The Intrepid Guide contains affiliate links. At no cost to you, I will earn a commission which helps reduce the ever-increasing costs of keeping this site active. Thank you for your support.
Can you get through this amusing list of German Phrases translated into English without laughing your ass off?
Germans aren’t known for their humour. When it comes to German grammar, you can’t help but laugh at its complex rules and figuring out which article to use for each case. It’s so confusing that there’s noother way to express your frustration but laugh. These German phrases will have you laughing for less stressful reasons.
German idioms are a constant source of hilarity, especially when directly translated into English.So, in honour of native speakers and German language students, I thought I’d share this extensive list of common German phrases that most native speakers use regularly but probably didn’t even realise were all that funny…until now.
When you first start out speaking a foreign language, you’ll have quite a few near misses. Sometimes you’ll translate things literally, or simply forget to apply a grammar rule. This happens with the German language and all many other languages. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or in need of a refresher, check out these popular German coursesby German teacher Kerstin Cable from Fluent Languages.
Now, let’s take a look at some funny German phrases.
|Now it goes around the sausage||Jetzt geht’s um die Wurst||All or nothing|
|There you are on the woodway||Du bist auf dem Holzweg||You are completely wrong|
|My hair stands up to the mountain||Mir stehen die Haare zu Berge||I’ve got goosebumps|
|I understand only train station||Ich versteh nur Bahnhof||I have no idea what you are saying|
|Sorry but my English is under all pig||Tut mir leid, aber mein Englisch ist under aller Sau||Sorry, but my English is just the worst|
|I think I spider||Ich glaub, ich spinner||I believe I’m dreaming|
|The Devil I will do!||Den Teufel werd ich tun!||I will NOT do that!|
|Come on, jump over your shadow||Komm schon, spring über deinen Schatten||Get out of your comfort zone|
|You walk me animally on the cookie||Du gehts mir tierisch auf den Keks||You are getting on my nerves, Massively|
|Holla the wood fairy||Holla die Waidfee||Well, that’s unexpected|
|I see black for you||Ich seh schwarz für dich||I don’t see any good news coming your way|
|You are such a fear-rabbit||Du bist so ein Angsthase||You are so easily scared|
|You might tick incorrectly||Sie ticken doch ganz nicht richtig||You are stupid|
|You are missing cups in your cupboard||Du hast nicht mehr alle Tassen im Schrank||You’re crazy|
|You have a bird||Du hast doch einen Vogel||You are crazy|
|She had a circleruntogetherbreak||Sie hatten einen Kreislaufzusammenbruch||She fainted|
|I fall from all clouds||Ich falle aus allen Wolken||I have not expected this|
|No one can reach me the water||Niemand kann mir das Wasser reichen||Nobody is better than me|
|You are the yellow from the egg||Du bist das Gelbe vom Ei||You are all I’m looking for|
|It runs me ice cold down my back||Es laûft mir eiskalt den Rücken runter||My blood runs cold|
|I’m foxdevilswind||Ich bin fuchsteufelswild||I’m super mad|
|That makes me nobody so quickly after||Das macht mir so schnell keiner nach||No one will copy that so easily|
|Now we have the salad||Nun haben wir den Salat||Well, here we have what we deserve|
|I think my pig whistles||Ich glaud mein Schwein pfeift||I believe I’m dreaming|
|You can slide my back down||Du kannst Mir den Buckel runter rutschen||Leave me alone / get out of here|
|My dear Mr Singing Club||Mein lieber Herr Gesangsverein||Impressive|
|That goes off like Schmitz’ cat||Das geht ab wie Schmitz Katze||That escalated quickly|
|I laugh me broken||Ich lach mich kaputt||You got to be kidding me|
|You will come in devil’s kitchen||Du kommst in Teufelsküche||You’re in deep trouble|
|The motive holies the means||Das Motiv heiligt die Mittel||Anything’s a dildo if you’re brave enough|
|I make me out of the dust||Ich mach mich aus dem Staub||I’m leaving|
|You have a crack in your dish||Du hast nen Sprung in der Schüssel||You’re crazy|
|Now we sit here in the ink||Nun sitzen wir hier in der Tinte||We’re in trouble|
|Now the oven is out||Nun ist der Ofen aus||Game over. Nothing else to expect|
|I have now really my nose full||Ich hab jetzt echt de Nase voll||Enough of that bullshit|
|You luck mushroom||Du Glüchspilz||You lucky man|
|I get the crisis||Ich krieg die Krise||I’m going mad|
|You’re a pea counter||Du bist ein Erbsenzähler||You are very nit picky|
|Dead said live longer||Totgesagte leben länger||Don’t write it off too early|
|I stand on the tube||Ich steh auf dem Schlauch||I have no idea what is going on|
|Everything for the cat||Alles für die Katz’||All for nothing|
|A stone falls from my heart||Mir fällt ein Stein vom Herzen||I’m relieved|
|Now it punches Thirteen||Nun schlägt’s aber dreizehn||That’s enough|
|That fits on no cowskin||Das passt auf keine Kuhhaut||Your lies are unbelieveable|
|You can take poison on that||Darauf kannst du Gift nehmen||You can bet on it|
|You helped me no meter further||Du hast mir keinen Meter weitergeholfen||Your advice was a waste of time|
|There you are looking stupid out of the laundry||Da guckst du dumm aus der Wäsche||You didn’t expect that, no?|
|There the dog goes crazy in the pan||Da wird er Hund ind er Pfanne verrückt||That’s unbelievable|
|Put a tooth on it||Leg einen Zahn drauf||Be quicker|
|Lid down, monkey dead||Klapp zu, Affe tot||That’s it|
Traveling to Germany? Get my free Germantravel phrase guide here.
Want more hilarious German expressions? Watch this!
German Idioms Infographic
Like it? Pin it for later!
Push past the plateau with Weekly German Workouts by Dr Popkins
Learning German? If you’re at a solid upper beginner, starting intermediate level with your German, or an intermediate student looking to consolidate), this is your chance to speak more confident German in a matter of weeks. Weekly German Workouts is created by exceptional polyglot, Dr. Gareth Popkins from How to Get Fluent, he’s also a great friend of mine. Dr Popkins is one of the most passionate language learners I’ve ever met. He brings so much personal experience to his courses which is hard to find. Don’t miss this offer!
This course is for you if:
- you’re an “upper beginner” or “lower intermediate” German learner (level A2 to B1);
- you have trouble understanding everyday spoken German and want to hone your listening skills with native conversational audio;
- you need to expand your command of common words and phrases;
- you want clear explanations of new grammar patterns and a chance to practise them.
Learning German? Then you’ll love these…
- 50 Amusing German Phrases that will Brighten Your Day
- 27 Hilarious Everyday German Idioms and Expressions
- Help a friend kick start their German with this free German Travel Phrase Guide
- Essential Swiss-German Travel Phrase Guide
- Is German Hard To Learn? PLUS 7 Common German Mistakes to Avoid
Want to know more about learning languages? Start here!
- 16 BEST Language Learning Resources You Should Use
- How to Learn Your First Foreign Language in 8 Simple Steps: A Beginner’s Guide
- 23 Cool Gift for Language Learners They Will Actually Use and Love
- 11 Life-Changing Reasons Why You Should Learn a Language
- 42 beautiful Inspirational Quotes for Language Learners
- Language learning tips: 11 Polyglots Reveal The Secrets of Their Success
- Top 10 Best Ways to Learn a Language Better and Faster
Going to Germany?
- Berlin 3-Day Itinerary: 19 Absolute Best Things to do in Berlin
Over to you!
Which one of these hilarious German expressions is your favourite? Do you know any other German idioms?
Let me know using thecomments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.
Like what you see? Subscribe using the form below to have all of my posts delivered directly to your email.
Michele creates language learning guides and courses for travel. What separates her from other instructors is her ability to explain complex grammar in a no-nonsense, straightforward manner using her unique 80/20 method. Get her free guide Planning a trip? Learn the local language with her 80/20 method for less than the cost of eating at a tourist trap restaurant Start learning today!
previous postSurvival Afrikaans Travel Phrase Guide with Pronunciation
next post20 Beautiful African Words in ‘The Lion King’ That’ll Make You Smile
BurghardtFebruary 20, 2018 - 16:26
I have another one:
I believe me kicks a horse
MicheleFebruary 21, 2018 - 11:30
hahah Great! Do you have the German translation?
ElisaFebruary 22, 2018 - 19:13
Ich glaub mich tritt ein Pferd , I believe I am kicked by a horse, I can believe that
JaneAugust 13, 2017 - 11:59
Isn’t Das Motiv heiligt die Mittel- the end justifies the means? Or is that what the phrase used means figuratively too?
MicheleAugust 25, 2017 - 11:42
Hi Jane, that’s another translation for it. A much less vulgar one :)
OliverJune 25, 2017 - 14:05
This is fun in germany as well ;-) we call it :english for runaways
milanka poljakFebruary 24, 2017 - 14:21
MicheleFebruary 24, 2017 - 22:22
You’re very welcome :) Hope you enjoyed them!
Leave a Comment
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
- “Das ist mir Wurst” The literal translation is: “This is sausage to me” ...
- “Nur Bahnhof verstehen” ...
- “Jemandem die Daumen drücken” ...
- “Ich glaub mein Schwein pfeift” ...
- “Ich glaub' ich spinne” ...
- “Fix und fertig sein” ...
- “Bock haben” ...
- “Jemandem auf den Keks gehen”
Ich bin begeistert! I'm excited! Ich bin erleichtert.What is the German idiom for going crazy? ›
Ich glaube ich spinne
When you feel you're going crazy, in German you literally say 'I believe I spider'.
1. “Leben ist kein Ponyhof” Literal translation: Life is no pony farm. Meaning: Life can be challenging. Honestly, this sums up so much of what makes life a challenge: Not enough cute animals.What is amazing German slang? ›
#8 Hammer. In English, we often say something is “amazing” or “awesome.” The German equivalent is Hammer, which is also a tool when used as a noun. The expression Hammer geil can be used to say how outstanding something is. Example: Der Film war der Hammer.What is the most common German phrase? ›
- Hallo (Hello)
- Tschüss (Bye)
- Bitte (Please)
- Danke (Thanks)
- Entschuldigung (Excuse me)
- Sorry (Sorry)
- Formal: Können Sie mir helfen?; informal: Kannst du mir helfen? (Can you help me?)
- Formal: Sprechen Sie English?; informal: In Sprichst du Englisch? (Do you speak English?)
|Du siehst gut aus.||You look nice.|
|Ich finde dich hübsch.||I think you're pretty.|
|Das sieht schön aus.||That looks beautiful.|
|Das ist wunderschön.||That is gorgeous.|
|Mir gefällt deine Jacke.||I like your jacket.|
3. Geil. Geil is a word used to describe anything you feel is cool, tasty or an interesting surprise.What do Germans say when they cheer? ›
Prost! = Cheers! If there is one German phrase you learn during your time at Oktoberfest, let it be this one! Prost is a cheer that works for any social drinking occasion, and is easy enough for Americans to pronounce.What do Germans say before drinking? ›
From the first drink to the fourth round, don't forget a quick “Prost!” or “Ein Prosit” before taking your first sip. Always make eye contact when toasting. Don't toast with water. It's considered bad luck in Germany.
Expressing Surprise in German. Usually we Germans exclaim “Oh, my Goodness” when we are surprised. In German this is Ach du meine Güte!What do Germans say when frustrated? ›
“Ach du lieber Himmel!” has a rough translation to “Good heavens!” for when you get frustrated with someone or you can't believe how dense someone is being.What does Kummerspeck mean in German? ›
The German expression Kummerspeck – meaning 'grief. bacon' – refers to the excess weight gained from. emotional over-eating.What does kein Bock haben mean? ›
What does it mean? “Bock zu haben” basically means to want to do something (although it literally means to have a male mammal). The equally popular phrase “kein Bock zu haben” means to not want to do something.What does du bist mein schatz mean? ›
Du bist Mein Schatz. You are My treasure.What do Germans say before a toast? ›
From the first drink to the fourth round, don't forget a quick “Prost!” or “Ein Prosit” before taking your first sip. Always make eye contact when toasting. Don't toast with water. It's considered bad luck in Germany.What do Germans say when they toast each other? ›
Prost! = Cheers! If there is one German phrase you learn during your time at Oktoberfest, let it be this one! Prost is a cheer that works for any social drinking occasion, and is easy enough for Americans to pronounce.What do Germans say when they make 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 is Germany's national quote? ›
Germany: No official motto, de facto: Unity and justice and freedom (German: Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit).