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

Angstschweiß

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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Antibabypille ("anti baby pill"): That’s the actual German word for the birth control pill

Antibabypille

Is Germany a child-friendly nation? Well, not really, some might argue. In our country, children are held to the same standards as if they were under-grown adults.

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

Arschbombe

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

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Arschgeweih: A lower back tattoo is literally called "ass antlers" in German

Arschgeweih

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”.

Arschkarte

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")

Aufbrezeln

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

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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Bauchpinseln: When you flatter someone to get in their favor, Germans will say you are “belly-brushing” that person

Bauchpinseln

A German proverb says: “Not complaining is enough praise.” We are truly not the masters of lavishing compliments. However, the concept of using feigned compliments as a weapon to win someone’s favor isn’t beyond a German’s reach.

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

Bäuerchen

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”

Bergfest

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

Betthupferl

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”

Bierernst

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

Blümchensex

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

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”

Dachschaden

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

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”

Ehrenrunde

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" translates to "egg-laying wooly dairy pig". The term is used in German language to describe 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!

Eisprung

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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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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