German Word of the Day: Der Ohrwurm

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 21 May, 2019 Updated Tue 21 May 2019 13:58 CEST
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Ohrwurm is the German word for earwig and is literally translated as ‘ear worm’.


It also refers to an actual type of small nocturnal insect. However, it is most often used to describe a catchy tune that you simply cannot get out of your head.

It can be used both to describe a song as memorable, and to describe the sensation of having a song stuck in your head.

The word ‘earworm’ is now sometimes used in English, such as in the UK the radio station BBC 6 Music accepts submissions for their listeners’ favourite earworms.

There was even a Spongebob Squarepants character called Ohrwurm who spent an episode living in Spongebob’s brain playing the same song on repeat.

Read more of our words of the day here


Das Eurovision-Lied hat eine wunderbare Ohrwurm-Melodie.

The Eurovision song has a wonderful catchy melody.

Ich habe einen ganz großen Ohrwurm!

I have a song which I just can’t get out of my head!


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




The Local 2019/05/21 13:58

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