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

literally: “little bed jumper” / meaning: a little treat that you eat before you go to bed

Everyone knows these little chocolates that you sometimes find on hotel beds. That’s exactly what is called a Betthupferl. And it is certainly not an invention of the German Dental Association.

You may notice the strange “rl” combination of consonants that you won’t see at the end of standard German words. That’s a distinctively Bavarian and Austrian diminutive form—i.e., a special suffix that marks a thing as being small. The German language has quite a few of these, some of which are typical of a particular region. 

You certainly know the most famous ones which are “-chen” (as in Mädchen—“girl,” actually meaning “little maid”), and “-lein” (as in Fräulein—“miss,” actually meaning “little woman”). There is also, for instance, the Swabian “-le” (as in Spätzle, actually meaning “little sparrows”), and the Swiss “-li” (as in Müsli, actually meaning “little mush”). The strange thing about it is that all words using these suffixes will automatically turn neuter. Thus, a beer can is grammatically female in German (die Bierdose), but a girl isn’t (das Mädchen).


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

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

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