Wirtschaft

Wirtschaft: You know that a language is awesome when the word for ‘economy’ can also mean ‘pub’

Back in the days, when I watched my father reading the Wirtschaftsnachrichten („economy news“), I honestly thought he was trying to get informed about new restaurants in town.

Saftladen

Saftladen: When a business is poorly run, Germans like to say it's a "juice shop"

Oddly enough, a company does not need to be a shop nor particularly “juicy” in order to be called this way. The term just refers to any company that appears poorly organized or unpleasant in any other way. 

Schnitzeljagd

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 😉

Hüftgold

Hüftgold ("hip gold"): That’s how Germans refer to the excess fat around their waists

“A man without a belly is a cripple”. That’s what my grandma used to say when I refused to eat. When it comes to justifying the excess pounds, we Germans are overwhelmingly creative.

Leichenschmaus

Leichenschmaus: A funeral reception is called a “corpse feast” in German

I remember finding the word Leichenschmaus extremely off-putting when I was a kid and could not believe that a concept like this even existed. But it does indeed, and no, it is not linked to cannibalism…

Götterspeise

Götterspeise (“dish of Gods“): That’s how Germans refer to jello.Well, if I was God, I’d probably choose something else...

Even as a kid, I kept asking myself: Of all the treats in the world – why on heaven and earth does this gooey mess carry such a sophisticated name? 

Pustekuchen!

Pustekuchen: When a German shouts “blowcake” at you, it means they don’t agree in the slightest with what you just said

“Dieses Jahr wird Bayern München die Meisterschaft verpassen”—„Pustekuchen! Das wird nicht passieren” (“This year, Bayern Munich will miss the championship”—“Blowcake! That’s not gonna happen”).

Schnapsidee

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.

Gänsewein

Gänsewein: When you only have a glass of water with your meal, Germans will say you are drinking 'goose wine"

A fine dinner without alcohol? This is hardly thinkable for many Germans. People from the Federal Republic tend to consider a glass of beer or wine an essential part of the meal.

Maurermarmelade

Maurermarmelade: If it’s too boring for you to say Mett, you can also call it “bricklayers’ jam.”

Many nations have their nasty delicacies. The French have Roquefort cheese. The Mexicans have fried locusts. The Americans have pineapples on their pizzas. Germans, however, have Mettbrötchen.