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The 21 Funniest German Expressions

by Tabitha Buchner Jun 15, 2017

1. Germans don’t “put one over on someone.” They “tie a bear on someone.” (Jemandem einen Bären aufbinden).

2. Germans don’t advise their friends to “not get carried away. They tell them to “leave the church in the village.” (Die Kirche im Dorf lassen).

3. In German, you’re not just “lucky.” You “have a pig.” (Schwein haben).

4. Germans don’t say “in the middle of nowhere.” They say “at the ass of the world.” (Am Arsch der Welt).

5. Germans don’t “fail really badly.” They “go down with drums and trumpets.” (Mit Pauken und Trompeten untergehen).

6. Germans don’t conquer their “weaker self.” They beat their “inner pig dog” (Innerer Schweinehund).

7. When a German “panics at the last minute,” they have “closing gate panic” (Torschlusspanik haben).

8. Germans won’t tell you they don’t care. “They will let you know that “it’s sausage to them” (Das ist mir Wurst).

9. Germans don’t think “You’re crazy.” They say, “You have a bird” (Du hast einen Vogel).

10. Germans don’t “act like a drama queen.” They “act like an offended sausage”, instead (Die beleidigte Leberwurst spielen).

11. Germans don’t say something is “a stone’s throw away.” They consider it to be “a cat’s jump” (Ein Katzensprung).

12. Germans don’t “act like a fool.” They “make an ape of themselves” (Sich zum Affen machen).

13. Germans don’t say that they “don’t understand something.” They will tell you, “I only understand train station” (Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof).

14. Germans won’t tell you they’ve “had enough.” They will say they “have a full nose” (Ich habe die Nase voll).

15. When Germans “don’t believe a word you’re saying,” they will tell you, “You can tell that to your grandma” (Das kannst du deiner Oma erzählen).

16. Germans don’t say “Screw you.” They say, “You can slide down my humpback” (Du kannst mir den Buckel runterrutschen).

17. If Germans want to “add their two cents,” they “add their mustard” (Seinen Senf dazugeben).

18. Germans don’t “request special treatment.” They “want to have an extra sausage” (Eine Extrawurst haben wollen).

19. Germans won’t say “No pain, no gain.” They will tell you that, “Only the tough ones get to go to the garden” (Nur die Harten kommen in den Garten).

20. When Germans are in an absurd situation and they “can’t believe what is happening,” they say, “I think my pig is whistling!” (Ich glaub’ mein Schwein pfeift!); or,”I think I’m being kicked by a horse” (Ich glaub’ mich tritt ein Pferd!); or, “I think I’m being kissed by a moose” (Ich glaub’ mich küsst ein Elch!).

21. Germans don’t tell you “You’re being annoying.” They say that, “You are stepping on my alarm clock” (Du gehst mir auf den Wecker).

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