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Borrowed from German Torschlusspanik (literally gate-shut panic). The German meaning is more general.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtɔː.ʃlʊsˌpæn.ɪk/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈtɔɹ.ʃlʊsˌpæn.ɪk/
  • (file)


Torschlusspanik (uncountable)

  1. The fear that time is running out to act, often regarding a life goal or opportunity: the fear of missing the boat.
    • 1988, Brendan Brown, Monetary Chaos in Europe[1], Croom Helm, page 251:
      But how effective could such actions be against Torschlusspanik — a flight to the exit by investors convinced that a moratorium and exchange restrictions would soon be imposed?
    • 1989, H. L. Wesseling, British and Dutch Imperialism: A Comparison', in Itinerario, 13(1)61-76:
      It is something very different from the Torschlusspanik or annexation fever of the colonial have not’s that was so typical for most of the other imperialists.
    • 1990, Brigitte H. Schutz, “The Future of German-German Relations”, in German Studies Review, volume 13:
      In a Torschlusspanik waves of GDR citizens sought to leave the country before the dreaded — and fully expected — crackdown by the SED leadership would occur.
    • 2004, Edward W. Plaisted, Terror in Berlin:
      It was Margit who made him aware of Torschlusspanik—the rush to escape East Germany before the authorities took action.



Alternative forms[edit]


From Tor +‎ Schluss +‎ Panik, literally gate-shut panic. For safety reasons city gates used to be shut at nightfall (Torschluss, from Tor +‎ Schluss), leaving latecomers no other choice than to stay outside, thereby exposing them to various dangers.



Torschlusspanik f (genitive Torschlusspanik, no plural)

  1. Torschlusspanik (the fear that time is running out to act)
    Torschlusspanik ist ein schlechter Ratgeber.
    Torschlusspanik is a bad advisor.
    Die Torschlusspanik der Midlife-Krise hat schon manchen gesetzten Herren in die Arme einer Jüngeren getrieben und damit viele Ehen zerstört.
    Midlife-crisis-induced Torschlusspanik has driven quite a few middle-aged men into the arms of young women, wrecking countless marriages.

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