Dictionary of Weirdness
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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Erbsenzähler ("pea counter"): A very pedantic person


There are tons of clichés about German manners, most of them revolving around our somewhat pedantic attitude. In other words: Germans will break out in sweat if not everything is in perfect order.

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Erdbeerwoche "strawberry week": A very creative way to refer to menstruation in German


Erdbeerwoche is a undeniably awesome euphemism for that time of the month. There are even more hilarious expressions for mother nature’s gift.

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Erdmöbel ("earth furniture"): A charmingly bureaucratic word for “casket” that originated in communist East Germany


The GDR existed for 40 years. Long enough to leave traces in language. Probably the best-known example is the “anti-fascist protective wall” – a.k.a. “Die Mauer.”

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Eselsbrücke: When you are making up a little memory hook, Germans will say you are building a “donkey bridge”


It has probably nothing to do with donkeys being stupid, but rather a bit stubborn. They refuse to wade through water – so their owners have to build an improvised bridge to make them cross a creek.

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Extrawurst: When someone receives special treatment, Germans will say they “get an extra sausage”


We always talk about an Extrawurst when someone demands—or actually receives—an inappropriate privilege.

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Fahrstuhl: An elevator is called a “drive chair” in German,though I have never seenanyone sitting in there


I have witnessed people doing the weirdest stuff inside an elevator. Sitting on the floor and taking a rest is not one of them.

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When you order this strange sounding dish in German restaurants, you will be served a slice of meat loaf

Falscher Hase

We Germans are very straightforward people. We really don’t have a reputation for pretending. So how can it be that we supposedly fake something in our kitchen of all places?

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Feierabend ("celebration evening"): That’s the German word for the end of the work day. Who said that Germans aren't party animals?


To many people, Germany is synonymous with diligence and productivity. Yet we don’t work any more than other Europeans—at least when calculated by time.

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Fettnäpfchen: If you offend someone by making a thoughtless remark, Germans will say you have “stepped into the grease bowl”


It’s what you might call a classic “Faux pas”. Like when you made that stupid fat joke in front of your overweight colleague. Or when you offered a cigarette to an asthmatic. 

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Feuerzeug: A cigarette lighter is simply called a "fire thing" in German


The German language seems to have an obscure obsession with “things”. You can describe virtually any type of device by combine the word Zeug (“thing”) with the actual purpose of the object.

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When you can’t remember what happened last night because you were too wasted, Germans will say you have a “film tear”


It’s important to know your limit so that exactly something like a Filmriss never happens. It’s not remotely pleasant to text your friends the next day in a panic to ask what on earth you’ve been up to.

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Fingerspitzengefühl ("finger-tip feeling"): A fine sense of how to act in delicate situations


The word describes a mixture of empathy, psychological sensitivity, politeness, and eloquence that is needed unless you want to create an awkward atmosphere.

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German words for penis: Fleischpeitsche, Schwengel, Lümmel, Kantholz


According to studies, the German manhood is rather average when measured in size. However, what Germany lacks in magnitude, it compensates in the sheer amount of words to describe “it”.

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Flitzekacke: If it's too boring for you to say diarrhea in Germany, you can also say "speedy poop"


Disclaimer: Better not read this before lunch. To all of you who are still with me, I will take you on a journey to the wonderful world of German diarrhea…

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Fremdenverkehr ("strangers' traffic): That’s the formal German word for tourism and I don’t think it sounds very inviting


If there was just one German word that should be stripped from all dictionaries rather sooner than later: “Fremdenverkehr” should be the one.

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Fremdscham: The unpleasant feeling of empathy when someone is making a fool of him/herself in front of your eyes


Have you ever witnessed a guy desperately trying to make a move on a girl who is at least 2 levels too hot and obviously not interested? Or a spectacularly unfunny comedian on stage?

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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"

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