13 Funny and Unique Words That Exist in German

13 Funny and Unique Words That Exist in German

There are many unique words in the German language that have no direct translations into the English language. One of the joys of learning another language is discovering all the funny and unusual words that you may come across.

You may hear it often that Germans aren’t funny or have a sense of humor, but with these words, you may think otherwise.

Here are 10 funny and unique words that exist in the German language.


Although “Baum” in German means “tree” in English, this isn’t a tree but a way to describe a somersault on the ground.


You know when you get a certain song in your head and you can’t seem to get it out? The Germans have come up with a word for it! Ohrwurm or “earworm” if you translate it directly, describes that you have a song stuck in your head.


Weichei (soft egg) isn’t a type of cooked egg (“ei” means a singular “egg” in English) instead it is a way to call someone who is weak or a coward.


You may have heard things in English like someone needing “ a high-five to the face, but with a chair”. In German, there is a word that means the same called “Backpfeifengesicht” to describe a person who needs a slap to the face.


A direct translation in English would be “Distance Pain” and this word describes a longing to be somewhere else, like taking a holiday somewhere.


If you often see or hear about horrible news that happens around the world that makes you feel sad. Weltschmerz is a German way to best describe that feeling of how cruel the world and reality can be.


This rather long and complicated word is what a Rubber duck is called in German. Other names you can say are “Badeente” (bath duck) or “Gummiente” (Rubber duck).


Means “life tired” and is a way to dramatically describe if you are a little sad, it also sounds a little poetic. Nowadays it is mostly used to describe someone who has done something or acted out of character to break out of the normality of life or if someone is doing something crazy.


This is the German word for the English “tongue breaker”, and like in English, there are a few Zungenbrecher in German that are very hard to say. Try saying “Drei dicke dumme Damen donnern durch das dicke doofe Dorf” or “Rasent rasantes Rumpelstilzchen ruppelt Rollos rauf und runter” as fast as you can.


Is the experience of pleasure, self-satisfaction, and joy that comes from either witnessing or learning of someone’s humiliation, troubles, or failures. Similar to the word “gloat” in English.

For example, a coworker that you don't like fell out of his chair, or a know-it-all student in your class gets a bad grade on a test.


A word to insult clumsy people, this is a tame insult and often isn’t meant in a bad way.


For those cheeky, bratty-like children you may see out and about, the Germans sometimes call them a “Rotzlöffel”, which means “a spoon of snot”. Which doesn’t sound all that pleasant when you think about it.


When you are out and you are stuck behind some slow-walking people, the word “Trantüte” is an insult to them walking slowly.


We hope that some of these words made you smile and that maybe you’ve learned some new ways to say something in the German language. Do be careful with the insults as some people may take them personally.

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