German word of the day: Das Bargeld

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 14 Nov, 2018 Updated Wed 14 Nov 2018 09:23 CEST
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Bargeld is a word which you'll hear a lot in Germany - and use much more than in many other European countries.


Bargeld is the German word for cash. It is made up of Geldscheinen (bank notes) and Münzen (coins) and is still the most popular method of payment in Germany.

Whereas other countries like Sweden are close to becoming cashless societies, Germans are sticking with the traditional forms of money.

SEE ALSO: How Germany has been minted as a coin carrying society

Bargeld is a compound noun constructed from Bar (cash) and Geld (money), so literally means “cash money”. Often, just the word bar is used.

The German idiom Bargeld lacht, (literally “Cash laughs”) equates to the English “Cash is king”.


Normalerweise zahle ich bar aber heute zahle ich mit Karte.

Normally I pay in cash but today I’m paying by card.

Bargeld besteht in Banknoten und Münzen.

Hard money consist of bank notes and coins.


Do you have a favourite German word or phrase you'd like to see us cover? If so, please email our editor Rachel Stern with your suggestion. 






The Local 2018/11/14 09:23

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