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.
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!