Dictionary of Weirdness
Angstschweiß has a record-breaking 8 consonants in a row - no other German word has more


The German language is notorious for the humongous amount of consonant you can string together. However, there seams to be a consensus that 8 is the maximum.

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Arschbombe: A cannonball jump is called an "ass bomb" in German


Cannonball jump: the diving style that gives chubby people some bragging rights during summer season.

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Arschgeweih: The German word for a tramp stamp literally translates to "ass antlers"


The term Arschgeweih has been part of popular culture in the early 2000s – there was even an election for “Miss Arschgeweih” conducted by Germany’s biggest daily newspaper “Bild“. 

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Arschkarte: When you are in the least fortunate position, Germans will say you have “pulled the ass card”.


The origin of this idiom is not entirely clear. However, many believe that there is a connection to the red card in team sports like soccer.

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Aufbrezeln ("to pretzel up")


Everyone knows that one lady who is always dressed a little too lavishly and always has a little too much makeup on her face – even in completely inappropriate situations.

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Backpfeifengesicht ("cheek whistle face"): Someone who makes you feel the desire to punch him in the face just by looking at him


Backpfeifengesicht is a perfect example of creative insults that the German language has on offer. It is highly effective, yet innocent enough to not have you bleeped out.

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Bäuerchen (“little farmer”): That‘s how Germans colloquially refer to a burp,especially one from a little child


In Germany, there is only one situation in which there is applause for a burp: when a mother pats her baby on the back—and he properly does his “Bäuerchen”. 

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Bergfest ("mountain celebration"): German has an extra word for “the chronological center of a stressful process”


For the Oktoberfest, Germans have to wait a whole year. So it helps a lot that there is a festivity that they can celebrate every week, all without being forced to wear Dirndl and Lederhosen.

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Betthupferl ("little bed jumper"): That's how Germans refer to a small piece of candy that you eat right before bed time


It’s best to think of the word Betthupferl as “a little treat that makes you jump into bed more happily because you are full and satisfied.”

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Bierernst: When you have a humorless attitude towards something, Germans will say you are taking it “beer serious”


Whenever someone approaches a matter with an inappropriate amount of seriousness, this is the perfect word of choice. Like German carnival sessions, for instance.

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Blümchensex ("flowerlet sex"): A way of making love that focuses on tenderness and romance without too many experiments


What’s going on in German bedrooms? Well, nothing too exciting, apparently. According to a survey by the market research company YouGov, Germans largely prefer the missionary position.

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Brustwarze: The German word for nipple translates to "breast wart" and I don't think that sounds very sensual


Granted, the English equivalent “nipple” is not a happy choice either. But at least, it does not sound like something that you would immediately run to a dermatologist with. 

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Dachschaden: If you are acting stupid, Germans will say you have a “roof damage”


The creativity of a language is largely defined by the quality of its insults. And of these, the German language has a great selection for every occasion and intensity. Especially for everyday swearing, there are some real gems on offer.

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Drehwurm: When you feel dizzy after riding a carousel, you literally have a “spin worm” in Germany


Drehwurm may sound like one of these jolly modern neologisms. However, the word has a serious and somewhat sinister background. There is actually a species that is popularly called Drehwurm, which is not a nice one.

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Ehrenrunde: If you have to repeat a year at school in Germany, you are “running a victory lap”


Winston Churchill did it – and so did former German President Christian Wulff as well as Thomas Mann, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. And Eminem, of course.

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Eierlegende Wollmilchsau ("egg-laying wooly dairy pig"): That's how Germans call an all-in-one solution

Eierlegende Wollmilchsau

This beautiful German term that is used for persons, devices and anything else that is required (or advertised) to serve an unrealistic number of purposes in a perfect way.

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Einen Korb kriegen: When you are rejected by your crush in Germany, you literally "get a basket".

Einen Korb kriegen

The phrase “einen Korb kriegen” is very commonly used in Germany to describe the situation where someone is rejected. Originally, this expression developed from a medieval custom.

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Eisprung: When a woman ovulates, Germans will say she has her “egg jump.” It’s not some slang word, it’s how you actually call it!


Non-native-speaking women in Germany should not be surprised if they are asked questions like “when did you have your last egg jump” at the gynecologist.

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Elefantenrennen: That's how Germans refer to a lengthy overtaking maneuver of two trucks on the Autobahn


German LKW just don’t look as badass as American trucks. Plus, they tend to block the roads with lengthy and completely out-of-place overtaking maneuvers just when I want to get home quickly because I have Flitzkacke. 

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Elfenbein: The German word for ivory literally translates to "pixie's leg"


Let me get totally clear on this: if you think it is a good idea to wear ivory products, someone should knock your teeth out and carve them into miniature middle fingers pointing at you. 

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German is weird: Fun Facts and Trivia about the German language

This blog is a love letter to the curiosities of the German language that give it its poetic and, at times, oddly humorous qualities.

German Is Weird: Crazy Words von Arschkarte bis Zielwasser - from "ass card" to "aiming water"

The “German Is Weird” book is now available: order here!

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