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German Word of the Day: Das Backpfeifengesicht

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German Word of the Day: Das Backpfeifengesicht
Photo: Depositphotos
08:21 CEST+02:00
Let's admit it: Everybody knows somebody with a Backpfeifengesicht.

Whether it’s your inconsiderate neighbour, your friend’s rude boyfriend, or your patronising aunt, everybody knows somebody they’d really like to just slap in the face.

Constructed from Backe (cheek), Pfeife (whistle) and Gesicht (face), the literal translation of ‘cheek whistle face’ seems a little hard to decode. But a Backpfeife is actually a slap in the face, so a Backpfeifengesicht is a face that really deserves to be slapped.

It’s not generally used for people who are unfortunate to be so ugly that their face can be slapped. Instead, it’s applied to people who are annoying and irksome.

Examples:

Er hat ein richtiges Backpfeifengesicht; er ist total lästig.

He has a really slappable face; he’s so annoying

Das freche Fräulein hat ein Backpfeifengesicht.

The cheeky young lady has a slappable face.

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