German Word of the Day: Die Geborgenheit

Geborgenheit is used to describe a state of comfort and well-being. It is often translated as ‘security’, but in fact it is a feeling which is rather untranslatable.

German Word of the Day: Die Geborgenheit
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For different people, Geborgenheit will represent different things. For some, it is the feeling of comfort, security and love in a romantic relationship, or the openness and honesty you feel when with a close friend.

For others it describes something even more specific, such as the familiarity and warmth one gets from eating home-cooked food when they return to their childhood home. Geborgenheit is often associated with childhood as these are our first memories of the feeling.

It can also describe a more general sense and a peaceful security in life; the feeling of comfort when you are in a place where you feel yourself and where you can trust both yourself and others.

SEE ALSO: 9 German words that perfectly sum up being in your 30s

It seems there is no adequate English definition for such a broad and abstract concept, but perhaps a combination of ‘comfort’, ‘familiarity’ and ‘contentment’ coins the concept best.


Meine Kinder genießen die Geborgenheit einer liebevollen Familie.

My children enjoy the comfort of a loving family.

Wir können die Geborgenheit empfinden beim Meditieren oder in der Natur.

We can find contentment through meditation and through nature.  


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German Word of the Day: die Ausrede

If you want to get out of a date, or you haven’t done your homework – you might need one of these.

German Word of the Day: die Ausrede

This little German word can come in handy in a variety of situations.

Ausrede, Meaning “excuse” consists of the verb reden which means “to talk” or “to speak” and the prefix aus which translates as “out”, “off” or “from”.

So, a good way to remember the word is to think of it as a tool you use for talking yourself out of something. 

One thing to bear in mind, however, is that in German, the word Ausrede has a slightly negative connotation and can be used to hint that the reason given is fabricated.

So, if you want to tell your boss that you have a good reason for why you can’t come to work, it’s better to say you have eine Entschuldigung (also meaning excuse) instead.

Another thing to watch out for is trying to use the verb ausreden in the same way as the English “to excuse”. In German, the verb ausreden actually means to finish speaking, for example: ich lasse ihn ausreden means “I let him finish speaking”.


Er hat nach einer Ausrede gesucht

He was looking for an excuse

Diesmal habe ich keine Ausrede
This time I have no excuse
Besser keine Ausrede als eine schlechte
Better to have no excuse than a bad one