What does the word "uber" mean?


Quick Answer

Über is a German prefix derived from the Middle High German uober, which means busy, active, enterprising or adventurous. As of 2015, the prefix connotes supremacy, excellence or the fullest expression of a given idea or thing.

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Full Answer

Friedrich Nietzsche introduced the Übermensch as a model of supreme humanity in his work "Thus Spake Zarathustra." Nietzsche believe that the Übermensch, or Overman, is the highest ideal to which mortals may aspire. Consequently, the prefix über is synonymous with the best, the most, the fastest or whatever constitutes a superlative demonstration.

The opening lines of Germany's national anthem sum this up. "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles," which means, "Germany, Germany more than anything else,"or "Germany, Germany above all."

Uber, the American international transportation network company, specifically chose its name to imply that its company manifests and projects über principles in terms of service and innovation.

English speakers have co-opted the prefix and use it as a hyphenated modifier for emphasis or on its own as an adjective. In German, über is both a prefix and a preposition and may appear in compound words to indicate directional relationships between nouns or the location of a object within the context of a three-dimensional setting. For example, the German word überdacht means roof or roof-covered, which indicates elevation or something that is on the roof.

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