The German language's habit of combining different words into one is oft-cited, yet examples are typically focused on combining words of the same type, usually two or more nouns. The fact that it's also possible to combine different word types, and also, words from different languages, is (in my opinion) much more intriguing.

The verb "durchcasten" is an excellent example of this kind of chicanery, as it combines a German preposition ("durch", or "through") with an English verb ("to cast", with Germanized conjugation).

The English part of the term, "cast", refers specifically, and exclusively, to the kind of casting done by TV shows and movies. The term "durchcasten" pretty much naturally came up in the early 2000s, when reality TV and casting shows had their big break on television.

At the time, people noticed that many of these types of shows had very successful first seasons, while losing appeal over time. Just as well, the "pioneering" formats, such as Big Brother, tended to be very successful, while imitators would often (but not always) fall through the cracks pretty quickly.

Soon, a theory supposedly explaining this phenomenon occurred to many people trying to make sense of it: Germany had been duchgecastet, or "cast through"!*

Meaning, all of a sudden there had been so many reality shows that most of the people who were sufficiently talented or entertaining had already been cast, and had been on TV. Thus, the cream of the crop of new faces was simply not available to newer shows (or later seasons) anymore, making them less entertaining, and receive lower ratings.**

Of course, the theory behind the word was kind of questionable. It's hard to imagine that, in a country of over 80 million people, and with new cohorts reaching the required ages all the time, the well could run dry that fast, or even ever at all. Still, the term "durchgecastet" was instantly comprehensible, offered a one-word diagnosis to a very current question, and had a dismissive, yet unpretentious edge. It had mass appeal and therefore, quickly became a buzzword in 2000s Germany.

Since the end of the 2000s, the word seems to have fallen progressively out of use. The top results for "durchgecastet" on search engines tend to be articles that are many years old. This is somewhat ironic, as the word has acquired some kind of new legitimacy over time.

Over the last decade, the exploitative and manipulative character of reality TV has been thoroughly exposed, and more and more people have become aware of it, or have had negative first-hand experiences. Therefore, the share of the population willing to go through the reality TV casting mill has significantly dropped since the beginning of the 2000s. It's been argued that, in this climate, producers and casting agents are finding it harder and harder to scoop out talent of any kind. Against this background, the diagnosis "durchgecastet" seems relatively fitting.

* Note that "durchcasten" is the verb's infinitive (there is no exact grammatical equivalent in English). However, the term most often appears in the past perfect form ("durchgecastet")
** So, metaphorically speaking, the first pressing was done, and all that the nation was left with was lower grade olive oil. Would we ever see another sunray "cast through" Germany's abundance of olive trees?