German word of the day: Das Fettpolster

Kathrin Thams
Kathrin Thams - [email protected] • 8 Jan, 2020 Updated Wed 8 Jan 2020 17:20 CEST
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Almost everyone knows those kilos you gain over the holidays too well. But how do Germans describe them?

What does it mean?

“Das Fettpolster” is composed of the words “das Fett” (the fat or grease) and “das Polster” (the padding, cushion or pillow).

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Put together, it refers to the excessive fat padding and accumulation on the body, such as on a person's hips for example.

Sometimes, more colloquially, it is also called “das Speckpolster”, because fat in general, as well as bacon, is referred to as “der Speck”.

How is it used?

The term “Fettpolster” can be used in three ways.

The first is more colloquial and often comes with a humorous connotation. Here, “Fettpolster” or “Speckpolster” expresses that someone has a few too many kilos on them.

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In the second sense, it is a biological term that explains certain occurrences. For example, “Fettpolster” would be used to describe the animals that live in Antarctica have them to endure cold temperatures day in and day out.

Lastly, “Fettpolster” can also apply to economics or business, if you want to express that a company, for example, has financial reserves.


“Deine Speckpolster sind aber über die Feiertage größer geworden!”

“Your fat reserves have gotten bigger over the holidays!”

“Die Fettpolster bei Pinguinen sind stark ausgeprägt.”

“The fat layers of penguins are very pronounced.”




Kathrin Thams 2020/01/08 17:20

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