German word of the day: Schnapsidee

We’ve all had a Schnapsidee. After one too many glasses of wine, or beers, many ideas, which you would normally consider silly or impractical, suddenly become fantastic.

German word of the day: Schnapsidee
Photo: Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash + Nicolas Raymond / flickr

Translated into English as a ‘schnapps idea’ or ‘wacky idea’, (die) Schnapsidee is usually a ridiculous idea which seemed brilliant when you’d had a little too much to drink but is very silly in the cold light of day.  It of course comes from the word Schnapps, which is a type of alcoholic drink often taken in shots. 

Schnapsideen may include things like deciding to message people that you should really steer clear of, or thinking up a career change that doesn’t make any sense. 

But despite the name, you don’t have to think up these things when you’re drunk. The term can also refer to crazy, or spur-of-the-moment decisions when you’re completely sober. 

Bieridee (beer idea) is also used, although it is less common.

SEE ALSO: These 9 words perfectly sum up being in your 20s

Despite this, we’re pretty sure some ‘schnapps ideas’ have turned out to be brilliant, so don’t be afraid to express yourself when you’ve had a few. Just don’t expect everyone to be on board. 

How it’s used:

Ich hatte vier Gläser Wein getrunken, als ich diese Schnapsidee hatte.

I drank four glasses of wine when I had that crazy idea

Was für eine Schnapsidee hatte Laura!

What a crazy idea Laura had!

READ ALSO: ‘Schnapsidee: Meet the Berlin barman serving up laughs and cocktails

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


German word of the day: Rücksicht

Here's how to take this thoughtful word into consideration.

German word of the day: Rücksicht

Why do I need to know Rücksicht?

Because it’s a commonly used word and knowing what it means – and practising it – will make you a better person.

What does Rücksicht mean?

Rücksicht is a feminine noun which means “consideration” or “regard”. It’s made up of the shortened form of the word zurück meaning “back” and Sicht – which means view. So literally, it means, back view, or looking back.

This literal meaning tells you something about how the word is used in German – if you look back to see what’s happened to your friend, you are taking them into consideration.

If you want to really make sure you don’t forget what Rücksicht means – you can watch the following video of Germany’s 1983 Eurovision song contest entry. The catchy ballad – called “Rücksicht” – came in place 5 of the competition that year. 

How to use Rücksicht

When using Rücksicht, bear in mind that it is usually paired with specific verbs and prepositions.

The most commonly used set phrase is Rücksicht auf etwas/jemand nehmen, which is used to mean “to be considerate of” or “to take care of” someone or something. For example:

Radfahrer müssen auf Fußgänger Rücksicht nehmen.

Cyclists must be considerate of pedestrians.

Er nimmt Rücksicht auf die Bedürfnisse seiner schwangeren Frau.

He takes care of his pregnant wife’s needs.

Rücksicht is usually followed by the preposition auf, but it can be preceded by a number of prepositions to compose different phrases. 

Mit Rücksicht auf for example, means “in view of” and ohne Rücksicht auf means “without consideration for”, while aus Rücksicht auf means “out of consideration for.” 

Here are some examples:

Führungen dürfen aus Rücksicht auf die Teilnehmer nicht aufgenommen werden.
Out of consideration of the participants, tours may not be recorded.
Er will tun, was er möchte, ohne Rücksicht auf die Anderen.
He wants to do what he wants, without considering other people.