10 weird German words
Like any language, German has its own strange and peculiar words and phrases. Here are ten weird German words and their meanings:
Ohrwurm (ear worm)
This German word refers to having the melody and/or lyrics of a song stuck in your head for an extended period. Anybody who has ever experienced this can attest to just how annoying the Ohrwurm can be.
Weichei (soft egg)
In German, a "soft egg", means someone who is a coward or weak-minded – they’ll just go with the crowd or what is easy instead of standing up for what they think is right, but with the right person and intent, it can have a lighter, more humorous meaning.
Backpfeifengesicht (Slap face)
Backpfeifengesicht describes someone who you feel needs a slap in the face. You may want to be careful if and when you use this one: it's best used among good friends unless you’re wanting to cause tension!
Erklärungsnot (Explanation poverty)
Erklärungsnot describes the state you might find yourself in when no excuse will get you out of the trouble you're in. No sufficient explanation for not doing your homework or lying to your wife? That’s Erklärungsnot.
Purzelbaum (Tumble tree)
Every child in Germany knows all about this one. It may sound like it's part of the plant kingdom, but, a Purzelbaum describes a somersault on the ground, often landing in the dirt and usually resulting in dirty knees.
Zungenbrecher (Tongue breaker)
Zungenbrecher is much less gruesome than it sounds. It means "tongue twister" or a phrase that’s very hard to pronounce due to its sequence of similar sounding letters. A very well-known one is: Blaukraut bleibt Blaukraut und Brautkleid bleibt Brautkleid. Can you say it ten times, quickly?
Schattenparker (Shadow parker)
This is actually an insult for men who are seen to be engaging in unmanly behavior; for example looking for shaded parking, according to the literal translation. Similar in meaning, a Warmduscher is someone who showers with warm water.
Kuddelmuddel (muddled mess)
Kuddelmuddel describes mess, chaos, or hodgepodge arrangements or scenes. Clever alternatives which mean the same include Tohuwabohu, Wirrwarr, Mischmasch, and Kladderadatsch
Luftschloss (air castle)
This refers to an impossible or unrealistic dream -- like building a castle in the air -- and is used to describe that which, sadly, just cannot be achieved.
Kopfkino (head cinema)
The word Kopfkino refers to mentally playing out an entire scene in your mind, as if in a movie theatre.