German is weird: A blog about the curiosities of the German language

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

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Klobrille: Germans call their toilet seats “loo glasses”

Klobrille

Despite the creative and somewhat funny name for our favorite thrones, the actual toilet design in Germany is usually pretty straightforward.

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

Hüftgold

“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.

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Inselbegabung: If you have great abilities in a specific area while your other skills are poor, Germans will say you have an"island gift"

Inselbegabung

Imagine being able to play Beethoven’s 9th Symphony flawlessly on the piano after hearing it only once, yet the concept of assembling an IKEA rack seems like rocket science to you.

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

Silberblick

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

Flitzekacke

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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Kirschgrün: When they pass a traffic light just after it turned red, Germans like to defend themselves by saying it was “cherry green”

Kirschgrün

We’ve all been there. Approaching a traffic light, seeing it change from green to yellow, and then, just as you’re about to pass through, it flicks to red.

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There is no doubt that “news greed” is the simplest and coolest way to translate curiosity

Neugier

The word does not only describe snooping behavior, but also factors such as a thirst for knowledge and the desire to explore new subjects.

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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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Versuchskaninchen: When you are used for an experiment, you are not a "guinea pig" in Germany, but a "test rabbit"

Versuchskaninchen

This term is used quite loosely and frequently in German. For instance, if you try a new recipe on a friend – before you might embarrass yourself in front of your date – he is your Versuchskaninchen.

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Meerbusen: A gulf is literally called a "sea boob" in German.

Meerbusen

Of, course, there is a good reason for this. The word Meerbusen is a loan translation of the Latin “sinus maritimus.” The word “sinus” can refer to both a bay and… well… a breast.

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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

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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Hexenschuss: The German word for a sudden lower back pain literally translates to “shot by a witch”

Hexenschuss

Yes, it’s painful! And it comes without any warning… All it takes is one clumsy movement and you suddenly feel like an 80 year old crock who shouts out in ache every time you stand up from your seat

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

Leichenschmaus

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…

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Trostpflaster ("patch of solace"): A small, usually insignificant compensation for a great disappointment.

Trostpflaster

The term is also frequently used in sports: For example, soccer fans often refer to the entire Europa League as a “Trostpflaster” for clubs that did’t make it to the Champions League. 

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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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