45 Funny German Words And Phrases That You Should Know!

The German language is precise and complex. It has many words and expressions that can be funny for both native speakers and learners. German humour often uses puns, wordplay, and double meanings to make people laugh. This happens because German is very structured but also playful with words.

Some might think German humour is dry or missing, but that’s not true. This idea comes from Germans being direct and literal when they talk. There’s a lot of clever humour in how Germans use their language.

45 Weird And Funny German Words and Phrases

German has some quirky expressions that make you laugh or scratch your head. Take ‘Kummerspeck,’ for example. It means ‘grief bacon’ and refers to the extra weight you might gain from emotional eating.

Number German Word/Phrase English Translation Explanation
1 Kummerspeck Grief bacon Weight gained from emotional overeating
2 Verschlimmbessern To worsen by improving Making something worse while trying to improve it
3 Treppenwitz Staircase joke A witty remark that comes to mind too late
4 Innerer Schweinehund Inner pig-dog The voice of laziness or procrastination
5 Backpfeifengesicht Face that deserves a slap A face that begs to be slapped
6 Erklärungsnot Explanation poverty The state of being at a loss for an explanation
7 Luftschloss Air castle A pipe dream or unrealistic plan
8 Schnapsidee Schnapps idea A crazy idea likely conceived under the influence of alcohol
9 Torschlusspanik Gate-closing panic The fear of diminishing opportunities as one ages
10 Kuddelmuddel Jumble A chaotic mess
11 Zungenbrecher Tongue breaker A tongue twister
12 Fremdschämen External shame Feeling embarrassed on behalf of someone else
13 Weltschmerz World pain A feeling of melancholy and world-weariness
14 Schadenfreude Harm joy Taking pleasure in someone else’s misfortune
15 Doppelgänger Double walker A look-alike or double
16 Drachenfutter Dragon fodder A peace offering to one’s spouse
17 Kopfkino Head cinema The imagination running wild
18 Verschlimmbesserung Worsening improvement Making something worse by trying to improve it
19 Quatsch Nonsense Silly talk or nonsense
20 Flachwitz Flat joke A bad or cheesy joke
21 Feierabend Celebration evening The evening after a workday, time to relax
22 Kaffeeklatsch Coffee gossip Chatting over coffee
23 Sitzfleisch Sitting flesh The ability to sit through something long and tedious
24 Kuddelmuddel Hodgepodge A disordered mixture
25 Zappelphilipp Fidgety Philip A fidgety person
26 Fuchsteufelswild Fox devil wild Hopping mad
27 Wanderlust Hiking desire The desire to travel
28 Handschuhschneeballwerfer Glove snowball thrower Cowardly person who criticizes anonymously
29 Honigkuchenpferd Honey cake horse Someone with a wide, happy grin
30 Warmduscher Warm showerer Someone who is overly cautious or a wimp
31 Schattenparker Shade parker Someone who always plays it safe
32 Staubsaugervertreter Vacuum cleaner salesman Someone who talks too much
33 Luftikus Airy boy Someone who is not very serious
34 Dackelblick Dachshund look Puppy dog eyes
35 Dreikäsehoch Three cheese high A small child
36 Blümchenkaffee Flower coffee Very weak coffee
37 Zuckerpuppe Sugar doll Sweetheart or darling
38 Spaßvogel Fun bird A joker or prankster
39 Pantoffelheld Slipper hero A man who is bossed around by his wife
40 Erbsenzähler Pea counter Nitpicker or pedant
41 Brillenschlange Glasses snake Someone who wears glasses
42 Naschkatze Nibble cat Someone with a sweet tooth
43 Pustekuchen Blow cake No way! (expression of disbelief)
44 Schnürsenkel Lace band Shoelace
45 Wichtigtuer Big deal doer Someone who thinks they are very important (show-off)


In short, learning these 45 funny German words and phrases not only helps us understand the German language better but also gives us a peek into how Germans use humour to capture complicated feelings and situations sharply and cleverly. By learning these words and phrases, we can connect more deeply with German culture and appreciate its unique use of humour in language.

About the author
Katrin Steck
Katrin Steck, a native German speaker, is a full-time content writer at the Translation Blog. A graduate of the University of Montana, Katrin brings a blend of international academic experience and linguistic expertise to the team. She manages all the German content on the blog, ensuring accuracy and cultural relevance in every piece she writes. Her dedication and proficiency make her an integral part of our team.

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