• Germany edition
 
The Local List
Top ten German sayings
Photo: DPA

Top ten German sayings

Published: 04 Jan 2012 16:33 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Jan 2012 16:33 GMT+01:00

While German might not have a reputation for being the most creative of languages, Germans still have a wealth of funny sayings to draw on. The Local has put together a list of common ones to help avoid those awkward "lost in translation" situations.

Some, like “he’s a scaredy-rabbit” are twists on English favourites, whilst others such as “I understand only train station” can leave a non-native baffled, and may lead to minor diplomatic incidents.

Click here for The Local List

Either way, a working knowledge of idioms can help guide any non-German through a conversation with a local, so read on and take notes!

The Local

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:35 January 4, 2012 by romber58
"As stupid as bread" is,i agree, a not particularly witty expression.but if you say it in Berlinerisch as" Doof wie Stulle", then it sounds much more evocative....
19:37 January 4, 2012 by Alofat
Because train stations were very noisy things back in the day. Duh!
08:25 January 5, 2012 by Landmine
On the 6th slide, do you all realize what the word "pecker" also means in terms of it being stiff?
15:52 January 5, 2012 by Al uk
Something very similar in English used over here is "daft as a brush" and "as thick (stupid) as two short planks".
20:23 January 6, 2012 by koli
I have one more... if it is too simple, Make it comnplicated... or the German way, for every solution there is a problem....
13:45 January 7, 2012 by JohnnesKönig
Schick dich ein bisschen!
19:59 January 11, 2012 by MrBowlocks
Here are a couple from those wacky Germans:

"Arbeit Macht Frei'

"Freund und Helfer"

"Sehr geehrter herr..."

And my favourite, "Freistaat Bayern"

Comedy gold!
15:37 January 17, 2012 by Craptastic
I got rather puzzled when one client referred me to a new customer by saying something like, "You'll like her. She's an old rabbit." I'm not overly sensitive about age, but had to ask a friend what that meant.
Today's headlines
Germany beefs up asylum rules for Balkans

Germany beefs up asylum rules for Balkans

Germany made it harder Friday for people from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia to apply for asylum after lawmakers classified the three Balkan countries as safe, with respect for basic rights. READ  

German Muslims rally against extremism
Muslims pray in Kreuzberg, Berlin, on Friday outside a mosque which was damaged in an arson attack. Photo: DPA

German Muslims rally against extremism

Muslims across Germany held a day of prayers and rallies on Friday to condemn both Islamic extremism and a backlash against their faith that has seen arson attacks on mosques. READ  

German military flight to Iraq starts with a hiccup
The trainers on the air strip in Hohn, Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: Bundeswehr.

German military flight to Iraq starts with a hiccup

Military trainers flew to northern Iraq from Germany on Friday, ahead of a huge delivery of weapons from the German military, but things didn’t initially go as planned. READ  

Munich gets four Euro 2020 matches
Photo: DPA

Munich gets four Euro 2020 matches

UPDATE: Munich will play host to four Euro 2020 games, European football’s governing body Uefa announced in Geneva on Friday, but London was the real winner. READ  

Driver, 18, ploughs into school pupils
The scene by the bus stop outside the school in Diepholz. Photo: DPA

Driver, 18, ploughs into school pupils

An 18-year-old drove into a group of students outside a school in western Germany on Friday morning, injuring several. READ  

View from Germany
'In a globalized world we don't need more loners'
'No' campaign supporters celebrate in Edinburgh after the results were announced. Photo: DPA

'In a globalized world we don't need more loners'

UPDATE: The German government welcomed the result of the Scottish independence referendum on Friday, with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier calling it the "right decision". READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's beer
Photo: DPA

Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's beer

The Local's Oktoberfest guide chugs some of the Bavarian tipple fueling this whole shindig. READ  

Berlin squat ripped apart by fire
Kreuzberg's Cuvrybrache. Photo: DPA

Berlin squat ripped apart by fire

UPDATE: One of Berlin’s biggest squats was torn apart by a fire on Thursday night following an argument. READ  

Sterilized woman gets pregnant, sues doctors
Photo: DPA

Sterilized woman gets pregnant, sues doctors

A woman who gave birth after becoming sterilized has tried and failed to sue the hospital which carried out the operation. READ  

Thousands queue for Apple's iPhone 6
Queues outside the Apple Store in Dresden. Photo: DPA

Thousands queue for Apple's iPhone 6

UPDATE: Apple’s new iPhone 6 went on sale on Friday morning, leading to long queues outside stores across Germany. Berlin's Apple Store sold out of the iPhone 6 Plus in an hour. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Culture
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,343
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd