The Weirdest of the Weird
Klugscheißer ("wise shitter"): That’s how Germans refer to a know-it-all. And believe me, you will find a good amount of them in Germany ;)

Klugscheißer

Klugscheißen is a true national sport in Germany. To be honest, it is hard to have a conversation with a German without them correcting you every 10 seconds.

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Extrawurst: When someone receives special treatment, Germans will say they “get an extra sausage”

Extrawurst

We always talk about an Extrawurst when someone demands—or actually receives—an inappropriate privilege.

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Nullachtfünfzehn: When something is very average and not worth talking about, Germans say it's “zero eight fifteen”

Nullachtfünfzehn

Germans use this word to describe something that is downright boring due to its plainness and really doesn’t lure anyone out from behind the stove.

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Arschkarte: When you are in the least fortunate position, Germans will say you have “pulled the ass card”.

Arschkarte

The origin of this idiom is not entirely clear. However, many believe that there is a connection to the red card in team sports like soccer.

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Filmriss: When you can’t remember what happened last night because you were too drunk, Germans will say you have a “film tear”

Filmriss

It’s important to know your limit so that exactly something like a Filmriss never happens. It’s not remotely pleasant to text your friends the next day in a panic to ask what on earth you’ve been up to.

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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

Staubsauger

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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Kotflügel: The fender of a car is literally called a “poop wing” in German

Kotflügel

The word comes from a time when the Germans streets were still dominated by horse-drawn carriages – and the tons of excrements they left behind.

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Hüftgold: That‘s how Germans call the excess fat around their waists and I think it‘s one of the coolest euphemisms ever

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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Backpfeifengesicht ("cheek whistle face"): Someone who makes you feel the desire to punch him in the face just by looking at him

Backpfeifengesicht

Backpfeifengesicht is a perfect example of creative insults that the German language has on offer. It is highly effective, yet innocent enough to not have you bleeped out.

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Saftladen ("juice shop"): That's how Germans call any kind of poorly run business

Saftladen

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. 

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Arschgeweih: The German word for a tramp stamp literally translates to "ass antlers"

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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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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Vorglühen: To have some drinks before a party with a few close friends

Vorglühen

“Vorglühen” usually takes place at the home of whoever lives closest to the party. The trick is to get just that tiny bit tipsy without feeling drunk yet.

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Sturmfrei ("storm free"): The state where no parents are at home and children 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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Versuchskaninchen: If you are used for an experiment, you are a "test rabbit" in Germany

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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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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