See also: vitamin B


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  • IPA(key): /vitaˈmiːn ˈbeː/
  • IPA(key): /ˈviːtamin ˈbeː/

Etymology 1Edit

From Vitamin (vitamin), the umbrella term. This subgroup was categorised by Elmer McCollum in 1916 as water-soluble factor B (later vitamin B), hence the letter B.


Vitamin B m (genitive Vitamins B or Vitamines B, plural B-Vitamine)

  1. (biochemistry) any member of the Vitamin B complex.

Etymology 2Edit

Sarcastic re-interpretation of Etymology 1, interpreting B as an abbreviation for Beziehungen (connections) and alluding to their vital importance. Compare Persian بند «پ»(band-e P, paragraph P, i.e. nepotism, cronyism) and Gulf Arabic فيتامين و(wītāmīn wāw, vitamin W, i.e. nepotism).


Vitamin B m (genitive Vitamins B or Vitamines B, no plural)

  1. (colloquial) personal connections (that can be used for advancing in business, politics etc.)
    • Die Kraft von „Vitamin B“: Wie man Empfehlungen zur Jobsuche nutzt, Joblog/Manpower, 2019, URL: (archived 31 Dec 2019).
      Gute Beziehungen sind Gold wert – und werden auch auf dem Arbeitsmarkt immer wichtiger. Vitamin B hilft bei der Jobsuche: Fast jeder dritte Job wird heute über Kontakte vergeben, erklärt das Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung in einer Studie.
      Good connections are worth a mint - and are getting more and more important in the job market, too. Vitamin B helps with job hunting: Nearly every third job is nowadays assigned via personal contacts, says the Institute for Job Market and Professions Research.