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Cute German words

Eselsbrücke - (asses bridge) Mnemonic

Katzenjammer - hangover

Zungenbrecher - tongue twister

Helfershelfer - accomplice

Jammerschade - What a pity

Spritztour - spin

Hirnamputiert - brain-damaged (not a medical term and very impolite)

Dummschwätzer - liar liar

Ohrwurm - Earworm. This is a situation when you can't get a song out of your ear.

Swedish cute word: solkatt, meaning "sun cat". It refers to the little reflection of the sun that can appear on the ground if sunlight hits a nearby wristwatch or another reflective (and moving) surface.

This info is from the comments in this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AJcu8DK5Sc

July 12, 2016



Katzenjammer c; I love it!


Kopfkino (head cinema) - when someone gives you more information about a private topic than you ever wanted to hear and a little film starts in your head that you can't unsee ;)

And it probably exists in several languages, but it's so obscure and I just love the word since I once saw an ad on a truck: "Mietmöbel" (rent-furniture). If you for example want to sell a flat, you can rent really nice furniture for when possible buyers come, so that the flat looks nicer in general and sells for a higher price. But the word! Mietmöbel! I just love it.

But, I actually doubt that "Katzenjammer" means "hangover" anywhere. I mean, we have the obscurest dialects, but I think "Katzenjammer" refers to the annoying sound cats make expecially when fighting with each other, and means "badly played music". At least that's how I would understand it. Although a hangover has something to do with cats too, it's a "Kater" (literally a male cat).

Another thing: While brain-damaged can be a description of a medical condition (right?), "hirnamputiert" can't (maybe it's obvious why?^^) - it should be used with caution, it's very colloquial and a quite strong insult.


The Wikipedia article about the comic strip ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Katzenjammer_Kids ) repeats the "hangover" meaning, but I suspect you're right and it isn't used that way in Europe.


Well, both a hangover and badly played music make your head hurt and you want to shield your ears from noise. So maybe it is a little similar ;)


I have heard it with that meaning a few times, it's not super common, though.


Danke. Thanks for the new words and explanation. Kopfkino is cute.


Katzenjammer is when you regret something utterly. Hangover is "Kater" (tomcat). There's also an all girls Norwegian music band named Katzenjammer; they took it from the comic strip.


Handschuh: glove. literally hand shoe. If that isn't adorable I don't know what is.


Really cute


Bierleichen = beer corpse. Learned at Oktoberfest a few years back :)


Hirnamputiert - more like brain-amputated (probably explains why it's so rude)

Dummschwätzer - not sure what "liar liar" is supposed to mean, but a Dummschwätzer is someone saying/babbling (lots of) idiotic things.

Some more:

Altweibersommer ("Crones' Summer") - late summer, around September, named because of a certain kind of spider that lets its silk strands fly through the air which looks like old women's grey hair.

kleinkariert ("small-checkered") - narrow-minded, pettyfogging; originally the word compares a person to millimeter paper.

Fremdschämen ("external embarrassement") - when someone else messes up so badly you feel the embarrassement [you think] they should be feeling.


Thanks for sharing.


One of my favorites: Himmelfahrt - Ascencion into heaven.


Did you maybe mean "Himmelfahrtskommando"? A very risky order which almost certainly ends fatal.


How do you use that word.


It's a holiday in most parts of Europe.


Hirnamputiert. XD


thanks for these great phrases


Glühbirne = light bulb (literally "glow pear")


It makes sense.


The word narwhal or narwhale, ( yes narwhals are real ) means " corpse whale " or " dead body whale " nar in Norse meant corpse and whal meant whale. Why is this, I have no idea. But still weird and cool. :)


Here's some of the finest german/austrian stuff :) G'schüttelter/ Ang'rennter = idiot Arschgeweih = tramp-stamp Kater = Hangover (i don't think anyone uses Katzenjammer) Schadenfreude = State of happiness about someones bad luck/mischief Liebeshanteln = the fatty part around the lower waste fremdschämen = being ashamed of sharing the same species with someone really stupid. Warmduscher = a ❤❤❤❤❤/sissy (A question u would ask a "warmduscher" would be "bist du aus Zucker oder wie ?" tote Hose = nothing happening. fesch = good looking Wurscht sein = to not care about and in the and a really rude one (as if the others weren't already kinda rude^^) restlfen = the process of picking up a guy/girl at 4 in the morning shortly before the disco closes because ur desperate not to go home alone that night and haven't managed to meet someone u actually find interessting or even "fesch". Most of the time its already "tote Hose" if ur there at that point. U might be in the process of "fremdschämen". its likely that there is a girl with a "arschgeweih" and she will restlfen with a "G'schütteter" who will have a "Kater" the next day and not remember that he played with her "liebeshanteln". But it will be "wurscht" because that's life ;)


Oh man, you are right! I should've asked Wikipedia first. Katzenjammer really means hangover, as well as "the disillusion after great happiness". It's actually a mitigated version of the original from Goethe's time, Kotzen-Jammer (kotzen = to barf, jammern = to wail, moan, whine, lament).

Thanks, Wikipedia! ^^ That's how well I know my native language... I would have used it wrongly forever.


What about Dummschwätzer = blither, blithering idiot, gasbag?

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Habseligkeiten -- things dear to one's heart (although in the etymologically correct meaning simply "everything you have")

It has been voted most beautiful German word in 2004.



I think of one of the cutest german words is "Teekesselchen". "Teekesselchen" has two meanings: 1. a small tea pot 2. a hormonym (a word with multiple meanings)


@jaz1313. - Two remarks: 1. "Teekessel" is a parlour game in which identical words must be guessed. 2. The correct spelling is "homonym"!


I'm German and honestly have never heard that before.


Look it up in a dictionary ;) Most people learn it in elementary school instead of "Hormonym"


@*jaz1313. - I suppose such an elementary school exists only in somebody's imagination. - But I would be very grateful for proof to the contrary!

By the way, homonym is the correct spelling!


"hormonym" is what happens during puberty.

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