Let’s say you stay at a German hostel in Berlin. One night, some guy asks you if you want to join him and some friends for some krökeln in the lounge. Don’t be confused; he isn’t trying to insult you or to invite you to a fight – he just wants to play foosball with you.
The strange-sounding word krökeln is solely used in the northern German city of Hannover and its surrounding regions. In most other regions in Germany, the word kickern is more common.
Even though the German in Hannover has a reputation of being one of the accent-freest German a person could have, it still has its regional differences. Krökeln comes from the old-Hanoverian word Krökel, which means iron bar.
A foosball table consists of a football team that’s lined up on various bars, that used to be made of iron. So as complicated as the word might sound, its origins are actually quite simple.
Players at the German Foosball Federation, playing 'eine Runde krökeln' in Hanover. Photo: DPA
Willst du eine Runde krökeln?
Would you like to play some foosball?
Krökeln ist ein Wort, das “Tischfußball spielen” bedeutet.
Krökeln means “to play foosball.”
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