speakers: farfegnugen.
Spread and Usage
After the Volkswagen ads ceased to appear in commercial television broadcasts in 1991, farfegnugen was preserved in spoken word within the generation of the era.
As of today, it is a rare occasion to bump into the expression, since less and less people are familiar with it, especially newer generations such as Gen-Z.
In 2006, Volkswagen made an attempt on launching a second advertisement campaign on farfegnugen, but it did not live up to its predecessor.