The German language is vivid, flexible and very funny. We are not saying that German is easy to learn. However, once you learn it, you will have access to a lot of funny German words that bring wit and ease into life in Germany.
The German language is very diverse. There are tons of words and combinations. The language has developed and changed over centuries. But can single words also be funny? Can a word make people smile just because of its sound and pronunciation? The answer is – yes, why not? Below are funny German words that are guaranteed to make you smile and laugh!
10 funny German words and their meanings
Most people learning German think the language is very boring and hard but we promise you the following 10 words are guaranteed to make you fall in love with the German language. It’s best to learn them right away and you’ll be dying to use these terms yourself soon!
If you ever work in Germany, don’t be surprised if your colleagues wish you a “schönen Feierabend” as soon as your working day ends. Contrary to the meaning that is supposed to be behind the word „Feier“ – a party – your colleagues do not hope that you will end your evening in a local beer garden.
Even if that may disappoint you, they just wish you a good evening. This term is used to describe the few hours after the end of your work, regardless of whether your “Feierabend” actually takes place in the evening or not.
Literally translated, “Warmduscher” means something like “hot showerer”. In German, however, these two words are used to describe people who do not want to get out of their comfort zone. In English one would use terms like “wimp” or “chicken” to describe such people. Other funny synonyms for “Warmduscher”are for example “Schattenparker” (“shadow parker”) and “Weichei” (“soft egg”).
This is a funny German word for an actually sad scenario: Imagine that your girlfriend or boyfriend suddenly broke up. What do you do? Of course, you start scooping ice cream straight out of the box. You may also decide that it takes a few beers to process the drama. Both of these will mean that you will put on a few extra pounds quickly.
If you were a German, you would call these kilos “Kummerspeck”. And even if you haven’t been heartbroken, you could still become a victim of the “Winterspecks”. The Germans use this to describe the extra weight that they put on in the long, cold winter months.
There’s no winter in sight yet and you’ve escaped the broken heart so far? Then there is still the so-called “Huftgold” (hip gold) that could be lurking in the shadows. This is just another word to refer to excess fat in the hip and stomach area. Well, never again claim that the German language is not poetic!
For example, to combat “Huftgold”, you could go to the gym. There you will find situations in which you are “fremdschämst “(ashamed of others). For example, when a self-proclaimed Superman flexes his muscles in front of the mirror, don’t you think it’s embarrassing? This feeling of embarrassment for another person is called “Fremdschämen” in German. We are guaranteed to have experienced this at least once!
As a native English speaker or someone who speaks English, you’ll be left scratching your head when it comes to the word “Bitte”. You have to laugh at how Germans have mastered the art of simplifying some things!
|English words||German word|
|Here you go||Bitte|
|Not at all||Bitte|
|Don’t mention it!||Bitte|
A “Zechpreller” (bill cheating) is someone who commits bill cheating. It just means you go to a bar or restaurant, order food or drinks, and consume, but then just go without paying. Of course, you should never do something so outrageous, but at least now you know what to call people who like to avoid paying.
Do you remember certain moments when you tried to improve something and in the end you completely ruined it? Then that was exactly what a “Verschlimmbesserung” was: a striving for improvement that only made everything worse than it was before.
Watch out for the work in Tech. This word is often used by people who express their opinions about the latest update of their favorite smartphone or computer app.
„Kopf” means “head” in English and “Kino” stands for “cinema”. You don’t know what “Kopfkino” should mean? “Kopfkino” is what goes on in your imagination when you think about something in great detail. You then forget the time for a moment and feel like you are watching a movie in your own head!
The term “Zweisamkeit” is further proof that the German language is romantic and wonderful. You have never heard of ” Zweisamkeit“? The word describes the self-imposed isolation with which a couple in love distance themselves from the outside world.
The togetherness of the two lovers ensures that they withdraw from their surroundings. The word is derived from the term “Einsamkeit”, which means something like “loneliness” in English. But to be honest: “Zweisamkeit“ sounds and is so much nicer!
One of the biggest stereotypes about German people is that they are very direct and organized. However, when we think about the meaning of the word “Jein” we can’t help but claim that this prejudice must be a little out of date.
As you may have guessed, the word “Jein” means yes and no at the same time. We are sure that you did not know yet that the Germans are actively working to weaken the black-and-white contrast in our world!
German words are so funny if you take them literally
if you are a native German, you might not be conscious of how funny and weird some words are. However, those who learn a language often have a different perspective. Like the Lithuanian Milda Šukytė. She illustrated her favorite German words.
17 German words that are totally funny when analyzed translated
The German language has a lot of words that make you smile and wonder!
An “Arschbombe” describes a jump into the water, where you make yourself as round and compact as possible in order to create the largest possible splash. So you want to hit the water like a bomb with your butt first. How apt!
“Arschgeige” is often used as a swear word and although its composition does not sound particularly coherent, it creates a wonderful image.
But “Arschgeweih” is all the more appropriate. This word is used to describe a tribal tattoo on the tailbone that every hip girl simply had to have in the 90s.
The “Daumenkino” should also be taken very literally. This term describes tiny books with simple drawings, the pages of which you had to flip through quickly with your thumb to create a seemingly moving picture on the paper.
It is true that bicycles are not made of wire, but mainly of steel, titanium, aluminum or metal. Nevertheless, the description is very appropriate in the figurative sense. You move on it like on a donkey and the narrow pipes make it look wiry.
The “Dunkelziffer” describes all those cases of statistics that cannot be officially recorded, for example because they were not reported, but whose existence can definitely be assumed. So it describes all those digits that are in the dark. How apt!
“Elfenbein” is one of those words whose origins seem a bit vague at first. After all, these are the teeth and bones of the elephant and not those of a mythical creature. In fact, the term is probably due to the word “Elefantenbein” (“helfantbein”), which has simply changed over the years for the sake of simplicity.
The “Eselbrücke” describes a memory aid that allows you to create a simple bridge between two facts and make them easier to remember. An example of this is so-called mnemonic sentences. The term can be traced back to the fact that donkeys are so afraid of water that bridges had to be built for them even over the smallest watercourses.
When someone shines or laughs like a “Honigkuchenpferd”, happiness is literally written on their face. In fact, the term here has its origins in the literal honey cake horse, which was usually decorated with a smiling mouth made of icing.
The “Kabelsalat” describes a situation that occurs when we do not separate all of our cables properly, and they end up in a single tangle that is difficult to separate again. Just as if you had thrown them in a salad bowl and mixed them together. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
The “Kopfkino” describes a process in our brain in which we imagine potential scenarios, both positive and negative, which unfold their full action before our mental eye. So we play them like a movie in our head. Brilliant!
It doesn’t get any easier than that: gloves have the same use as … shoes for the feet! They protect our hands from dirt and cold. Somebody should say again that we Germans are complicated!
Here, too, people have made it easy for themselves: The “Kummerspeck” stands for those extra pounds that we feed on ourselves in worrying times out of frustration or sadness. “Sorrowbacon” still sounds very funny (and delicious!).
A “Pantoffelheld” is a man who cannot assert himself against his wife in the household. So we can assume that the word “hero” is used ironically here. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “slippery” before. This is due to the fact that bourgeois housewives in particular wore these types of slippers at the time. So if a man was subordinate to his wife, he was under her slipper. Accordingly, the ” Pantoffelheld” is just a derivation of this idiom.
The “Sitzfleisch” describes exactly that part of our body on which we sit: our buttocks. It doesn’t get any clearer, right?
The term “Tintenfisch” has become so common in Germany that we no longer question it much. Sure, these animals live in water and can shoot around with ink – but they are actually not fish. In fact, squids, like snails, belong to the group of molluscs, which is why they are also referred to as ” Tintenschnecken” in some scientific texts.
Finally, there is another term, the meaning of which is very obvious: What does the word “Zahnfleisch” describe? Well, the flesh around our teeth!