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    To the dismay of the Austrian town of Fucking, the European Union trademark authority has granted a German company the right to patent a beer called “Fucking Hell.” 


    cacosyntheton (cah-co-SIN-the-ton), the nasty combiner. From the Greek, meaning “badly made.”

    As every beer aficionado knows, a Hell is a kind of light ale. As every EuroRail-riding sign-stealer knows, Fucking is a small town in Austria—which, by the way, lacks a brewery.

    The German company who won the patent for Fucking Hell hopes to bank on a nifty cacosyntheton, a figure that combines nasty sounds, whether they mean anything or not. For instance, the brewers might consider putting a little Tabasco sauce in their ale to produce a Bloody Hell.

    Down the hatch!

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