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9 Awesome German Idioms - California Globetrotter

9 Awesome German Idioms



1. Luck in Love  


For those of you who are hard core board/card gamers, maybe it’s best if you loose every not and there. As the Germans say, “Glück im Spiel, pech in der Liebe” which translates to “Luck in the game, unlucky in love.” I’d rather get lucky oh sorry, I meant be lucky in love any day!

2. Cups in the Cupboard


For your friends who eventually all go a bit crazy every now and then, say as the Germans would say, “Alle Tassen im Schrank” which means that someone has “lost their marbles”.

3. Hot Love


You know those times when you’re cooking, and you’re too lazy to grab the oven mitten?  That’s ok! The Germans say, “Wer heiß anfassen kann, kann auch heiß lieben” which says that “Those who can pick up hot things, can love hot”. No wonder I burn myself so often!

4. I Understand Only Train Station


The German phrase “Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof” doesn’t mean that the person speaking only understands the language of the train station, but that he is absolutely confused.

5. Having Pig


Remember those times when you didn’t bother to study for a big exam and you aced it? Or that time you crashed your car and came out without a scratch on you? Ya, that’s called “Schwein gehabt!” otherwise known as “having pig” or more commonly “to have a stroke of luck”. In Germany, pigs are considered to be lucky, therefore you were lucky when you would have otherwise had the opposite.

6. Life is not a Pony farm


When you’re down on your luck, struggling to get through it, well guess what buddy? Suck it up, buttercup! As the Germans say, “das Leben ist kein Ponyhof”. In other words, “life isn’t a bed of roses” nor is it fair.

7. Learning English?


Are you learning English and struggle with the grammar? It’s ok if you make mistakes! Just make sure to say, “Mein Englisch ist unter aller Sau!” or in other words, you’re “English is really bad”, so please excuse me!

8. The Devil Eats Flies


Are you a picky person that has to have exactly what you want even when the options aren’t there? Well, as the Germans say, “In der Not frisst der Teufel Fliegen”, otherwise known as “Beggars can’t be choosers”.

9. Hop and Malt is Lost!


What is a list of German idioms without one about beer!? If “Hopfen und Malz ist verloren” then you might as well just give up because its a “lost cause” This idioms stems from the process of brewery a good German beer. Should something go wrong during the process, then the ingredients were considered wasted, therefore, a good beer was lost.

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9 Awesome German Idioms - California Globetrotter

Have you got more awesome German idioms? Share them with me!

***All photos found via Google & edited by me!***









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!

9 thoughts on “9 Awesome German Idioms

  1. Haha! My favourite is “abwarten und Tee trinken” meaning “to wait and drink tea”, followed by “Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei” meaning something along the lines of “everything has to come to an end”. Or “es geht um die Wurst” meaning “it’s now or never”. 😀

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  4. “Ich glaube mein Schwein pfeift!” translated to my pig is whistling, roughly translated into “That is absolutly unbeliveable!”

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