15 Fun German Words You Need to Know Living in Germany

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When I first moved to Germany, my information of the German language didn’t go previous kindergarten and gesundheit. While it has—fortunately!—dramatically improved, I nonetheless battle with studying the language.

The better part, although, is that I’m perpetually amazed on the new—and infrequently humorous—German phrases I be taught day-after-day. While I gained’t ever actually know all the German phrases, there’s a sure attraction to discovering new phrases, idioms and phrases—particularly since lots of them are surprisingly enjoyable, cute, or simply plain foolish.

Whatever the sensation you’re attempting to specific or the factor you wish to describe, as a rule, there’s a German phrase for it. And if not, you’ll be able to just about make one up. But earlier than you’re proficient sufficient to take action, listed below are a few of my favourite German phrases I’ve realized to date.

15 German Words You Need to Know

15 Fun German Words You Need To Know

To assist give you record of enjoyable and cute German phrases (some helpful, some less-than-useful), I’ve collaborated with Berlin-based illustrator Clairikine.

Schafskälte

Schafskälte is a meteorological phenomenon that occurs round June 11 (or at the least between June 4th and twentieth), however not essentially yearly. When it does, temperatures drop all of the sudden by 5 to 10 levels Celsius.

It impacts Central Europe however Germany is the nation the place it may be felt probably the most—therefore the explanation why the German language has a reputation for it however English doesn’t. Speaking of that phrase, “Schaf” means “sheep” whereas “kälte” refers to chilly temperatures.

And this phenomenon obtained its identify from the truth that the Schafskälte would kick in after the sheep had been sheared, thus making them most weak to the chilly!

Schafskälte - 15 German Words You Need to Know
Germans simply love speaking about das Wetter! Schafskälte is a kind of uniquely German phrases you gained’t hear anyplace else…

Fremdschämen

The verb fremdschämen may very well be the German cousin of face palm. It’s used to explain being vicariously embarrassed by the conduct of another person.

Common conditions the place you might need to fremdschämen embrace our greatest buddy being too drunk in public, seeing a stranger journey and fall on the road or listening to somebody proudly say one thing utterly irrelevant throughout a gathering. #oops

Hüftgold

Hüft means hip whereas gold means, er, gold—see, German actually is pretty straightforward! However, guessing the which means of this poetic phrase is likely to be a bit trickier. Any thought?

Hüftgold, it seems, describes one thing barely much less glamorous, particularly the additional fats folks placed on across the hips. But come on! It’s a lot sweeter to inform a buddy they’ve placed on a little bit of hip gold than, you understand, fats.

On a facet observe. Hüftgold can also be the identify of a fairly cute café in Berlin! Check it out in case you are ever on the town.

Kummerspeck

Kummerspeck is used to explain the surplus fats gained by emotional consuming, particularly in occasions of stress or disappointment. Kummer means grief and Speck means bacon, which does make Kummerspeck an fascinating phrase, don’t you assume?

By the way in which, Speck doesn’t discuss with precise bacon right here, it’s simply that Germans name any extra fats “Speck.” So for those who handle to keep away from placing on Kummerspeck, watch out for Winterspeck, which is the load folks placed on in winter.

And imagine me, winters in Germany are so lengthy that there’s greater than sufficient time to get just a little bit chubbier!

Kummerspeck - 15 German Words You Need to Know
We’ve all had these moments when Kummerspeck simply turns into inevitable

Zweisamkeit

Let me have one other shot at exhibiting you that German is, certainly, a gorgeous and romantic language. Ever heard of Zweisamkeit? This phrase describes the self-imposed isolation of a pair in love.

Their togetherness creates a sort of loneliness across the two of them. It derives from Einsamkeit, which means loneliness, however Zweisamkeit is clearly rather more interesting…Two is healthier than one!

Geil

Geil is a humorous phrase that reveals German persons are maybe a tad dirtier than you’d assume. This adjective is usually used to explain one thing cool, superior or thrilling, however geil’s true which means is that’s describes being “horny,” “salacious” or “randy.”

Therefore, keep away from saying “ich bin geil” pondering it means “I’m awesome” as whoever you might be speaking to would possibly assume you’re blatantly asking for intercourse. Or, use it. Your name.

Reizüberflutung

Überflutung means flooding, or overflow, and Reiz is the German phrase for stimulus. Therefore, Reizüberflutung is the considerably acquainted time period that was coined to explain what happens when somebody is being over-stimulated by their surroundings.

This occurs extra usually in our societies than it used to, particularly due to urbanization, mass media, promoting, expertise, Twitter, and so forth. It may cause irritability, over-excitement, stress, and extra, so this evocative expression makes all of the sense on the planet.

Reizüberflutung - 15 German Words You Need to Know
Reizüberflutung – an all too acquainted feeling in our society at the moment!

Kopfkino

Probably among the many cutest German phrases, Kopfkino consists of Kino, which implies cinema, and Kopf, which is German for head. Can you guess what Kopfkino means?

Let’s say you’re about to go to sleep and also you begin enthusiastic about that interplay you had together with your crush earlier. Your thoughts begins drifting whilst you think about how you would’ve stored the dialog going a bit longer, perhaps you would’ve even requested them out?

Letting this state of affairs unfold in your head is Kopfkino! Or that second the place your ideas are performing just like the director of your personal personal film.

Na?

Na is among the many most puzzling phrases for German learners, particularly for those who’re residing in a German-speaking nation.

It’s not uncommon to be greeted with a loud Naaaa? by your flatmate upon coming residence, and it seems the one appropriate reply to that perplexing, monosyllabic query is to ask it in return! Na? is, in a means, the German equal to our beloved “What’s up?” Now you understand!

Picobello

No, Picobello isn’t an Italian phrase, though it does sound like one.

Turns out it is likely to be derived from the outdated German phrase piekfein, the place fein was by some means changed by Italian phrase bello. When one thing is picobello, it means it’s flawless, as in tremendous clear for instance, or that it’s wanting good.

Feierabendbier

Feierabend itself is a cool German phrase because it describes the few hours that come when you get off work. It doesn’t matter whether or not they really occur in the course of the night (“Abend”) or not, and no matter whether or not a celebration (“Feier”) is so as.

Add beer to the combination and also you get one in every of my favourite German establishments: the Feierabendbier, or the beer you will have upon ending work. Some Germans take it a bit too severely although, or at the least that’s what I can’t assist however assume upon seeing development staff open a bottle of low cost Pils at 10 am on any given day!

Feierabendbier - 15 German Words You Need to Know
One of the best German phrases, can also be one of the crucial enjoyable German actions! Let’s have a Feierabendbier!

Pipapo

Pipapo is a one other German phrase that doesn’t sound fairly German and has unclear origins. It’s often preceded by mit allem (“with all the”). The phrase Mit allem Pipapo means the identical because the English expression “bells and whistles,” however you’ll need to admit that Pipapo simply sounds means cuter!

Vokuhila

Vokuhila doesn’t sound very German both, does it? That’s as a result of it’s a made-up phrase created by taking the primary two letters of 4 phrases, particularly vorne kurz, hinten lang, which means “short in the front, long in the back” and, effectively, I assume you understand which horrendous haircut this refers to… Now that’s one development I want the German language hadn’t inspired!

Fruchtfleisch

Frucht interprets to fruit and Fleisch means meat. Combine these two phrases and also you get one other enjoyable German phrase: Fruchtfleisch, which is what you’d name pulp in English. Actually, this phrase at all times makes me smile as a result of I’ve realized that, in German, even vegans have a little bit of Fleisch of their lives.

Tatendrang

Tatendrang, or actually “action urge” is, hmm, the alternative of the way you most likely really feel on Sundays or on Monday mornings. Tatendrang is used to explain a robust urge to get issues accomplished, take up new initiatives and achieve every thing in your to-do record.

Though I do really feel the Tatendrang generally, imagine me after I say that, as a freelancer, I positively want this was my default mode!


If you’re all for studying German, learn extra about my favourite on-line language studying experiences.

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