A ‘Zappelphilipp’ is a word given to a child who is restless, fidgety, and generally cannot sit still.
‘Zappel’ comes from the verb ‘zappeln’ – to fidget.
‘Philipp’ is exactly what it looks like – a boy’s name.
The name comes from the Heinrich Hoffmann character in Struwwelpeter, a 19thcentury German children’s book.
However, you can call any child a Zappelphillip; they don’t need to be called Philipp.
They don’t even need to be a boy!
Die Geschichte vom Zappel-Philipp – The story of Fidgety Philipp