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"

The “German is weird” book is now available:
order here

Latest Articles
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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Wirtschaft: German might be the only language in the world that uses the same word for "pub" as for "economy"


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.

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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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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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Die Nutella vs. Das Nutella


Although Nutella is not a German product, many of my compatriots have an almost cult-like devotion to the spread. It even has a tradition of causing emotional fights at the breakfast table about its true gender.

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Schadenfreude: The feeling of joy over other peoples' mishaps


You know that situation when the bully gets his butt kicked for once? Or when the glamour boy arrives at school with a giant ugly zit on his nose? This is the point where Schadenfreude kicks in.

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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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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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Klobrille: The German word for toilet seat literally translates to "loo glasses"


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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Zahnfleisch: The German word for gums literally translates to “tooth flesh“


Well, you won’t disagree that this is another one of these words that makes perfect sense if you think about it. It simply describes the fleshy tissue surrounding your teeth. Ergo: tooth flesh.

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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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