Here is a list of funny phrases and sayings in German along with their meanings in English. Be careful with the meaning unless you want to end up as John F. Kennedy who, while trying his hands (or should it be tongue?) at German, ended up saying "I am a donut" while actually trying to say "I am a person of Berlin!"
Of course when one of these grand mountain ranges goes stretching across the printed page, it adorns and ennobles that literary landscape but at the same time it is a great distress to the new student, for it blocks up his way; …
~ Mark Twain
Well, when Mark Twain speaks about grand mountain ranges in the quote above, he is obviously referring to German sentences and phrases that are composed of mammoth German words like generalstaatsverordnetenversammlungen, waffenstillstandsunterhandlungen, stadtverordnetenversammlungen, etc.
Well, if you’re not yet appalled by this almost-frightening introduction to the long-words-happy German language (I salute your courage, pal!), here is a list of funny German expressions and sayings that are great for lightening up the atmosphere even as the gigantic terminology weighs down the vocabulary! These are some funny German phrases as well as some common German terms and conversation initiators that would definitely help people who are about to have their first German encounter.
Brushing up on your German would definitely help you better explore and understand the culture of this amazingly hospitable European country. Wünsche Ihnen alles Gute mit Ihrer deutschen!!
|Dribbeln Sie, oder haben Sie die Tollwut?
|They dribble, or have rabies?
|Sich vor Angst in die Hose scheißen
|Shitting my pants (an idiom for being terribly afraid)
|Die Sau rauslassen
|Let their hair down
|Vor den Vatern sterben die Söhne
|Young men expire before their fathers do
|Standen die Haare zu Berge
|Hair stood on the ends (as in hair-raising fact or hair-raising situation)
|Er hat Haare auf den Zähnen
|He has all the answers
|Ihre Mutter säugt Schweine
|Your mother suckles pigs (perhaps a German Yo Mama variant!)
|Sie sind ebenso schmutzig wie Toilettenpapier
|You are just as dirty as toilet paper (obviously after wiping…….you know what! Wink!)
|Das Leben ist wie ein Kinderhemd–kurz und beschissen
|Life is like a kid’s shirt — short and crappy.
|Derjenige, der die Piper spielt, schafft an.
|The one who plays the piper calls the tune.
|Probieren geht über Studieren
|Trying is better than studying
|Nie schneller als dein Schutzengel fliegen kann fahren!
|Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly!
|Wenn Schweine fliegen
|When pigs can fly (meaning something impossible or fantastical)
|To grow up!
|Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei.
|Everything has one end (the implication being death); only the sausage has two (the humor).
|Die Axt im Haus erspart den Zimmermann.
|An ax in the house keeps the carpenter away.
|Wer Bären fangen will, muss sich mit Hönig versehen.
|To catch bears you need honey.
|Wie ein Bock stinken
|Stink like a buck
|Gegen Dummheit gibt es keine Pillen
|No medicine (pills) can cure stupidity.
|Das Ei will kluger als die Henne sein.
|The egg will be smarter than the hen (young people are smarter than their previous generations)
|Ich bin nicht von Gestern
|I was not born yesterday (I have more experience than you think)
|Er/Sie hat eine scharfe Zunge
|He/she has a sharp tongue.
|Erschrocken mich so sehr, dass ich meine Hose nass
|Scared me so much that I wet my pants.
Common German Phrases
Here is a list of common German expressions and knowing these would prove invaluable on your first trip to Germany!
|Common German Phrases
|My name is
|Wie heißen Sie?
|What is your name?
|Wie geht es Ihnen?
|How are you?
|Mir geht es gut, danke!
|Fine, thank you!
|Wo ist …? (when asking for directions to a place)
|Where is …? (name of the place)