Top 17 Funny German Words and Phrases

Haben Sie Eine Gute Fahrt!

I love German. Not only is it the least romantic language of them all (“I love you” in German sounds more like “I will hit you with shovel”) but it sounds great in a deep voice (think Rammstein) and almost everything sounds vaguely sexual (think Rammstein), particularly if you say it with a slight smile. It is the only language to capitalise every noun, which not only wears out Shift keys faster but is deliciously ironic given German people’s reputation for efficiency. Not only that, but every noun is given a gender with often bizarre results- a small girl is neuter rather than female, and the ocean can be either male, female or neuter depending on what term you use to describe it (Ozean, Meer, or See). Mark Twain even wrote of his experience with the German language “surely there is not another language that is so slipshod and systemless, and so slippery and elusive to the grasp. One is washed about in it, hither and thither, in the most helpless way; and when at last he thinks he has captured a rule which offers firm ground he turns over the page and reads, ‘Let the pupil make careful note of the following exceptions.’ He runs his eye down and finds that there are more exceptions to the rule than instances of it.” So without further ado, I present to you meine Damen und Herren, my top 17 favourite funny German words and phrases.

17. Kugelschreiber

In English it’s a pen, in French a stylo, in Spanish a pluma. Only in Germany would such an everyday object have so many syllables. It’s like they just have so much time to spend speaking, why rush? Literally translated, Kugelschreiber means “ball scriber” which is also funny for other reasons.

16. Kartoffelpuffer

Or as we would say in English “hash brown”. I’m not sure why but every time I read this on a menu in Germany or hear someone say it, it brings a smile to my face. It just sounds so cute, like a baby penguin.

15. Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung

Wow, such a long word, this must be an abstract legal term or a chemical name, right? No, it’s the word for “speed limit”. What!!!?

14. Herr Doktor Professor

In English we generally go by one title such as “Mister” or “Doctor” or “Captain”. Not in Germany where you are expected to know their full set of titles. Something of a collective German identity crisis? It’s like “I am at once a male, a doctor and a professor, why would you seek to rob me of any one of those attributes?!”


You might think this would be a house for rats, with little holes in the wall and rats darting to and fro. Alas, it’s the town hall, though it does show what Germans think of their local government.

12. Fahrt, Einfahrt and Notfahrt

Has nothing to do with breaking wind, breaking wind once or never breaking wind. Fahrt means ride or trip, Einfahrt means entrance and Notfahrt means emergency trip, apparently. Can a Notfahrt be to the bathroom? What’s that? I can’t put that on the website? But I’ve already done so.

11. Lustgarten

Pardon me if I got rather excited about visiting this park in Berlin. I’d imagined something akin to a debauched garden of Eden. It turns out it just means the more general “pleasure garden”.

10. Ich hab keine Lust

Likewise, when you say “I have no lust” in German it doesn’t mean you’re impotent, it just means you cant really be bothered to do anything.

9. Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz

This is a law that refers to the correct labelling of beef. Obviously considered important enough that there’s a (very long) word for it. Then again, there has been that horsemeat scandal in Europe lately.

Ich Liebe Dich
Ich Liebe Dich, dude

8. Kohlensäure

I initally thought this must be some kind of German dinosaur like Kohlensaurus Rex but it just means bubbles. In your soda.

7. Kunst

Sounds absolutely filthy, but it’s their word for art. You thus hear refined people say it all the time. Likewise a Kunsthalle is an art gallery. Just get the consonants around the right way and you’ll be fine.

6. Schweinefleisch

In English we would try to disguise what we are eating by calling it something quaint like “pork”. Not so in Germany- “our special today is black caviar and fresh garden salad with PIG FLESH”

5. Apfelsaft

Sounds like it might be the word for limp, flaccid or droopy but in fact is what they call apple juice.

4. Knoblauch

Pronounced something similar to “knob lock” it sounds excruciatingly painful until you realise it’s just garlic. (As a side note, I once ordered a type of delicious looking sauce with my kebab in Germany. A German colleague said “are you sure? It’s garbage”. I asked him what he meant, but he just kept saying “it is garbage,” so finally I ordered something else. It turned out he had been trying to say it was garlic. Now whenever I go to visit his company we make a point of going out for “garbage kebabs”.)

3. Botschafter

A Botschafter is not somebody who has sex with automatons. It’s an ambassador, of course! Thanks to reader Phil S for that one.

2. Ich Liebe Dich

As previously mentioned, when said correctly sounds like you are saying “I will hit you with shovel” or “I will leave you” or “I love Dick”. And if your boyfriend’s name is not Richard that might be a hard one to explain to your parents.

1. Ihre Mutter säugt Schweine

Said only to an enemy or a very easygoing friend, it means “Your mother suckles pigs” and is thus the most brutal insult known to mankind.

That’s all folks! (What, you were expecting more?) Now you can go out and use these at Oktoberfest! Haben Sie eine gute Fahrt!
by RationalMatthew
PS: I love Germans! So that renders any criticisms null and void!


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Matt Edwards

Australian solar power scientist travels the world for 15 years, takes photos, writes stuff, has toothpaste confiscated. I like adventures that involve art, history, science, music, technology and partying. Sometimes all at once...


86 thoughts on “Top 17 Funny German Words and Phrases” :: Leave yours →

  • April 18, 2013 at 3:33 am

    I am German and I don’t understand 1) and, frankly, have never heard of it.

    • April 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      It was given to me by a real life German. He wouldn’t lie to me, would he?

      • July 4, 2013 at 2:56 am

        Hallo Matthew,
        die deutsche Sprache mit Respekt und Ironie belauscht.
        Ich muß auch immer grinsen, wenn mich meine amerikanischen lachend auf denglisch verabschieden mit den
        Worten : “Have a good fart”

      • July 4, 2013 at 3:14 am

        I am german, too… And the only thing I can imagine, what he could have said and what sounds similar is: “Deine Mutter saugt Schwänze” which I dont have to translate now… (sorry for rudeness here)

        This is the only Insult I can imagine he could have said. What you wrote would no one in Germany say. really. never… 😀

      • July 4, 2013 at 10:41 am

        But I´m german, too, and never heard of it. Perhaps he was just kidding you???

      • March 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm

        I took German in highschool from a Swiss guy, took it in college from two Germans, and studied in Germany for a year. Learned #1 in highschool, then never heard/used it again.

      • September 18, 2016 at 3:38 pm

        I am German, too and I never heard your 1) either. So a real live German told you ? You are aware that Germans can be quite sarcastic – lots of tongue-in-cheek humor. Maybe, just maybe you’ve been had and your real life German is still laughing ? Maybe ? To 16) ‘Kugelschreiber’ translates as ‘ballpoint pen’ (‘Kugel’ = ‘ballpoint’); to 16) a ‘Kartoffelpuffer’ is most definitely NOT hash browns ! to 14) you’d only use the higher rank, not both. It’d be either Herr Doktor or Herr Professor, never both. to 13) ‘Rat’ = council. Nothing to do with rats. to 12) you are confusing ‘Notfahrt’ (I know of no such word btw) with ‘Notdurft’ . to 11) ‘Lustgarten’ refers to just about every palace garden designed for the Royals ‘pleasure’ – the most famous being Versailles/France. to 8) Kohlensaeure is carbonic acid, a bubble is ‘Blase’, or the verb ‘sprudeln’ – and 90 is just plain silly. Have to tell you, this gave me quite a laugh.

    • July 4, 2013 at 9:41 am

      I am a “real life German” too and have never heard of this though one can string pretty much anything together. This sounds more like something maybe used as an insult from a german of turkish decent due to the pig. Arschbackengesicht (arse cheek face) oder Fick dich (fuck yourself) are more what I grew up with and what I still hear in this generation

  • April 18, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Fischbrötchen und Gießkanne sind doch noch viel schöner, ganz toll ist auch Bismarkhering
    und bei Rindfleischetikettierungsberwachungsaufgabenbertragungsgesetz hast Du den wichtigsten Buchstaben zweimal vergessen, das ü
    Bei Ihre Mutter saugt Schweine fehlen die Pünktchen auf den a: Ihre Mutter säugt Schweine
    Obacht bei den Umlauten!! Auch schöne Wörter, nicht wahr? Obacht und Umlaut
    Viele Liebe Grüße aus Colonia (Köln), Kathi

    • July 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      “Säugt” gibt es gar nicht. Saugen: ich sauge – du saugst – er/sie/es saugt. Bring ihm doch nicht noch falsches Deutsch bei ;D

      • July 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm

        eine Sau saeugt die Ferkel! Das Wort “saeugt”/”saeugen” gibt es wirklich.

        • October 25, 2013 at 4:40 pm

          oh man es gibt echt dumme menschen 😀 natürlich gibt es “säugt”! Saugen ist ein anderes Wort als säugen!

      • November 9, 2013 at 1:35 pm

        Ooops, I knew that around 70% of us have a Genitv – problem and that 50% have problems with the direct and indirect object (Mir und mich verwechsele ich nicht…). But that there are people who have also serious problems because they don’t know even basic knowledge like verbs… Ouch! Language is an idea. If you loose your language, you’re losing your point of view and your point of you! Without language you are not able to interact with your environment. You’ll loose all your ideas and that what you makes to a human being with a chance to search for enlightenment. If your language got lost, there is no difference between you and an animal anymore. So I hope. you’ll remember your mother tongue. Then you can start to learn a second and a third language to be able to change your point of view. Bon courage!

        • January 18, 2015 at 6:49 am

          Come on, this one was not too terrible. Saugen means to suck. And säugen means to lactate or to suckle. One is the active action, the other the passive action. The difference is only “a” vs. “ä”. Youre not completely illiterate when you lost that one in your mother tongue!!

  • April 18, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Danke Kathi! Apologies for the spelling, I have made some corrections :)

  • May 13, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Nice list! But I am German too, and I’ve never heard of 1). Maybe you use it only in special dialects?

    • May 15, 2013 at 3:27 am

      Hi Annie. Maybe? Or maybe it’s just something my crazy friend says. Glad you liked the list :)

      • May 26, 2013 at 8:00 pm

        It is actually just one of many alterations of the very common “your mom” jokes, one of the more harmless ones, too.
        Yeah, indeed, we Germans and our (lack of) humour.

      • October 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm

        yeah its funny. But I, for myself as a german, think sometimes its enough with this jokes. Because I don’t think languages for eastern europe sound much better. I’m glad there were no Hitler jokes because nowadays I would say this is far behind us. and he isn’t german either! and no german talks like he did.

        • December 16, 2015 at 9:58 am

          I’d love to hear what a Hitler accent sounds like. Do any German comics do him?

    • May 18, 2013 at 9:33 am

      Keine Ahnung jedenfalls nutzt man den in Nordrhein-Westfalen

  • May 31, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I really do not agree AT ALL with the ‘ich liebe dich’ argument. most non-native speakers confuse the ch-sound with a glottal but it is actually more a velar sound (although while pronouncing it the tongue is not supposed to touch the roof of you mouth) I dunno if you’re into linguistics, but this is the easiest way to explain it. Personally, I’m just tired of hearing that german sounds mean or agressive, or like you said like the ‘least romantic’ of languages.
    Very subjective, check out our poetry.

    • June 20, 2013 at 5:17 am

      Look, for the record, I know. My point was try and show how these things can be misinterpreted easily, and in a way that is quite entertaining, if your sense of humour allows it. And I know German can be romantic, I have read Goethe!!!!!!!

  • June 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    I agree with Baroness above. German dich and ich are certainly not guttural. But sometimes German -ch- is, as in Ach!.and Bach. That -ch- is an unvoiced German or French -R- sound. I also consider French to be more guttural than German. Think of Edith Piof singing “Je ne regrette rien”. [She is known for her perhaps harsh accent.] And all agree that Dutch is guttural. Am I mostly correct? German poetry and most operas sung in German are beautiful. Italian opera sung in German is really soft and better than French or English translation to my ears. German, Dutch, and English sound harsh sometimes because all three fall into that rarer group of languages where so many of the words end in consonants instead of vowels. Words in the majority oflanguage end more in vowels. Bob, amateur of German and Germany.

  • July 1, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I grew up in a bilingual home with a German mother and American father and can I just share that “Have a good Fahrt” has been a running joke in our family for decades? When you grow up speaking ‘Genglish/Denglisch’… reading a blog entry like this makes one cry from laughter. Thank you! And, for the record, I’ve never thought of German as really harsh-sounding or guttural. I leave that distinction to the Dutch! 😉

    • July 4, 2013 at 12:59 am

      Thanks Christine! I’m so glad I’m not the only one that thinks “Have a good Fahrt” is funny… ah how I love Deutsch.

      • July 4, 2013 at 2:23 am

        It means drive safe………Personally I think “click it or ticket” is much more amusing……..

  • July 4, 2013 at 1:06 am

    17) Kugelschreiber ist Ballpoint pen. Nobody uses the long word, everybody says Kuli.
    14) Herr Doktor Professor is wrong. You only use the highest title when addressing somebody. The Herr is not wrong, but usually dropped.
    1) Never heard it used by anybody.

    • October 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      and if someone uses the whole title in 14) it will be professor doktor!
      besides: 9) is not a word that is used by anybody

    • July 4, 2013 at 1:50 am

      I add a “t” after “i” and yes, we have big words for small thing. I don’t say we are greater than we look. That depends.

    • July 4, 2013 at 1:52 am

      I deserve it! Why? I’m actually quite nice, you know :)

      Besides- I have heard him say it, and I thought it was very funny.

  • July 4, 2013 at 2:21 am

    I am german as well….and to tell you the truth…I somehow feel insulted………especially because some of the words are the long version nobody uses or are not even known to most ppl. But what do I know……

    • October 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      RIGHT!!! Cause english speaking people are to dump or unwilling to learn another language, because many people speak english and say dont have to! if this website would be german, we could write about the same stuff and you wouldn t understand a word!

  • July 4, 2013 at 3:59 am

    You know you’re German when: You think you know everything better, especially if you don’t understand humour or sarcasm. Your country was built on philologists like Goethe. It is not up to you to make fun of your really noble and severe language – even if you never use a genitive at all.

  • July 4, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Maybe you should mention that “Rat” in Rathaus has less to do with rats and more with council or advice.. If you don’t know the word you really belive the rats in german government 😀

  • July 4, 2013 at 10:03 am

    All i can say about German Lang there is nothing wrong with it ? Because iam 100 % German my self and my Wife also . I still can read . speak and write German after 50 some years living in the US ! I also served in the US ARMY in 62-63 in Germany for 18 Month on the West & East German Border . Some American’s never get the hang of it how to spell some German Words ! I had to learn english when i imigrated to the US . The should do the same thing to the People south of our Border learn how to speak english and not the other way around ! Have a good 4th of July ! Allons

  • July 4, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I was in tears at number 6 and “have a nice fart”! So funny.
    To the germans who are insulted – stop being so german.
    (Im german)

  • July 4, 2013 at 11:34 am

    I think you should think of Rathaus in different terms. Instead of rats or Ratten(note the TWO t’s), but more of the word Räten, which means guessing. That would make it a guessing hall. That is much more accurate to me when you think of politicians. 😉

  • July 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    I am German and have to admit that I find some words quite funny, especially now that I live in an English speaking country. However, some of the above terms or phrases are new to me (#1) and others I don’t find funny but that might be cause a) I am German and used to them and b) they are very descriptive since German doesn’t use a new, made-up word for everything (e.g. Kugelschreiber, Schweinefleisch, Kohlensaeure, Rathaus). The idea of capitalizing nouns is actually pretty good cause it’s straight forward as opposed to the English language where one regularly wonders whether this word is a proper noun and would therefore be capitalized, or not.
    Though I do believe that most of these words you mention are somewhat funny to an American/English speaker especially when pronounced incorrectly, I think there are other works a bit more funny. Words like ‘Handschuh’ or ‘Bloedsinn’ come to mind if you think about it and Schultuete (the translations of the latter online dictionaries is nicely entertaining), or the fact that there are no good translations for words like ‘doch’ or ‘sympatisch’. And plenty others.

  • July 5, 2013 at 2:16 am

    My favorite is how every word for butterfly in every language is something whimsically soft and pleasant-sounding, but in German it’s Der Schmetterling.

  • July 6, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    The Problem about one is that Nobody would say “Kugelschreiber” Most People just say “kulli”

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  • July 12, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Love this. German has to be one of the funniest languages out there. There’s nothing better than a well timed “fahrt” joke.

    Although you forgot my favourite German word: “Backpfeifengesicht” or “A face badly in need of a fist”.

    • July 12, 2013 at 2:07 am

      Seriously! Oh my that is a classic. One for the next edition perhaps..

  • July 13, 2013 at 3:15 am

    As for capitalization, now I find it rather helpful. Someone had a funny post on that subject which I can’t find but here some examples. Take for instance the difference between:
    Die Spinnen (the spiders)
    Die spinnen (they are goofing off)
    Er hat in Berlin liebe Genossen (he has dear associates/colleagues/commrades in Berlin)
    Er hat in Berlin Liebe genossen (In Berlin he enjoyed being in love)
    I guess in English we derive the correct meaning in context rather than needing the capitalization of the noun. But German is a very precise language.

  • August 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    What´s funny about it?
    1.: The Kugelschreiber is a writer with a globe, not like the Füllfederhalter 😉 (often:Füller)
    2.: Kartoffelpuffer: “…so benannt wegen des “puffenden” (buffing) Geräusches der Kartoffelmasse beim Backen.” Duden: “Herkunftswörterbuch, 2.Auflage.”
    3.: Geschwindigkeit =speed, Begrenzung =Limit, so what?!
    4.: You are right, that´s silly 😀
    5.: Rat =Council, Rathaus: House of Council. What does Town Hall mean? Is it the only Hall in the Town, and the rest lives in tents?
    6.: Fahren= Drive, ride, Einfahren-> drive-in, and Notfahrt? Never heard this word.
    7.: Lustgarten is also common in GB :, Lust means Pleasure.
    8.: Lust means Joy “ich(i) have(habe) keine(no) Lust(Joy) … to do something.
    9.: Germany meets Finland 😉
    10.: You have to be accurate: If you are farting in the bath, there are bubbles, too. But it´s not Carbon dioxide, it´s predominant Methane 😉 Or do you want Coca-Cola-Workers to fart in your coke? 😉
    11.: Kunst comes from “Können” =ability, or “I can do that” 😉
    12.: Pork is ancient french and means…Pig! Ohhh!! ”
    13.: Right
    14.: Knob is derived from the Old High German „klioban“ (= „spalten“) =”splitting”, and “Lauch” is a kind of plants.
    15.: :)
    16.: It sounds terrible, when it´s pronounced with an english accent (Ick libbe dick) LOL ;), in “real” german it sounds beautiful!
    17.: Never heard this.

    Sorry for my bad english, aber ich spreche nuneinmal eine Sprache, die eigentlich, Mark Twain widersprechend, eine der perfektesten ( ja, ich weiss, es gibt hier keinen Superlativ :D) Sprachen ist, Die Logik in der englischen Sprache endet schon in ihrer Aussprache und ihrer Schrift. Da passt schon fast gar nichts zusammen. Deswegen gibt es ja bei Euch Buchstabierwettbewerbe . Eigentlich _lustig_, dass man Wörter anders schreibt, als man sie ausspricht. Das hiesse, dass man chinesische Zeichen für das Englische benutzen könnte, weil da eh nichts übereinstimmt. 😉 Oder besser: jeder malt irgendeinen Krakel, und muss es nur richtig deuten und aussprechen ;)Knight-Night: In german: Knickt-Nickt 😉 HA , but nice List .
    P.S.: Not ÄdÄm …in hebrew it´s also pronounced as AdAm.

  • September 26, 2013 at 3:37 am

    14. “Herr Doktor Professor” is not really correct. It’s “Herr Professor Doktor “. The highest academic title comes first.

    And btw: We capitalise every noun because if you don’t, well it can mean something entirely different.

    “Der Verrückte floh.” vs. “Der verrückte Floh.”
    “The madman escaped.” vs. “The crazy flea.”

    “Der Gefangene floh.” vs. “Der gefangene Floh.”
    “The prisoner escaped.” vs. “The caught/trapped flea.”

    So yes it’s kinda important to know if “Floh” is a noun or not. :)

    and since dirty examples are always good ones:

    “Helft den armen Vögeln.” vs. “Helft den Armen vögeln.”
    “Help the poor birds.” vs. “Help the poor to fuck.”

  • September 26, 2013 at 3:52 am

    Oh and one more:

    Kugelschreiber = ball-point pen

    That’s a mouthful – in German and English – so let’s shorten it:

    de: Kuli (Nice and short, right?)
    en: pen (Shorter, yes. But now it can be a fountain pen, too.)

    So if you say pen in english no one knows what you are writing with.
    Please don’t compare a “long-form” german word to a “reduced” english word (that, to top it off, loses some of the meaning and distinctiveness)

  • October 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Well, “kuli “can be very rude in French-Italian: “va fatto ein kuli “…
    I have a goethe feeling there are a lot of other funny sounding German words,..
    Now, don’t let me get started on the way English irregular verbs sound in French: they are the litmus test for all new teachers of English in France , as students start learning them in year 8 or 9…try teaching “put” or “bite” to sniggering thirteen year-olds

  • October 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Have you already heard of these “German” words:
    “Handy” (mobile phone)
    “Body Bag” (in Germany that’s what you call a bag you wear close to your body)
    “Public Viewing” (a kind of open air movie theater during sport events)

    You know these are the words used in German, it’s not the English translation 😉

  • December 2, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Hahah pretty funny! Very true about the Rammstein commentary LOL

  • December 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    I do not agree that German has so many exceptions of the grammar rules. Have you ever studied French? There is the real mess with rules and then hundreds of exceptions. Sorry, Mark Twain, but German is far from systemless compared to many other languages…

  • March 4, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    I like to offer a few comments to the Original Poster. Here they are ….

    17. Kugelschreiber = Ballpointpen

    ball schreiber … you are totally wrong here

    16. Kartoffelpuffer = Panncake

    What is the difference I ask you?

    15. Geschwindigkeitbegrenzung = Speed limit

    Seams to me the German word has more meaning don’t you think?

    14. Herr Doktor Professor = addressing one with respect!

    A man is addressed as Herr, a Woman as Frau and a non married woman as Freulein, what is wrong with that? most of the time it will be Herr Doktor or Her Professor. Once you know the indevidual better it would be Professor or Doktor.

    Your criticism makes no sense all you do is confuse the reader!

    15. Rathaus = City Hall

    Once again your explanation here is wrong your thinking of “rats” while “rat” in German means “advice” translated therefore Rathaus. If you would have made your research properly you would know that!

    12. Fahrt = ride, Einfahrt = entrance and Notfahrt = Emergency (passage or entrance etc)

    Notting at all what you are going on about!

    11. Lustgarten = Amusement Park

    Just a misinterpretation on your part, you see Google is NOT perfect, not at this point anyway LOL

    10. Ich hab keine Lust – simply means “I do not want or I’m not in the mood”

    9. Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz = Beef labeling supervision task transfer law

    BTW if you would have taken the time to make a proper research you would have found out that this German word has been eliminated. Also you should know that words like this are used in German to add several words together like a tounge twister. Then I don’t expect you to be able to read them at all LOL

    8. Kohlensäure = carbonic acid

    You should really have a good dictionary at hand my friend when attempting to comment on another language.
    7. Kunst = Art

    I have you know there is nothing “fitly” about this word except your way of thinking!

    6. Schweinefleish = pork meat

    you got this half right and no we just say what it is you.

    5. Apfelsaft – apple juce

    as you said you just don’t understand that we are not all the same when it comes to language.

    4. Knoblauch = garlic

    Your explanation here is totally uncalled for and your side note tells me your server may have been from another country, for most Germans speak Englisch.

    3. Haarschmuck = Hair Accessories

    sorry you are wrong here it has nothing to do with jewellery.

    2. Ich Liebe Dich = I love you

    Whatever it sounds like to you, again I can only recommend that you get yourself a good dictionary before you criticize another mans language. BTW it’s three words not one!

    Ihre Mutter säugt Schweine = Her mother suckling pigs
    makes no sense at all as a sentence and again it is not a word it’s a sentance made up of four words, each having a different meaning of course.

    I’ve never heard of such insult and I don’t think you like Germans at all the way you belittled the language here.

    • March 5, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      Haha ok Rolf thanks for that… (I believe there is a German word that accurately describes your sense of humour… “Spießer”?? Perhaps?)

      • April 10, 2014 at 11:40 am

        Oooh gosh!Rolf Rolf Rolf! Don’t you see that you are making things only worse!? I mean…I wasn’t exactly amused about the article, especially because of the bad “research” that went into it. It’s someone who has lived in Germany for a while and thinks it would be great fun to smash out some puns about some words that sound hilarious to people who have no clue about other languages!
        Obviously he doesn’t actually know what Knoblauch means, or Rat or where it comes from or even how to pronounce it, but that’s not the point he’s trying to make.
        There is SO much more to make fun of about English, starting with the fact that many English speaking people have no clue about their own grammar. But where’s the point? I prefer articles that enhance the beauty of languages, of any language! Every language you learn widens your horizon, which is why many English(speaking) people who have only very limited skills in other languages (and sometimes even in their own :D) are a bit “blind” and ignorant in certain respects. But never mind… people, please keep on learning languages, it is good for you! 😉

        • April 22, 2014 at 2:01 am

          Ok- just to let you know, I do know what good research is, because if you read the “About” section of this website, you’ll see that in my dayjob I’m a science researcher. The research that went into this article was basically zero. You know why? Because the whole article, is just for fun, a laugh. As I mentioned in the article, I love Germans and German language. The problem is just with a few Germans (eg yourself and Rolf) not being able to see the joke. English is probably also a funny language for many people, I know there are many English words that make me chuckle too.

          I do know what “Knoblauch” and “Rat” mean, and I’m pretty damn good in English as well thanks very much. Stop looking for hidden meaning in everything and learn to have a laugh and you’ll end up enjoying yourself a lot more. Cheers!

  • April 1, 2014 at 8:09 am

    My first language is Afrikaans (derived from 17th century Dutch) but I speak English and German (and some Dutch) as well. The lack of a sense of humour of some commentators here is quite funny. Get a life. The English and their language offer a huge target for fun poking. We South Africans, including English speaking South Africans, do it all the time. And the “souties”, as we call them, have survived, most of them smiling.

  • June 21, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    #17 is actually “Kuli”…you’ve just found the extended version of the word. 😛

  • January 18, 2015 at 6:36 am

    To explain number 1 and why nobody here heard of that one before:
    Many people (esp. young people) in Germany have fun to create lot’s of insults to the honour of the mother. I think it came up in he late 90s because there are many Turkish immigrants in Germany who easily get in rage and become aggressive when it comes to the honour of the family. Many Germans can’t understand why the honour of the family should be such a big issue and so they started making fun of it by exaggerating the insults very much. Examples:
    Your mother is sweating when she’s shitting .
    Your mother works on a fishing boat – as a smell.
    Your mother is so ugly. When I saw her I just wanted to turn around but she was still there.
    If your mother wants to get a passport photograph she has to look into the sky and go to google earth.
    Your mother called me you shall fetch her at the 1€-shop. She spent all her bus money in liquor.
    Your mother is called Jimmy and is the strongest in jail.
    Your mother pulls trucks at the sports channel.
    Your mother always fall out of the bed – on both sides.
    Your mother cant swim. When she wants to go into he sea, Greenpeace alway pulls her out.

    So your friend just told you another invention of “your-mother-jokes”, which is maybe well known in his area.

    But when there’s no funny point at all like in “your mother sucks dicks in hell”, yeah then it is not a joke but really serious trouble. But there’s also something in between like: “if your mother would’ve been 10cents cheaper, you could call me dad”

    A similar way of making fun of the mother is repeating any sentence someone says to you but replacing the subject into “your mother” to change it into an “insult” also when it doesnt make any sense, e.g.: “C’mon that was not funny” – “your mother is not funny”.

    You shouldn’t do these joke to Turkish immigrants in Germany…

    • January 24, 2016 at 12:06 am

      German has a similarity with Sundanese (Indonesian tribal language) in “your mother” joke, but we use “your Grandma” 😀

  • March 7, 2015 at 8:36 am

    A lot of things you wrote are not right.

    – In my opinion, there are several other languages that sound way more unromantic than German.
    – There are further keys that are being hit more than the shift key. What about the space key or the letters like e, r, s or n?

    17. The correct translation for Kugelschreiber is ballpoint pen, only the abbreviation is being used in Germany (Kuli), and you also just say the short form in English.

    12. Notfahrt is not a German word.

    9. Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz is a long word, but is the English translation “Law on delegation of duties for supervision of cattle marking and beef labeling” really shorter?

    6. Schweinefleisch = pig (Schwein) meat (Fleisch) and not pig flesh. No-one would order that at a restaurant.

    2. “Ich liebe dich” doesn’t sound hard to me.

    1. I have never heard this expression.

  • July 17, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    I am disgusted by this lmao
    German isn’t a harsh language at all, but sure if that’s what you want to believe then so be it. -.-

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  • August 5, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    In a word Matt, (matt translates to ‘dull’ in German) you’re an asshole; now there’s a funny word.

    And to suggest that Germans lack humour because they find your ‘ridicule-wrapped-in-cheap-slapstick’ dressed to look like ‘clever-irony-wasted-on-the-stupid’ offensive, only adds to your ignorance and disgrace. You see, the thing is Matt, Germans have a highly developed sense of what’s really funny, (Matt …, sounds more like a small, flat, tangled fibrous dense mass – used for wiping one’s shoes on). Anyway, ours is a cultivated sense of humour: insightful, intelligent; skilled in wit, practised in repartee. One that has nothing to do with guffaws and giggles about “breaking wind”!

    • August 5, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      Haha. Seriously? I never once suggested Germans have no sense of humour. So your entire comment is premised on a misunderstanding on your part. Just to let you know, since you probably didn’t bother learning anything about me before you wrote your judgemental comment, I really like the German sense of humour. I spent 3 years working for German companies and have been to Germany over 20 times. And one of my best friends is German. I am well aware of (and enthusiastic about) German wit and repartee. Sorry you didn’t comprehend this. Sounds like you might be the ignorant one…

  • August 18, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Hey dude, I am german too (real life german – native). Your intro is brilliant – really poetic almost. But I have to agree with the others, No1 is nothing any german says ever.


  • October 27, 2016 at 11:31 am

    WINKELSCHLEIFER – angle grinder.
    quite possibly the best german word ever!

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