30+ Funny German Words You Didn't Know (but now you will!) (2023)


Words That Sound Dirty in German, b...

Words That Sound Dirty in German, but Aren't

Funny German words? Germans can actually be funny? Are you sure?

Germans are usually seen as very strict and sincere people. But that’s wrong! It probably is a misinterpretation of some other qualities attributed to Germans, such as discipline, punctuality and an obsession with details.

Some of these might be true, but being on time doesn’t mean you can’t have a laugh. (In fact, in comedy the timing of jokes is crucial!) Germany has a big comedy scene and a long tradition of political cabaret. And there’s many popular fairs like the Karneval in the Rhine area or the Octoberfest in Bavaria, where people really let their hair down.
(And sometimes, given enough alcohol, their lederhosen as well…)

But no matter how you perceive the German people, this article isn’t really about their talent for comedy and laughter. Instead it’s about the German language and some of the funniest German words we could think of. Any language contains words which are weird, cumbersome or are pronounced in a way that’s odd. So let’s get started and take a closer look at our list of funny words in German!

Table of Contents

  • Silly German Names to call People
    • 1. Gurkentruppe
    • 2. Lulatsch
    • 3. Miesepeter
    • 4. Quatschkopf
    • 5. Rampensau
    • 6. Schnarchnase
    • 7. Trantüte
    • 8. Weichei
  • Funny German Words about the Body
    • 1. Hüftgold
    • 2. Kummerspeck
    • 3. Sitzfleisch
    • 4. Splitterfasernackt
    • 5. Wonneproppen
  • Funny German Names for Animals
    • 1. Innerer Schweinehund
    • 2. Nilpferd
    • 3. Schildkröte
    • 4. Stubentiger
  • Weird German Words about Things
    • 1. Absacker
    • 2. Betthupferl
    • 3. Drahtesel
    • 4. Ohrfeige
    • 5. Ohrwurm
    • 6. Schirmherr
    • 7. Tohuwabohu
    • 8. Wackeldackel
    • 9. Zungenbrecher
  • Funny German Words for doing Something
    • 1. Rumeiern
    • 2. Verklickern
    • 3. Verschlimmbessern
    • 4. Torschlusspanik haben
30+ Funny German Words You Didn't Know (but now you will!) (1)

Silly German Names to call People

1. Gurkentruppe

Any idea what Germans mean when they talk about a “cucumber squad?” Cucumbers are the only vegetable that is eaten while still unripe. So a Gurkentruppe consists of members lacking any experience. Basically it’s a team of muppets or a bunch of losers, so it’s a term often used for sports teams who didn’t perform as expected.

2. Lulatsch

A Lulatsch means a very long and rather thin person, i.e. someone who’s described in English as a beanpole. Sometimes even exaggerated in the form of langer Lulatsch. (Lang meaning long, of course.)

3. Miesepeter

What exactly is a “wretched Peter“? You know this one colleague, who predicts a negative outcome for every idea or plan you come up with? Yes, that’s a Miesepeter! It’s a person who’s moody and likes to paint everything in black.

(Video) Best TV News Bloopers Of All Time

4. Quatschkopf

The balderdash head loves to talk nonsense. He’s full of weird ideas and – unfortunately – doesn’t hold back with telling you about them.

5. Rampensau

You may have a colleague who is a Rampensau. Many of us are quite the opposite. But what do Germans mean, when they call someone a “stage hog?”
They mean someone who thrives in the limelight. Someone who can get on stage and perform instantly. So most actors and singers fall into this category.

6. Schnarchnase

A “snoring nose” is anyone whose performance is far below average. As such he is closely related to the “Trantüte.” (see next entry)

7. Trantüte

The “bag of whale oil” is a dull-witted guy, who tends to think and move slowly and sluggish.

8. Weichei

The literal english translation is “soft egg” and it’s a term used to describe a wimp or sissy.

Looking for more colorful descriptions of weird people in the German language? Take a look at our list of funny german insults.

Funny German Words about the Body

1. Hüftgold

Hip gold is a rather nice description for the excess fat you’re carrying around your waistline and your hips. Sometimes the word is also used to describe the food which might lead to these extra pounds, like chocolate or cake.

2. Kummerspeck

Another term for overweight, but this time with a justification included. Clever Germans! Many people tend to eat when they feel lonely or depressed. The literal translation of “Kummerspeck” is “misery bacon” and and this German word describes the surplus weight gained by eating too much comfort food.

3. Sitzfleisch

Now, what on earth does a native speaker mean, when he’s speaking of “seat meat“? Now, when a Germans says, some has “seat meat” (or better “sitting meat“) he means, someone who is able to sit on his spot for a long time. That could mean guests you’d rather see leaving or in a business context, someone who doesn’t move from his position.

(Video) Morning show hosts lose it when weatherman talks ‘swinging’ live on-air

4. Splitterfasernackt

Nackt” means naked, so what does “splinter fibre naked” mean? It’s actually a combination of two older expressions with the same meaning, “splitternackt” and “fasernackt“.
Splinter naked” means naked like a piece of wood without it’s bark. And “fibre naked” means not wearing any clothes, of course. These two words were combined to describe someone stripped bare naked. Another funny thing about this expression is that you can hear it frequently, whereas the original two words are almost extinct.

5. Wonneproppen

Ok, you might get the impression I’m obsessed with obesity, but this is another funny German word about body fat. A “Wonneproppen” (or “pleasure plug“) describes a chubby person. Usually it’s either a small child which didn’t lose it’s baby fat yet. Or it might refer to a woman whose rounder parts are seen as rather attractive and cuddly.

Funny German Names for Animals

1. Innerer Schweinehund

OK, this interesting creature isn’t even a real animal. Your “inner pig dog” is the little monster inside you which stops you from hoovering, ironing your shirts or clearing out the garage. All these little tasks everyone has to do and no one really enjoys. And before you do them, you have to overcome your inner pig dog which wants you to stay on your couch and read funny blog posts instead.

2. Nilpferd

Ok, it does have four legs. And a head. And a bit of a tail. But whoever came up with the idea to call a “hippo” a nile horse, must have been short-sighted. Or a bit tipsy.

3. Schildkröte

Now, what kind of animal might a German mean when he talks about a “shield toad?” It’s a turtle! I get the shield bit, but toad?

4. Stubentiger

The official German word for cat is “Katze.” But another way to describe these friendly felines in German is “room tiger.” So, basically a tiger small enough to keep in your house.

Weird German Words about Things

1. Absacker

You’ve been out and about with your friends. You all had a good time, but now it’s time to go home or to your hotel and get some sleep. But on the way you spot this cosy looking little bar! And you persuade your friends to have one last drink…
This famous last drink is what Germans call an Absacker. In English, a “nightcap“.

2. Betthupferl

Originally Betthupferl meant a flea, something unexpected hopping around in your bed. Luckily, fleas are very rare in German beds nowadays, so the word got a new meaning. It describes the little chocolate or other sweets better hotels might put on your pillow. When you’re at home and not in a hotel, it means basically the same thing. A little snack or sweet you might indulge in before brushing your teeth and going to sleep.

3. Drahtesel

Did you go to work on a “wire donkey” today? That’s an informal expression for a bicycle, officially known as “Fahrrad“(Drive Wheel).

(Video) Best News Bloopers 2022

4. Ohrfeige

Do you like figs? They are sweet fruits and can be eaten fresh or dried.
But when a German offers you an “ear fig”, you should stay clear. The “Ohrfeige” is a slap in the face. The ear part of the word is obvious, but the linguists are still undecided whether “fig” stems from a swollen cheek (round like a fig) or from dutch “veeg” for a punch or slap.

5. Ohrwurm

Now, an “ear worm” sounds awful, don’t you think? Well, kind of…
You know that song you heard in the radio in the morning or the tune a colleague whistled in the office? And you can’t get that song out of your head, even if you find it really annoying? Now, that’s a piece of music Germans call an “ear worm”!

6. Schirmherr

The literal translation of “Schirmherr” is “Umbrella Gentleman.” But what does this gentleman do? Standing in front of a hotel, making sure guests stay dry when entering a taxi? Not quite. In the Medieval Period a Schirmherr meant a noble man shielding and protecting e.g. a monastery or other institution which was otherwise unarmed.
Nowadays Schirmherr means a patron, someone supporting a good cause, social institution or an event like an exhibition with his good name. Patrons are usually not paid for their involvement.

7. Tohuwabohu

You think I’m making these words up? Oh no, my dear! Just look it up in the Duden, the most popular German dictionary: Tohuwabohu.
Tohuwabohu means a mess or chaos. “Im Kinderzimmer herrscht ein einziges Tohuwabohu!” (There’s a total mess in the kid’s room!)
The word’s origin is in Biblical Hebrew (tohû wạ vohû), where it describes the desert and empty state of the world at the beginning of creation (Genesis).
But in German it usually doesn’t mean something being void, but too many objects in a small space instead. Much like my garden shed actually…

30+ Funny German Words You Didn't Know (but now you will!) (2)

8. Wackeldackel

Wow, that’s hardcore German, so to speak. You probably know the nodding Elvis dolls or the Hawaiian dancing dolls some people like to put on the dashboard in their car? Well, the “Wackeldackel” is the German version. In the 1960s and 1970s, Dackel (dachshunds or sausage dogs) were extremely popular in Germany. And many proud dog owners (or wannabes) also bought a plastic dog with a nodding head and put it in their car.
So, a Wackeldackel is a “waggle teckel“.

9. Zungenbrecher

The “tongue breaker” is a tongue twister or crackjaw. Something like “Brautkleid bleibt Brautkleid und Blaukraut bleibt Blaukraut” or “Max macht Wachsmaskenwachs, Wachsmaskenwachs macht Max.”

Funny German Words for doing Something

1. Rumeiern

To “egg around” means you’re moving around without any clear sense of direction. This might be on a road or more figuratively speaking, like when holding a speech.

2. Verklickern

Da hat es bei mir bei Klick gemacht.” That’s one of the expressions Germans use, when they suddenly understand something they couldn’t grasp before. Literally, it clicked for them.
So, one of the verbs meaning to explain something to someone else is “zu verklickern.”

(Video) 30+ Stunning Dazzling Miracles of The Holy Quran | Kinetic Typography

3. Verschlimmbessern

The verb “verbessern” means to improve. Whereas “verschlimmern” is the opposite, to make things worse. But what do Germans mean, when they combine the two verbs in the word “verschlimmbessern?” It means you try to enhance a situation, but achieve quite the opposite. Think of trying to put out a fire by pouring a liquid over it. Only to realize you’ve been pouring petrol into the flames…

4. Torschlusspanik haben

What kind of disorder is “closing gate panic,” you might wonder? Well, that’s the unflattering term Germans use to describe women who, after a certain age, are afraid of ending up alone and childless. That’s why they then marry the next best man. At least according to this cliché.

Ok, this concludes our list of fun German words for today. Did we miss any of your favorite funny German words? Let us know and we’ll gladly add them to our collection!


What is a funny German word long? ›

1. Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung (36) Officially recognised by the Duden - Germany's pre-eminent dictionary - as the longest word in German, Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung is a 36-letter, tongue-tying way of describing a rather, mundane everyday concept: motor vehicle liability insurance.

What is the coolest German word? ›

Each of these words not only will help you expand your vocabulary, but will deepen your knowledge of this new world.
  • Torschlusspanik. ...
  • Fernweh. ...
  • Zweisamkeit. ...
  • Backpfeifengesicht. ...
  • Feierabend. ...
  • Reisefieber. ...
  • Vorfreude. ...
  • Waldeinsamkeit.
Feb 9, 2021

What is the hardest German word to say? ›

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 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 German word for Shrek? ›

The name "Shrek" is derived from the German word Schreck, meaning "fright" or "terror".

What is the funny looking B in German? ›

In German, the letter ß is known as the eszett or scharfes (sharp) S. It's a special character, similar to the German umlaut you're probably used to seeing by now. But unlike those two dots above a, o or u, the eszett is written as a capital B-shaped character with a tail: ß.

What is F called in German? ›

der Freund

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 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/

What is the most aggressive German word? ›

15 Heated German Words and Phrases to Use When You're Mad
  1. Quatsch! Pronounced like “Kvatch,” this is one of the more commonly used terms when showing your angry side. ...
  2. Schleich dich! ...
  3. Hau ab! ...
  4. Ich bin sauer. ...
  5. Ich bin wütend. ...
  6. Halt deinen Mund. ...
  7. Geh mir aus den Augen! ...
  8. Leck mich!
Apr 26, 2022

What is the long German word for Jeep? ›

Kübelwagen is a German word, contracted from Kübelsitzwagen (literally: 'bucket-seat car') – originally military slang for doorless cross-country and field-cars, fitted with bucket seats, to prevent riders from falling out of the vehicle – became a household word similar in meaning to the english "jeep".

What is the 1 longest word in the world? ›


It's a technical word referring to the lung disease more commonly known as silicosis. Despite being in the dictionary, the word was originally made up by the president of the National Puzzlers' League.

What does putzy mean in German? ›

Putzi. (das) baby [österr.] (das) baby [österr.], a dog name.

What is Binky German? ›

Schnuller {m} binky (also: comforter, dummy, silencer, pacifier, baby-soother)

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 is sneaky in German? ›

sneaky {adjective}

gewieft {adj.}

What do you call ß? ›

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”.

What is the Ü symbol called? ›

U-umlaut. A glyph, U with umlaut, appears in the German alphabet. It represents the umlauted form of u, which results in [yː] when long and [ʏ] when short. The letter is collated together with U, or as UE.

What is the two dots above a letter called? ›

If you've ever wondered what those two dots above an “ä” are about, they're generally called umlauts. Particularly common in German, they're used to modify the suggested pronunciation of the letter a.

How do Germans call their lover? ›

Liebling (darling)

"Liebling" is about as close as German comes to the English "darling." While the expression contains the word for love - "Liebe" - it's also borrowed for other purposes. Liebling can be used as a prefix meaning "favorite." Your "Lieblingsbuch," for example, is your favorite book.

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.

How do you say smart girl in German? ›

What is the translation of "smart girl" in German?
  1. volume_up. intelligentes Mädchen.
  2. volume_up. smart Mädchen.

What is an O with two dots above it? ›

Ö, or ö, is a character that represents either a letter from several extended Latin alphabets, or the letter "o" modified with an umlaut or diaeresis. In many languages, the letter "ö", or the "o" modified with an umlaut, is used to denote the close- or open-mid front rounded vowels [ø] ( listen) or [œ] ( listen).

What are the 4 extra letters in German? ›

German has four special letters; three are vowels accented with an umlaut sign (⟨ä, ö, ü⟩) and one is derived from a ligature of ⟨ſ⟩ (long s) and ⟨z⟩ (⟨ß⟩; called Eszett "ess-zed/zee" or scharfes S "sharp s"), all of which are officially considered distinct letters of the alphabet, and have their own names separate ...

What does ß mean in German? ›

In German orthography, the letter ẞ, called Eszett (IPA: [ɛsˈtsɛt]) and scharfes S (IPA: [ˌʃaʁfəs ˈʔɛs], "sharp S"), represents the /s/ phoneme in Standard German when following long vowels and diphthongs. The letter-name Eszett combines the names of the letters of ⟨s⟩ (Es) and ⟨z⟩ (Zett) in German.

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.]

What is German slang for dude? ›

Digga is simply word you use when addressing a friend, like “mate”, “dude” or “bro”.

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 shut up a bad word? ›

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

When was the F word first used? ›

The F-word was recorded in a dictionary in 1598 (John Florio's A Worlde of Wordes, London: Arnold Hatfield for Edw. Blount). It is remotely derived from the Latin futuere and Old German ficken/fucken meaning 'to strike or penetrate', which had the slang meaning to copulate.

How do you express disgust in German? ›

Germans have a lot of simple ways to express disgust. You can say Pfui or Bäh, or at least Igitt (pronounced “ill-get”) or Ihn. The English equivalents to these are 'pshaw', “yuck”, “eww” or “ugh”.

Is there a German word for sorry? ›

A simple sorry is enough to acknowledge the mistake. In German, you can say “Entschuldigung” or use the more informal abbreviation “'Tschuldigung”. The English word “Sorry” works, too. You'll hear it a lot, especially among younger people.

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.

Is German easy than Spanish? ›

Overall, Spanish might be easier than German at the beginning stages, but the two tend to even out in difficulty once learners get to the more advanced stages. German has more complicated grammar rules that need to be mastered early on, but once learners get familiar with them, they find that they're pretty consistent.

What do Germans call a bus? ›

Reisebus, der ~ Noun. Bus, der ~ Noun. Autobus, der ~ Noun.

How do you say 4x4 in German? ›

Vierradantrieb {m} <4WD, 4×4> automot. tech.

What do Germans call themselves? ›

Germans call themselves Deutsche (living in Deutschland). Deutsch is an adjective (Proto-Germanic *theudisk-) derived from Old High German thiota, diota (Proto-Germanic *theudō) meaning "people", "nation", "folk".

What word has 52 letters? ›

In the 17th century, Dr. Edward Strother coined the 52-letter word aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic. The word is used to describe the spa waters in Bath, England.

What is the 3 hour word? ›

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 a 7 letter word without vowels? ›

Not including plurals, there is only one seven-letter word which has none of the five vowels. That word is nymphly, which is a rare variation of 'nymphlike'.

What is dingleberry in German? ›

Klabusterbeere f (genitive Klabusterbeere, plural Klabusterbeeren, diminutive Klabusterbeerchen n ) (slang) dingleberry (US English) / clingon (British English) (dried fecal matter adhering to anal hair)

What does Schnuckiputzi mean? ›

(mein) Schnuckiputzi / Schnucki. (my) sweetie pie, darling.

What do Germans call oranges? ›

the german word for orange is Apfelsine. Orange and Apfelsine are interchangeable . The word Apfelsine means Apfel from sine (china) in dutsch it is sinaasappel.

What is the longest German word 63 letters? ›

The 63-letter word – “RkReÜAÜG” for short – had a surprisingly brief, 14-year life for such a mouthful. The word was originally coined in 1999 to describe a state labelling law meant to safeguard against mad cow disease, according to the Associated Press.

What word is longer than Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis? ›

Longest word in English
4 more rows

Why some German words are long? ›

German is definitely known for its ϋber-long words. Many words in the German language are formed by combining two or more words, known in English as compound nouns. The meanings of the individual words have a direct bearing on what the compound noun means. The German language is, thus, very descriptive.

What is the longest 45 letter word? ›

The longest word entered in most standard English dictionaries is Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis with 45 letters. Our definition is "a lung disease caused by inhalation of very fine silicate or quartz dust." The entry for this word can be found in our Medical Dictionary.

What word is 36 letters long? ›

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia. This is a 36-letter word which is considered one of the longest words. Ironically, it refers to the fear of long words.

What word is 189 819 letters long? ›

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.

What is the longest F word? ›

floccinaucinihilipilification (29).

What is the longest German word 100 letters? ›

So the longest word to be found in the German dictionary is Kraftfahrzeughaftpflichtversicherung – "motor vehicle indemnity insurance". As Mark Twain said "a word so long it has a perspective".

What is the German word large? ›

1. (= big) groß ; person stark , korpulent ; meal reichlich , groß ; list lang.

What is the old German word for tank? ›

The dated German term is Panzerkampfwagen, "tank" or "armoured combat vehicle". The modern commonly used synonym is Kampfpanzer, or "battle panzer". The first German tank, the A7V of 1918, was referred to as a Sturmpanzerwagen (roughly, "armoured assault vehicle").


1. Hidden Purposes of 45 Everyday Things
2. 'Project Doorway' - The Most Comprehensive Breakdown of the UFO Phenomena Ever Compiled
4. I Stayed At Every Hotel On The Vegas Strip
(Safiya Nygaard)
5. Freckle-faced killer Eric Smith freed after 28 years behind bars | 48 Hours
(CBS News)
6. The One and Only WD40 Trick Everyone Should Know and 25 Other Uses
(Facts Verse)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Aron Pacocha

Last Updated: 02/04/2023

Views: 5321

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (48 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Aron Pacocha

Birthday: 1999-08-12

Address: 3808 Moen Corner, Gorczanyport, FL 67364-2074

Phone: +393457723392

Job: Retail Consultant

Hobby: Jewelry making, Cooking, Gaming, Reading, Juggling, Cabaret, Origami

Introduction: My name is Aron Pacocha, I am a happy, tasty, innocent, proud, talented, courageous, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.