German word of the day: Der Brückentag

Nothing beats making the most of public holidays - and a Brückentag or two can help you do just that.

German word of the day: Der Brückentag
Photo: Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash + Nicolas Raymond / flickr

Translating literally as ‘bridge day’ or ‘bridging day’, this word does exactly what it says on the tin: when a public holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, eagle-eyed Germans will smugly book a day off of work on the Monday or Friday, effectively ‘bridging’ the holiday and the weekend.

This tactic gives you a luxurious four days of relaxation, and only costs one annual leave day from your holiday allocation. 

These Brückentage have become deeply ingrained in the German cultural consciousness – they even have a dedicated website, which documents all of the possible regional combinations of public holidays and weekends and, in typical German fashion, gives you an efficiency rating of each combination to show how best to use your holiday time.

Remember to note when the Brückentage fall. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Patrick Pleul

This level of fixation on efficient holiday extensions has developed because of Germany’s irritating rule of not giving employees an extra day off whenever a public holiday falls on a weekend, which this year is the case for a fair few public holidays (such as, ironically, International Workers’ Day on May 1st).

READ ALSO: How you can make the most of Germany’s 2022 public holidays 

The German Left Party (die Linke) have made several bids over the past few years to change this rule, arguing that many other countries (the UK and US included) do offer compensatory extra days off when a public holiday falls on a weekend.

If you’re working in Berlin and were lucky enough to book your Brückentag in time, you might be enjoying Monday off before the regional Women’s Day public holiday on March 8th.

If not, look forward to the bridge days around Easter time in April or May 27th, the Thursday after the nationwide holiday of Ascension Day.


Wie willst du deinen Brückentag nächste Woche verbringen?

How do you want to spend your bridge day next week?

Nimmst du sich die Brückentage um Ostern frei?

Are you taking the bridge days off at Easter?

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German word of the day: Isso

Perhaps you've seen this word on social media and you're not sure what it means. Let us explain...

German word of the day: Isso

Why do I need to know isso?

Because it’s a nice colloquial expression to use if you’re feeling a little lazy since it combines a few words. It was also one of Germany’s favourite youth words back in 2016, although it’s definitely not particularly cool anymore and is used by all ages

What does it mean?

Isso is derived from the statement: ist so (short for es ist so) meaning ‘it’s like this’ or ‘it is so’ in English. When used as a response to someone’s statement, it usually means you completely agree. A good translation is: ‘right on!’, yes, that’s exactly right!’ or ‘it’s true!’.

You can also use the expression yourself to emphasise your thought. In this case you’d add it on at the end of your sentence. You often find isso used on Twitter, when someone is quoting a Tweet.

It can also be used in a more downbeat form accompanied by the shrugging of your shoulders. In this case you’re saying isso, because it can’t be helped, it’s the way it is. 

Use it like this: 

– Wir müssen gegen steigende Mietpreise in Berlin demonstrieren.

– Isso! 

– We have to protest against rising rents in Berlin. 

– That’s exactly right!

Frauen sind die besten Autofahrer, isso!

Women are the best drivers, it’s true.