Dictionary of Weirdness
Schnapsidee ("booze idea"): An idea so crazyyou can hardly imagine someone came up with it in a sober condition


If you ever texted your ex at 3 a.m. after you have just recovered from the breakup, you know that ideas you have under heavy alcohol influence are rarely worth imitating.

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Schnapszahl ("booze number"): This is what Germans call a number that is composed of a sequence of identical digits.


You know why Schnapszahl is something like the perfect German word? Because it combines two of German’s greatest passions: the passion for booze… and the passion for order. 

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Schnitzeljagd ("hunt for Schnitzels"): That’s what Germans call a game of treasure hunt.


I remember birthday parties where we had to walk through our town and follow clues to find a treasure. I also remember my birthdays being in February and everyone having a cold the next day ;)

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Schwalbe: When a soccer player pretends to have been fouled, Germans will shout, "swallow"


or other nations, soccer is a game of physical elegance and athletic artistry. For Germans, Fußball is basically 22 men working their butts off.

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Segelohren ("sail ears"): That‘s how Germans call it when someone has protruding auricles


They are not viewed as negative as you might think. Take, for example, celebrities like Will Smith, Christiano Ronaldo, Kate Hudson and Daniel Craig. They all don’t hide their Segelohren.

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Seitensprung ("side jump"): That‘s how Germans refer to an affair, and I think it sounds more like an Olympic discipline than a romantic adventure


In Germany, women are the ones who are in the lead when it comes to cheating. At least, that’s what a representative study from 2020 suggests.

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Sesselfurzer ("armchair farter“): Someone who has a well-paid office job and hardly ever moves during work


About 14,8 million Germans work in offices. That’s more than a third of all Germans who have a job. That’s one of reasons why many Germans already have quite a pronounced backside in their 30s. 

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Maybe the most poetic word for a squint that any language in the world has to offer


The word refers to a slight squint that, depending on the beholder’s preferences, may well be considered to be kind of sexy and mysterious.

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Sitzfleisch ("sitting meat"): “the ability to stay in a sedentary position for an extended period of time”


Just about everyone has made the experience that it’s not always easy to get a visitor to clear the place out. Especially when there’s still beer in the fridge. 

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Sommersprossen ("summer sprouts"): That‘s how Germans refer to freckles, and I think they look cute at any time of the year


Some might see them as a beauty flaw. Others, however, believe they look pretty cute on the faces of celebrities like Emma Watson, Dakota Fanning or Emily Ratajkowski.

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Spargeltarzen ("asparagus Tarzan"): That‘s how Germans refer to an extremely skinny man


It might be true that skinny shaming is just as bad as fat shaming. But still: men who don’t have an ounce of fat on their ribs always look a bit dorky to me.

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Speckgürtel ("bacon belt"): That’s how Germans refer to the rings of wealthy suburbs around their cities


The “Speckgürtel” of Frankfurt for instance is known to be home to some of Germany’s richest municipalities, the likes of Königstein or Kronberg.

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Spendierhosen: When you are in a generous mood, Germans will sayyou are wearing your “spending pants”


The expression is born of a joking idea that generosity is not a matter of character, but of the pants you are wearing and the tailor who created them.

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ß: This letter does not exist in any other language but German. It is even a bit too German for the Swiss, so they never use it ;)

Fußball, Weißwurst, Scheiße: ß is seen in some of the most internationally renowned German words out there.

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Staubsauger: "A vacuum cleaner is called a “dust sucker” in German, and without any doubt, that’s an objectively better name."


Just to get that right out of the way: “vacuum cleaner” is a crappy term, as my new Dyson does not clean vacuums, but carpets. In contrast, the German counterpart Staubsauger scores with perfect simplicity.

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Stinkstiefel: If you are grouchy and spreading bad vibes all the time, Germans will call you a “stinky boot”


Many people think that Germany is a nation of grumpy sourpusses who spend most of their free time demonizing their fate. True “Stinkstiefel”, in other words.

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Stinktier: The German word for skunk literally translates to "stinky animal"


The German language has a strange tendency to use defaming names for certain species. This is also true with this cute but somewhat stinky guy.

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Stuhlgang: The act of having a poop is formally called “chair walk” in German and I’m not really sure if I think that’s beautiful


There is that bar in Berlin called Das Klo (“the loo”). Given the name, it’s not hard to imagine what it is: a toilet-themed drinking location where you sit on an actual water closet while enjoying your pilsner.

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sturmfrei (“storm-free”): The state where no parents are at home and kids are free to do whatever they want.


Sturmfrei is one of these German terms for which dictionaries do not even offer a vague equivalent. It does not only describe a certain state, but a special feeling where you really intend to use this temporary freedom.

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Torschlusspanik: The anxiety of missing out on your goals in family planning because you are too old


it’s mainly the long-time Tinder power users among my friends and colleagues who, at some point in their mid 30s, look a bit dumbfounded.

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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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