California Globetrotter

The CRAZY German Language - California Globetrotter

The Crazy German Language



The German language has been known to have some pretty terrible compound words. German can even be crazy and combine a multitude of words to form one big long word such as


Yup, that’s all one big long word to say “for subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services”. Don’t bother asking what that it!

On the plus side, the German language has a bunch of fun German words I have collected over time which make me giggle and laugh out loud when trying to pronounce some of them! Some German words just explain it better than English ever could!


‘Gemütlichkeit’ is the comfortable, cozy feeling you have that everything in the world is well, especially when you have a nice cold beer in your hand, swaying to and fro at a beer festival!


‘Schadenfreude’ was introduced to me when a coworker asked me what it meant in English and I had no idea. It’s that devilish feeling of glee someone has at the misfortune of someone else. Ya, I definitely has Schadenfreude when I laugh at someone who trips up the stairs!


‘Glückschmerz’ is the opposite of Schadenfreude which is the sorrow and discomfort aka being jealous of someone else’s good fortune. I have this whenever I think of Samantha Brown and Passport to Europe!


‘Backpfeifengesicht’ is just a lovely little German word for when someone desperately needs a slap in the face  or more literally “a face that needs a fist in it!” I won’t mention who might need one of these!


Fernweh is a common old term for the feeling of homesickness you have for a place you have never been aka buy a ticket to somewhere new and travel! Definitely a favorite of mine!


I have been known to suffer from this one a time or two… ‘Katzenjammer’ which literally translates to a “Cat’s wail” or more importantly a lack of harmony, especially after a rough night drinking and you wake up with that terrible pounding in your head “ugggh”.


I definitely try to encourage people not to have this next one! ‘Schwellenangst’ is the fear of embarking on something new and exciting and leaving your comfort zone. You can’t read the next chapter unless you’re ready to stop rereading the same chapter!


I definitely struggle with this next one every beautiful day of my life when I am stuck at work. ‘Sitzfleisch’ literally translates to “sitting flesh” which just means you have the ability to sit through and tolerate something incredibly difficult or boring!


‘Sturmfrei’ literally translates to “storm-free” which is the feeling of freedom when you aren’t being smothered by an overbearing parent or superior and having the freedom to do whatever, whenever you want!


You know those nights when your husband or boyfriend might come home very very late or did something wrong and he brings home a gift of flowers or chocolate to apologize…ya that’s called ‘Drachenfutter’ which literally means dragon food!


As we all get older, we all probably have this feeling as some time or another! ‘Torschlusspanik’ literally translates to “gate-closing panic”. This is the feeling you might have as you get older, you realize you have less opportunities as they begin to diminish. Aka mid-life crisis!


Last but not least, another favorite old German term ‘Wanderlust’ which is every traveler’s deep impulse to travel the world, a desire to walk and explore.


Be sure to check out other posts!

10 Tips for Learning German

10 Struggles of Being an Expat

What I’ve Learned as an Expat




Author: California Globetrotter

At 14 I started traveling the world with my parents and was hooked! By 21 I was studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. By 26 I sold all of my belongings and bought a one way ticket to Germany to teach English. Little did I know, I'd meet the love of my life and end up traveling to the most romantic and idyllic towns in Europe and becoming a long-term expat in Bavaria! My name is Lorelei and I'm just your typical CaliGirl, Sunset Chaser, Fairytale Dreamer, Dress Lover, Traveloholic, Beer Drinker!

7 thoughts on “The Crazy German Language

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