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Meister means master in German (as in master craftsman, or as an honorific title such as Meister Eckhart). The word is akin to maestro. In sports, Meister is used for the current national, European or world champion (Deutscher Meister, *Europameister, Weltmeister). Many modern day German police forces use the title Meister. During the Second World War, Meister was the highest enlisted rank of the Ordnungspolizei.
Meister has been borrowed into English slang, where it is used in compound nouns. A person referred to as “Meister” is one who has extensive theoretical knowledge and practical skills in his profession, business, or some other kind of work or activity. For example, a “puzzle-meister” would be someone highly skilled at solving puzzles. These neologisms sometimes have a sarcastic intent (for example, “stubble-meister” for someone with a short, neat beard or “crier-meister” for someone who often cries).
In popular culture
Television and film
The character Stifler in American Pie refers to himself as "the Stif-meister." At one point in the movie, he says, "Let the Stif-meister handle it. 'Meister' means 'Master' in German."
The mayor in the 1970 animated movie Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town is called "Burgermeister Meisterburger."
In the TV series Scrubs, the surname of Elliot Reid's boyfriend Keith is "Dudemeister", meaning literally "master of dudes".
In the UK version of the TV series The Office, David Brent refers to himself as "The Brentmeister general"
- Meister is the alias used by Ryo Matsui (松井 亮 Matsui Ryō ) for his solo work. Matsui gained prominence as a guitarist and songwriter for the Japanese pop rock band The Brilliant Green. He become well known for performing the ending song for the Japanese anime adaptation of the manga series Beck.
In the manga series Soul Eater, Meisters (職人, Shokunin, meaning "craftsman," "mechanic," "worker") are people who have exceptional soul wavelengths and are paired with weapons.
In the 2007 anime Mobile Suit Gundam 00, the pilots of the mobile suits are called Gundam Meisters.
In the manga series Ao no Exorcist, meisters are a rank of exorcists.
In an eroge Kamidori Alchemy Meister, meister is the highest rank possible to be given to an alchemist.
Formula One driver Michael Schumacher is called Der Regenmeister (the rain master) due to his highly rated driving through low-visibility or wet conditions. The same term has also been applied to other race drivers.