As a kid, did you ever talk back to your parents? Or make a cheeky comment to your teachers?
Of course there's a German word for that.
What does it mean?
Literally “Frechdachs” means naughty badger and refers to a rascal. The equivalent phrase in English could be “cheeky devil”, “cheeky monkey” or, when referring to a child, “little monkey”.
Likewise, it can also refer to someone acting ingenious or impudent.
What are its origins?
Apparently badgers are naughty. (Germans also consider them to be cunning).
How is it used?
This lighthearted and common word is used jocularly, especially when referring to children.
You would lovingly say “Frechdachs” to your child when they're playing a joke on you or acting sassy. The word is also used with pets.
“Das war ja wirklich so lustig. Du bist so ein Frechdachs.”
“That was really so hilarious. You are such a rascal.”
“Henry ist wirklich ein richtiger Frechdachs. Er hat mal wieder meine Schlüssel versteckt.”
“Henry really is a rascal. He hid my keys again.”
“Guck mal, Pluto ist so ein Frechdachs. Er hat meinen Schuh geklaut!”
“Look, Pluto ist so cheeky. He stole my shoe!”