10 Funny German Words with literal translations
Here is a list of funny German words that have all-too amusing literal translations and their meaning:
Speisekarte (dish card)
This is the German word for a menu and is a simple, widely used German word that is easy to learn and repeat as you travel through Germany, enjoying some of the country's gastronomic delights.
Eselsbrücke (donkey's bridge)
The word Eselsbrücke has nothing to do with donkeys and everything to do with mnemonics. A mnemonic helps you to remember information; for example, "Now We Shall Eat" may help you remember the directions North, West, South and East on a compass. Kummerspeck (Grief Bacon)
Kummerspeck (gaining weight from comfort eating)
This one refers to the weight one might gain after a bad relationship break up. This may be one of the strangest literal German/English translations there is.
Innerer Schweinehund (inner pig-dog)
If you never sort out your cupboards or are always too lazy to go to the gym, it's the fault of your innerer Schweinehund or inner pig-dog. This is your disorganized inner voice (who is, in your defense, fully accountable).
Fremdschämen (exterior shame)
Cringing in phantom pain or shame when others make a fool of themselves is known as Fremdschämen to Germans. Painful though it might be, you can't be accused of lacking empathy.
Torschlusspanik (closing-gate panic)
Torschlusspanik is the feeling of panic as time runs out.
Treppenwitz (staircase joke)
If the best line, joke, or comeback always occurs to you after speaking to someone who needed to hear it, that’s Treppenwitz. It’s usually a snappy comeback that comes to your mind on the way out of the door, after you've finished speaking.
Lebensmüde (life tired)
This describes the feeling of being utterly done with it all: beaten down and tired of everything or weary and gloomy about the whole world.
Be careful: In some cases, this word can also have a suicidal meaning. So, if you decide to use Lebensmüde, make sure people understand you correctly.
Dreikäsehoch (three cheeses high)
This is a (hopefully humorous) way to describe a person who is lacking in height, implying they’re the approximate height of three wheels of cheese placed on top of each other. Often (and, again, hopefully), this term is reserved for small children.
Sitzfleisch (sit or seat meat)
If you possess ample seat meat, you are able to sit through hard or boring meetings, parties or speeches - basically because you carry your own cushion or "seat meat".