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Fortnite, fortnight, fort nite – what does the name actually mean in German?

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The game Fortnite has been one of the most influential video games of our time since fall 2017. The Battle Royale mode delights millions of players on PC, PS4, PS5 and Xbox One/Series X. Many people ask themselves: What does that actually mean in German? Where does the name Fortnite come from? What is the translation and what does it mean?

Fortnite was announced by Epic in 2011 – back then, no one could have imagined that it would be such a hit today. The thing is now so big that even non-gamers are confronted with the title. And the question comes up more and more often: “What kind of name is “Fortnite?” What does the term mean and what does it mean in German?”

“Fortnite” is often misspelled and people ask: Fortnight or Fort Nite.

The article originally appeared in March 2018 and was updated in March 2024 with new information.

Allusion to the English term “Fortnight”

The name “Fortnite” is an allusion to the word “Fortnight.” In English, this is a term that describes a period of “fortnight” and comes from Old English. It means something like “14 nights.”

The term “Fortnight” can be taken apart. Then you are left with the terms “Fort” and “Night”. And it was precisely from this, “Fort Nite,” that Epic developed a concept for its game in 2011.

Since in German we don’t have this connection with “fortnight” when it comes to “fortnight”, we miss the subtle meaning in this play on words with “Fortnite.”

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Fortnite – Name composition: Fortress for the night

Fortnite as a game name refers to the original “Save the World” mode. There, players build forts to protect themselves from zombie-like shells at night.

While the players collect loot in the day phase, diligently put together a fortress and lay traps, the night is about retreating into the fortress and destroying the attacking husks.

Translated, the term means something like “fortress for the night”.

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Fortnite’s “Battle Royale” mode is now significantly more popular than “Save the World” mode, which Epic Games has neglected in recent years.

 

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