Reinhold Aman  

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"In addition to sharing his expertise in languages and verbal aggression, Reinhold Aman was inclined to a vituperative mode of discourse and is known in certain Usenet newsgroups as one inclined to participate in flame wars."--Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Reinhold Aman (April 8, 1936 – March 2, 2019) was a former chemical engineer and professor of German, and the publisher of Maledicta, an academic journal dedicated entirely to the study of offensive language, also known as maledictology.


Aman was born in Fürstenzell near Passau, Bavaria. Prior to working as a translator and clerk for the U.S. Army in Frankfurt, he studied chemical engineering in Augsburg and later worked as a chemical analyst and petroleum chemist in Frankfurt, Munich and Montreal. He moved to Milwaukee in 1959, and worked there as a metallurgist and analytical chemist.

Aman received his baccalaureate from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 1965, and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas in 1968. His dissertation was entitled "Der Kampf in Wolframs Parzival" ("The Battle in Wolfram's Parzival".) During his college years he taught German, French, Spanish, and English at various local high schools, mostly on a part-time basis. In his last year at Texas, he also served as a teaching assistant and teaching associate.

From 1968 to 1974, Aman was an assistant professor of German at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (which he later dismissed as "Dungheap U"), where he taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in German grammar, stylistics, conversation, phonetics, philology, medieval and Baroque literature, dialectology, bibliography, and research methods.

Apart from Maledicta, Aman published Bayrisch-Österreichisches Schimpfwörterbuch ("Bavarian-Austrian Curse Dictionary") and shorter monographs, as well as various books, including Hillary Clinton's Pen Pal , a guide to the slang and mores of American prisons, directed to Hillary Clinton. At the time of writing, Clinton was experiencing legal difficulties, and Aman claimed he wanted to turn his recent term in Federal prison (see below) to use by helping her understand the subculture, customs and specialized argot, so that she could avoid potentially-lethal faux pas.

Prison term

In 1993, Aman was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for mailing, after a bitter divorce, two threatening postcards to his ex-wife and the allegedly threatening 2-page pamphlet "Legal Slimebags of Wisconsin" to many Wisconsin lawyers and judges. The postcards in question had pasted-up headlines of news articles about bitter ex-husbands killing their ex-wives. He served 15.5 months at Santa Rita, Terminal Island, Lompoc, and Dublin (now a Federal prison for women only), and was released in February 1995.

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