10 essential phrases to complain about the weather like a German
The German language is especially creative when it comes to complaining about the cold. We break down how native speakers moan about frosty temperatures - and how you can join along.
Germans love to complain about the weather
The German language has several compound nouns that describe bad weather by adding an adjective or noun to the word weather. Here’s how you can verbally prepare yourself, auf Deutsch, as the temperatures drop.
One of the most common ways to complain about the weather in German is by using the word “Scheißwetter” (shit weather), which means horrible weather. Even though the word is used colloquially, it is still listed in the German dictionary Duden, and defined as “very unpleasant weather”.
“Was für ein Scheißwetter heute.”
“What shitty weather today.”
A very colloquial way to refer to rainy weather is by using the compound word “Pisswetter”. The word is put together by “Piss”, literally meaning piss or figuratively rainy, and Wetter (weather). It is not actually considered a (dictionary) word but it is still frequently used.
“Bei dem Pisswetter brauchen wir definitiv einen Regenschirm.”
“In this rainy weather we definitely need an umbrella.”
Rainy weather and umbrellas in Hesse. Photo DPA
This word adds “Hunde” (dog) to weather and creates a word which often describes rainy or very lousy, beastly weather.
The prefix “Hunde” is often added to words to give a negative connotation and to convey a sense of misery, such as in the word “Hundeelend” which means to feel very lousy, miserable or wretched.
“Heute ist so richtiges Hundewetter bei dem man nicht vor die Tür gehen mag.”
“It is such lousy weather today, where no one wants to go out the door.
Here, “Drecks” (dirt) adds the sense of filthiness to the weather. This word describes the worst of weather, where no one wants to set a foot outside.
“Bei diesem Dreckswetter würde ich lieber nicht das Auto nehmen.”
“I would not take the car out in this filthy weather.”
When adding “Sau” (swine, pig) to a word as a prefix it often refers to something dirty or serves as a intensifiers such as the word very. Here, it is defined as especially terrible and cold weather.
“Muss ich bei dem Sauwetter wirklich zum Training gehen?.”
"Do I really have to go to the training today in this terrible weather?"
There are also several adjective, compound nouns, and verbs that are commonly used to describe bad weather.
Stormy weather in Hamburg, Photo DPA
In its literal meaning, “oll” means old or rundown, but when referring to the weather it means nasty.
“Es ist so oll draußen. Wollen wir heute lieber einen kurzen Spaziergang machen mit dem Hund?”
“It is so nasty outside. Do you want to go for a shorter walk with the dog today?”
This word defines as scabious or mangy. In this case though, it takes on the colloquial meaning and refers to mangy weather.
“Warum ist das wetter so räudig im Sommer?”
“Why is the weather so nasty in summer time?
This word offers a nicer way to say that the weather is not very pleasant. It means that it is uncomfortable and disquieting.
“Bei diesem ungemütlichen Wetter ist Tee das Beste.”
“In this uncomfortable weather tea is the best.”
If you really want to complain about the nasty weather, then you can say: “Das Wetter ist zum Kotzen!”, which roughly translates to “the weather sucks!”
The colloquial adjective “arschkalt” (ass cold) means freezing cold. If you prefer a less vulgar way to refer to cold weather you would say “eiskalt” (ice cold).
“Es ist arschkalt draußen. Du musst dich wärmer anziehen!”
(It is freezing cold outside. You have to dress warmer!)
“Dieses eiskalte Wetter tut meinen Gelenken weh.”
“This ice cold weather is hurting my joints.”