The German Language: My Top Ten Words

Photo copyright dpa/photo alliance

Photo copyright dpa/photo alliance

German is such a brilliantly mis-represented language. How a language with words like Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän could be considered long-winded or aggressive is just beyond me.. sie ist doch so ‘ne schöne Sprache.

Here are my top ten favorites:

1. Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft

Association for subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services. (79 characters.. woah!)

2. Kummerspeck

Noun for weight gained from emotional over-eating. Literally: grief bacon. (Awesome)

3. Mauerbauertraurigkeit

The inexplicable urge to push people away.  Literally; wall-builder-sadness.

4. Kühlschrank

Fridge. Literally: cold wardrbobe. (Makes sense.)

5. Weltschmerz

Mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state. Literally: world pain (or being a miserable sod, whatevz).

6. Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz

Cattle marking and beef labeling supervision duties delegation law (YEAH! or should I say.. JAAA!).

7. Backpfeifengesicht

A face that deserves to be punched/slapped.  Literally: Cheek whistle face.

8. Futterneid

A feeling of jealousy about food, particularly that feeling one gets when one feels the food of another is superior. (This reminds me of that episode in Friends when we learn that JOEY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD.)

9. Dreikäsehoch

Word for a short person. Literally: three cheeses tall. (This is for all my fellow vertically challenged friends.)

If you’re feeling a bit perplexed by all these strange words, then you’ll like this last one…

10. Kuddelmuddel

A word for confusion, chaos, catastrophe, a muddle

What are your favorite German words?

By | 2017-03-21T23:17:13+00:00 August 22nd, 2013|General, The German Language|Comments Off on The German Language: My Top Ten Words

About the Author:

Erica Jane Lee is a final year student of European Studies at Trinity College, Dublin. Just back from a year abroad in Cologne, Germany, she’s beginning to write her dissertation about European Identity, a subject that interests her greatly. Erasmus was an amazing taster of life “on the continent” and Erica hopes to return to Germany to complete a Masters in the near future. With various ideas of Foreign Affairs, Politics and Journalism floating around in her head, she’s still not quite sure what she wants to be when she grows up. In the meantime she’s passing her time like all other 20 year olds ... on the internet. Her blog recounting her Erasmus adventure can be found at Ich hab Wanderlust and you can follow her on twitter at @habwanderlust.