German word of the day: Feuchtfröhlich

Ana Dilley
Ana Dilley - [email protected] • 9 Jul, 2019 Updated Tue 9 Jul 2019 11:35 CEST
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Feuchtfröhlich is a typical German compound adjective and one that should be adopted by the English language.

This word is for those evenings when the wine is flowing and you feel warm and happy inside.

This word consists of ‘wet/moist' (feucht) and 'happy/joyful' (fröhlich) so literally translates to something like 'wet happy'.

But this compound adjective does not imply that you are chuffed because someone has doused you in water or because you are having fun in a swimming pool. Rather, this word refers to the happiness people often get after having a drink or five.

Ultimately, there is no perfect equivalent for this word in the English language. A possible translation would perhaps be ‘drunken revelry,’ or maybe ‘merry,’ but neither of these encompass perfectly the concept of having a happy evening of drinking the way feuchtfröhlich does.

A group of women enjoying beers at Oktoberfest. Photo: DPA

Perhaps it says something about how the Germans drink alcohol that they have a specific word to denote happiness when enjoying a tipple.

This should perhaps be a word which, like Zeitgeist or Wanderlust, should be used in the English language because of its wonderfully specific and accurate meaning. However the pronunciation can be difficult to master for non-German speakers...


Ein feuchtfröhlicher Abend!

A drunken and happy evening!

Wir haben feuchtfröhlich gefeiert.

We celebrated merrily.

Wir waren in feuchtfröhlicher Stimmung.

We were in a high spirits (because we were enjoying drinking).



Ana Dilley 2019/07/09 11:35

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