German word of the day: Nix

The Local Germany
The Local Germany - [email protected]
German word of the day: Nix
Photo: Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash + Nicolas Raymond / flickr

This handy little word is versatile and will help you fit right in to informal German chats.


Why do I need to know nix?

Because it's a German word that's really short and easy to say. And once you know it, you'll use it all the time in conversations with your German friends (and hear it a lot).

What does it mean?

Nix is the colloquial word for nichts which translates to "nothing". You'd use this in a relaxed setting, rather than a formal one such as a job interview. 

What is interesting is that nichts can actually be quite hard for non-native German speakers to pronounce, so lots of non-Germans will say nix instead without trying for that version. But many native Germans prefer to use the slang pronunciation anyway.


And, as the tweet below by German journalist Jens Clasen shows, it doesn't have to just mean "nothing". You can also use it to add to your sentence, whether you want to negate or deny something.

Meanwhile, gar nix translates to "nothing at all". 

One other thing to note that as a noun, (der) Nix means merman, the male version of a mermaid.

Use it like this:

Du musst mir gar nix erklären.

You don't have to explain anything at all to me. 

Nix cool, das ist furchtbar!

This isn't cool, it's terrible!

Nix fertig, mach weiter!

You're not done, keep going!


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also