20 Funny German Words That Will Motivate You to Start Learning German - Justlearn (2023)

Do you know that feeling when you want to express yourself with a specific word but that word doesn’t exist in your language?

It can be quite disappointing.

Imagine how nice it would be if you could describe your feelings in one word, one single word.

That’s why language learners are in advantage. Perhaps that specific word doesn’t exist in your native language but it might exist in another language.

Despite popular opinion, German is very interesting and expressive. It has a lot of words that other languages don’t.

German is also a very clever language because it can fill many gaps and explain many feelings or things that English can’t.

On top of that, there are a lot of funny German words that will be our topic today.

Today, we’ll share with you our favorite funny words in German.

Let’s dive in.

Funny German Words

This language is full of funny German phrases.

Since the words are quite long, take your time and read them slowly.

The most important thing, don’t forget to enjoy it!

1. Backpfeifengesicht

The ideal translation for this word is ‘slap face.’

The word describes that person who starts talking and you immediately want to slap them in the face.

It can be someone from your work who always steals your lunch, or perhaps that annoying friend who thinks it’s amusing to use some awful words or slang.

However, be careful when you say this word. Use it only with your close friends and with those who won’t be mad.


2. Erklärungsnot

This word can be explained as a lame excuse for something that you’ve done or failed to do. The situation requires you to give a proper explanation but you only come up with some excuse that no one believes.

For example, when you are caught in the middle of eating the cake-cream, and you have less than a second to think of a good explanation.

Therefore, it can be translated as a ‘poverty of explanation.’

3. Feierabend

Translated as ‘the reason to celebrate,’ this word should exist in every language in the world.

Imagine the following situation: it is Friday afternoon, and you’ve done all your work. You came home, and you have all day and weekend just for yourself.

So you get cozy, grab a juice, cola or beer and put some music on. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Well, it is ‘feierabend.’

4. Fernweh

This word is similar to nostalgia but has a wider meaning. It describes the feeling when you want to be somewhere else. It doesn’t mean that you are homesick, quite on the contrary.

It can refer to some distant places or cities.

For example, you can use ‘fernweh’ when you’re not able to go on a vacation somewhere.

20 Funny German Words That Will Motivate You to Start Learning German - Justlearn (1)

5. Fremdschämen

On one hand, this word is used to express empathy for someone. On the other hand, it can describe some situations that are awkward and humiliating.

For example, you went on a date. Your partner is so boring that you can’t wait for the night to be over. However, he’s having a great time especially because he is trying to talk about his experiences that are so awkward that you feel ashamed instead of him. That is why the ‘fremdschämen’ is an ideal explanation for this situation.

6. Frühjahrsmüdigkeit

Perhaps in English, the best explanation for this word is ‘spring fatigue.’ However, it is more than that.

This word describes a temporary mood, laziness, and physical condition that happens to people in March and April when the spring comes. At this time, people experience low energy and weariness, some even have headaches, aching joints, and a lack of motivation to do anything.

7. Geboregenheit

We should all use this word even if we don’t speak German.

It’s used in situations when you have to be completely present in a moment to fully enjoy it.

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In other words, it’s an experience of happiness or feeling of satisfaction with a certain situation. It’s a state of comfort and well-being.

20 Funny German Words That Will Motivate You to Start Learning German - Justlearn (2)

8. Honigkuchenpferd

If you wanted to say this in English, you would have to use a whole sentence instead.

However, In German, ‘honigkuchenpferd’ is enough.

It’s a situation when you get embarrassed in front of someone very important, and your face shows all your emotions and expressions, including embarrassment.

9. Innerer Schweinehund

Picture this. It's early in the morning. Your alarm goes off, but you simply don’t have the energy to get up and start preparing for work.

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Or perhaps another situation: you had enough time to do your homework, but you are postponing it until the last moment when you have to do it. You are too lazy to do it and chilling on the sofa seems like a much better solution.

That voice in your head, telling you that it’s better to continue sleeping or relaxing, that is ‘innerer schweinerhund,’ literally translated as ‘inner pig dog.’

10. Jein

This word can be translated as ‘yes and no’ simultaneously.

That stereotype about strict Germans is not so true which is seen in this example.

Admit it! There are plenty of occasions when you just want to say ‘jein.’

11. Kuddelmuddel

If you thought that this meant to cuddle, you are very wrong. This word has nothing to do with cuddling. On the contrary, it describes a chaotic state or a mess.

For example, when you enter your kids’ room, it is so messy that the only thing you can say is ‘kuddelmuddel.’

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The word consists of ‘kuddel,’ from ‘koddeln,’ which means ‘dirty linen,’ and the word ‘muddel’ that means ‘mud.’

12. Lebensmüde

There are situations when many of us are tired of everything gloomy around us. Even though ‘lebensmüde’ expresses this feeling perfectly, you have to be careful you use it because it can sometimes have suicidal meaning. So, before you use the word ‘lebensmüde,’ make sure that you are being understood correctly and clearly.

13. Schadenfreude

The pleasure gained from other people’s misfortune can be expressed in German as ‘schadenfreude.’

It can be a situation at work. A colleague of yours got a promotion instead of you, and they never miss the opportunity to emphasize that. You are happy for them, but you are actually a little bit jealous. And then something terrible happens to them. They are devastated. But you, you feel ‘schadenfreude.’ You are content that they are not entirely happy.

14. Schnapsidee

You’ve surely had situations when you’ve thought of some crazy idea, which later appeared to be a stupid one. Like you were drunk while that idea came to your mind. So, in a moment when an idea like this comes to your mind, this is a ‘schnappsidee,’ literally ‘crazy idea.’

15. Sitzfleisch

The ‘seat meat’ in English probably sounds, well, quite strange.

In German, however, it describes someone’s character trait. The person who is ‘sitzfleisch’ can go through anything boring, or very hard.

It's like that person can be productive for a long time or can do anything they are asked to do, even in difficult situations.

16. Sturmfrei

Adults remember that feeling (probably with nostalgia) when they couldn’t wait for their parents to go somewhere so that they can have the whole house for themselves. In German, it can be described with only one word, ‘sturmfrei.’

17. Torschlusspanik

The feeling of panic as time runs out can be explained with one German word: ‘torschlusspanik, ’ or in English, ‘closing door panic.’

You can use this word in situations when you, for example, start panicking because the time goes by quickly.

It’s a feeling of missing out on a chance to do something greater, better. You’re afraid that the time will pass and that it will be late to do something you could do.

18. Tote Hose

If you want to translate the phrase ‘dead trousers’ from English to German, you get some completely ordinary one in German, ‘tote hose.’ However, this expression is anything but ordinary. It’s used in situations when you feel intense boredom, the moment when time stands still, when nothing happens, and when it seems like it will never end.

19. Verschlimmbesserung

Yes, this is a pretty long word. But compared to other German words, it’s average. The word ‘verschlimmbesserung’ is used in situations when something bad happens, or you’ve said something that appeared to be wrong and now you regret it.

But instead of trying to ‘repair the damage,’ you are digging the hole deeper and deeper. In one word, it’s ‘verschlimmbesserung.’

This word can literally be translated as ‘fixing something to be worse than it is.’

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20. Waldeinsamket

It’s literally ‘the feeling of being alone in the woods.’

This feeling is a synonym for enjoying alone time peacefully, ideally surrounded by nature. You achieve some level of meditation and feel fulfilled and happy.

Long German Words

We couldn’t miss out on the beauty of long German words, so we had to mention the longest one.

Here’s the winner.


This word is a perfect practice for pronunciation, like a tongue-twister.

Do you like tongue-twisters?

They are quite useful for mastering your pronunciation. Check out these10 German tongue twisters to improve your accent.

This word is not a mistake. And yes, it has 79 letters.

Here’s what it means.

‘Association for Subordinate Officials of the Head Office Management of the Danube Steamboat Electrical Services’


These words are just one part of the wonderful German language.

We tried to explain them to you in English, but that’s the beauty of languages

They are all unique and there’s a lot of words that can’t be translated. That is why there are manyGerman words in English we use every day, such as hamburgers, fest, or wanderlust.

Have you started learning German yet?

What’s the funniest German word in your opinion?

Let us know in the comments below!

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What are the 100 most common German words? ›

100 most frequently used German words
  • der / die / das (def. art.) the; (dem. pron.) ...
  • und (conj.) and.
  • sein (verb) to be; (aux./perfect tense)
  • in (prep.) in [variation: im in the]
  • ein (indef. art.) a, an; (pron.) one (of)
  • zu (prep.) to, at; (adv.) too.
  • haben (verb) to have; (aux./perfect tense)
  • ich (pers. pron.) I.

What are the most important words to learn in German? ›

Here's how to enhance your confidence by starting with some basic words and phrases to build your German word bank:
  • Guten Tag = Good day.
  • Hallo = Hello.
  • Auf Wiedersehen = Goodbye.
  • Bitte = Please.
  • Danke = Thanks, Thank you.
  • Entschuldigung = Sorry.
  • Gesundheit = Bless you (after someone sneezes)
  • Ja = Yes.
Mar 15, 2021

What are the best German words? ›

11 Beautiful German Words You Need in Your Life
  • Zeitgeist.
  • Fernweh.
  • Wanderlust.
  • Zweisamkeit.
  • Luftkuss.
  • Freudentränen.
  • Frühlingsgefühle.
  • Verzehren.

What is the longest German word? ›

The longest word in the standard German dictionary is Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung – which is the word for motor vehicle liability insurance. But at 36 letters, it's rather puny. Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften, a touch longer at 39 letters, is the language's longest non-dictionary word.

What is the hardest German word? ›

1. Eichhörnchen (Squirrel) Although squirrel is also tough to pronounce in English, it's a classic when it comes to difficult German words to pronounce. Many English speakers struggle, and some even consider this the hardest German word to pronounce.

What should I learn first in German? ›

So, if you're wondering how to learn the German language if you're a complete beginner, we recommend you start with the alphabet. The German language has 26 letters, just like English.

How can I memorize German fast? ›

Top 10 Study Tips to Learn German Faster
  1. Know Your Goal - And Plan How to Get There. ...
  2. Study Daily. ...
  3. Prioritize Key Words. ...
  4. Start Talking from the Beginning. ...
  5. Study Vocabulary Daily. ...
  6. Use Free Apps and Tools. ...
  7. Develop Activities That Target Your Learning Styles and Schedules. ...
  8. Treat Mistakes Like Free Lessons.
Oct 2, 2020

How many German words do I need to know? ›

In order to feel comfortable speaking German, you really only need to learn about 3,000 words. In contrast, being fluent in German is defined as understanding 10,000+ words.

What are cool German words? ›

10 weird German words
  • Ohrwurm (ear worm) ...
  • Weichei (soft egg) ...
  • Backpfeifengesicht (slap face) ...
  • Erklärungsnot (explanation poverty) ...
  • Purzelbaum (tumble tree) ...
  • Zungenbrecher (tongue breaker) ...
  • Schattenparker (shadow parker) ...
  • Kuddelmuddel (muddled mess)

What is a famous German saying? ›

All beginnings are hard.” “He who chases two rabbits at once will catch none.” “Starting is easy, persistence is an art.”

What is German slang for pretty? ›

Süß which means “cute” in German can be used for women, children, and pets. Hübsch “pretty” is used for women but can also be used for objects such as clothing.

What is the 2nd longest word in the world that takes 3 hours to say? ›

A word of warning… the “word” takes about 3.5 hours to say. The word is 189,819 letters long. It's actually the name of a giant protein called Titin. Proteins are usually named by mashing-up the names of the chemicals making them.

Where is the purest German spoken? ›

On the other hand, Northern Germany is considered to be the region that speaks the purest Standard German, and in everyday life, little influence of dialect is heard.

What is the longest word to say in 3 hours? ›

The longest English word

The longest word in English has 189,819 letters and takes 3 hours to pronounce. This is a technical term for the chemical composition of titin. Titin is the largest known protein responsible for maintaining the passive elasticity of the muscles.

What is ß called in English? ›

The German letter ß is a ligature and is also called a “scharfes s” (sharp s). But it's simpler than it sounds–it actually just means “ss”. The best thing about this letter? It sounds exactly like the “s” sound in English!

What are German swears? ›

10 German Swear Words and Insults you Really Should Know
  • Quatsch! /ˈkvatʃ/ This curse word stems from the verb quatschen, which means “to chat.” ...
  • Donnerwetter! /ˌdɔnɐ'vɛtɐ/ ...
  • Depp! /dɛp/ ...
  • verdammt. /fɛɐ̯ˈdamt/ ...
  • Scheiße. /ˈʃaɪ̯sə/ ...
  • Halt deinen Mund! /halt 'daɪ̯nən mʊnt/ ...
  • der Mist. /deːr 'mɪst/ ...
  • Leck mich am Arsch! /lɛk mɪç am aʀʃ/

How do you say cool in German slang? ›

Geil is one of the most common and useful German slang words you will hear when visiting Austria, Switzerland, or Germany. It generally means "cool", but can also be used for "horny", so make sure you understand the context!

What are some German filler words? ›

The 10 Most Popular German Filler Words
  • Also. If you'd like to continue an interrupted train of thought, you can use also (loosely translated as “so” here) as a good marker. ...
  • Doch. Doch is one of the most often-used German filler words. ...
  • Eigentlich. ...
  • Genau. ...
  • Sozusagen. ...
  • Ja. ...
  • Einfach. ...
  • Halt.
Jan 16, 2023

How many German words can I learn in a day? ›

A better tactic is to learn 3-6 new German words every day and invest time in understanding them very well. This way, you can learn almost 2000 words a year - 5 words per day x 365 days = 1800+ new words. Think about it. Within 2 years, you will know enough words to communicate freely in any context.

Is German 1 hard? ›

With plenty of straightforward rules, German is not actually as hard to learn as most people think. And since English and German stem from the same language family, you might actually be surprised at the things you pick up without even trying! And on top of it all, it's definitely a useful one, too.

Is 2 years enough to learn German? ›

Language students who practice a method of complete immersion, with eight hours of practice per day, could learn German to a high level in a matter of months. Those who dedicate at least one hour per day to language learning can achieve an intermediate level within two years.

Can I learn German in 1 year? ›

Learning a new language can be accomplished in a relatively short time if you are taking individual classes. With three 60-minute courses per week, you might be able to learn German in one to two years. This approach is excellent for people with hectic schedules, even if it is more expensive.

Can I learn German A1 in 15 days? ›

Yes, it is possible, that is if you have dedicated many hours of German language learning without distractions. Language experts mention that learning German beginner level (or German A1 level) takes at least 75 hours to fully grasp. That takes at least 10 hours or more a day to really finish your language lessons.

What is the hardest part of learning German? ›

Because there are few pronunciation rules

Unlike English, for instance, where every word is pronounced in its own way or French, where to rules are so severe and dictations are done even in the most progressed course levels.

How many years does it take to speak fluent German? ›

According to the U.S. Foreign Service Institute (FSI), you'll need about 750 hours of study to become fluent in German. This means that if you study 12-15 hours a week, you'll be able to speak like a pro in just a year!

How many words 3 minutes of German are? ›

On average there are 450 words in a 3 minute speech. This is based on the average speech rate of 250 words per minute. At the 3 minute mark, even a novice speaker could keep going at the rate they started – with some practice.

How many words is A1 German? ›

The official German A1 vocabulary includes, according to the German Goethe Institut, 650 words – that's the bad news. Wow, that's a lot, you may think. The good news is: You're already on the way, and we're am here to help you.

What is the cutest German word? ›

Here are some of our favourites, to be used the whole year-round, not just for Valentine's Day.
  • Schatz (treasure) Let's start with an old classic. ...
  • Maus (mouse) ...
  • Bӓrchen (little bear) ...
  • Knuddelbӓr (cuddle bear) ...
  • Schnecke (snail) ...
  • Perle (pearl) ...
  • Hase (bunny) ...
  • Schnucki (darling / sweetie pie)
Feb 14, 2022

What are some funny German names? ›

Funny German names

Bierhals (meaning beer-neck), Trinkenschuh (drink-shoe), Eierkuchen (egg cake) and Kitzler (tickler) are some of the funniest German names that have appeared on birth certificates.

How do Germans express pain? ›

In German, there are several ways to express pain: the already mentioned "aua" (ow-ah), which is used mostly in children's language (perhaps for the corresponding consolation word "eia" (i-ah)); well, yes, "autsch" (ouch), also used for the expression of disapprovement; and, perhaps most commonly used, the simple "au" ...

What was Germany's motto? ›

Germany: No official motto, de facto: Unity and justice and freedom (German: Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit).

What do Germans say before they drink? ›

Prost! Translation: Cheers! Toss on an “Ein Toast!” at the end to encourage a celebratory “bottoms up!” before drinking your Märzen with friends. Fun fact: if you find yourself in Switzerland with a beer in hand, you can substitute “Broscht!” for “Prost!” This is the Swiss-German way to say “Cheers!”

What do Germans say before a toast? ›

Prost, it rhymes with toast! Prost us a quick and easy way to toast your drinks, while still adding a bit of German flair to the occasion. You can also say, “ein Prost!” which means, “a toast!”

What do Germans call their girlfriend? ›

Practice and memorize these ten terms of endearment, study up on your romantic German phrases and learn a romantic song in German. You'll be wooing your new Freund (boyfriend) or Freundin (girlfriend) in no time at all.

How do you say silly girl in German? ›

silly little girl {noun}

Dummerchen {n} [coll.]

How do you say cute girl in German? ›

What is the translation of "cute girl" in German?
  1. volume_up. niedliches Mädchen.
  2. volume_up. süße Mädchen.

What is the 189 000 letter word? ›

1. methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylalanyl…isoleucine. You'll notice there's an ellipsis here, and that's because this word, in total, is 189,819 letters long, and it's the chemical name for the largest known protein, titin.

Which is the shortest word? ›

The indefinite article a is only capitalized when it begins a sentence, but the pronoun I is always capitalized. Another single-letter word that is always capitalized is O. It's not common in everyday writing, but it appears as an interjection in poetry.

Which state speaks the most German? ›

Over 50 million Americans claim German ancestry, which makes them the largest single claimed ancestry group in the United States.
German speakers in the United States by states in 2000.
StateGerman speakers
New York92,709
4 more rows

What does it mean when Germans fold their thumb in and close their fingers on it? ›

Saying Ich drücke dir die Daumen (my thumbs are pressed for you) expresses wishes of good luck. If someone says this, it is often accompanied by wrapping all the fingers around the thumb in a gesture that looks like the speaker is giving a “thumbs up” - only the thumb stays in the fist.

What language is closest to Low German? ›

Low German is most closely related to Frisian and English, with which it forms the North Sea Germanic group of the West Germanic languages.

Which word has 189 819 letters? ›

1. Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylarginyl… isoleucine (189, 819 letters)

What word has 52 letters? ›

Aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic. This is the longest word in English which is composed of seven words. This 52-letter word was coined by Dr. Edward Strother to describe the spa waters in Bath, England.

What is a 190000 letter word? ›

The longest English word is also the longest word in the world, with almost 190,000 letters. It is the chemical name for titin, the largest protein known. The longest word in the English dictionary however, is the 45-letter word "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis", which refers to a lung disease.

How can I memorize German words easily? ›

Hey German learner!
  1. Use repetition: reading, writing and speaking words over and over again.
  2. Associate words with drawings, pictures and funny scenes.
  3. Try to use the language routinely in the context of daily life.
  4. Reading as much as possible, especially the newspaper, helps you to remember words.
Apr 28, 2016

What are some German cuss words? ›

10 German Swear Words and Insults you Really Should Know
  • Quatsch! /ˈkvatʃ/ This curse word stems from the verb quatschen, which means “to chat.” ...
  • Donnerwetter! /ˌdɔnɐ'vɛtɐ/ ...
  • Depp! /dɛp/ ...
  • verdammt. /fɛɐ̯ˈdamt/ ...
  • Scheiße. /ˈʃaɪ̯sə/ ...
  • Halt deinen Mund! /halt 'daɪ̯nən mʊnt/ ...
  • der Mist. /deːr 'mɪst/ ...
  • Leck mich am Arsch! /lɛk mɪç am aʀʃ/

How many words should I know to be fluent in German? ›

In order to feel comfortable speaking German, you really only need to learn about 3,000 words. In contrast, being fluent in German is defined as understanding 10,000+ words.

How can I learn German words quickly? ›

Top 10 Study Tips to Learn German Faster
  1. Know Your Goal - And Plan How to Get There. ...
  2. Study Daily. ...
  3. Prioritize Key Words. ...
  4. Start Talking from the Beginning. ...
  5. Study Vocabulary Daily. ...
  6. Use Free Apps and Tools. ...
  7. Develop Activities That Target Your Learning Styles and Schedules. ...
  8. Treat Mistakes Like Free Lessons.
Oct 2, 2020

What is the hardest language to memorize? ›

1. Mandarin Chinese. Interestingly, the hardest language to learn is also the most widely spoken native language in the world. Mandarin Chinese is challenging for a number of reasons.

What language is 17 a swear word? ›

There are several levels to cursing in Swedish, and the expressions seen as less naughty are those made up by numbers. In Sweden, bad words mostly have a religious origin and in the past it was common to amplify them with numbers, such as 'sjutton' (17), 'attans' (an old word for 18), and 'tusan' (meaning 1,000).

Is shut up a bad word? ›

Its use is generally considered rude and impolite, and may also be considered a form of profanity by some.

What is Frick in German? ›

Frick is a German shortening of the surname "Frederick". Notable people with the surname include: Albert Frick (theologian) (1714–1776), German theologian.

Is 7000 words enough to speak a language? ›

And since an average adult native speaker knows around 20-35 thousand words, you 20%-target would be to cover 4,000-7,000 words. And if we quickly refer back to the Rivenc's vocabulary sun we will see that core and frequent vocabulary altogether comprise exactly around 5,000-7,000 words.

How many German words exist? ›

The German language consists of about 5.3 million words – with a rising trend. About one third of those words was added in the last 100 years.

How many months does it take to be fluent in German? ›

The FSI estimates that German takes approximately 30 weeks, or 750 classroom hours to learn. This study was conducted on a group of language students who spent 25 hours per week in class, and three hours daily on individual practice.

Can I learn German in 15 days? ›

Yes, it is possible, that is if you have dedicated many hours of German language learning without distractions.

Can you learn German in 20 days? ›

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) estimates that learning German will take about 30 weeks, or 750 classroom hours, as it is rated as a category two language similar to English.

Can you become fluent in German in 3 months? ›

You need more than 3 months to be fluent. But even with such a short time, if you adjust your strategy, you can actually learn German and get really close to being fluent. And I don't mean being able to say, 'I'm doing fine' in German as fast as a native speaker or being able to combine words you learned on Duolingo.


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