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German word of the day: Pipapo

Rachel Stern
Rachel Stern - [email protected]
German word of the day: Pipapo
Photo credit: Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash + Nicolas Raymond / flickr

This fun word can be used in just about any context where you have a lot more to say than can fit into a sentence.

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What does it mean?

Das Pipapo may sound like a bit of a non-word, or the name of a cartoon octopus. But it’s actually one of the more practical words in colloquial German.

Typically, it’s used in the phrase “mit allem Pipapo”, similar to the English expression “with all the trimmings”, to describe all of the extras that belong to something. 

In more formal German, you might say “ “mit allem, was dazugehört“, or “with everything that comes with that”.

You can also say a simple ‘Pipapo’ at the end of the list to denote something that’s continuing, similar to the German und so weiter (etcetera). 

The silly-sounding word may seem like it was invented by young people on TikTok, but its use actually dates back to the mid-nineteenth century, when it was said to stem from p.p., an abbreviation for “perge, perge”, which was used similarly to "etc."

READ ALSO: 12 colourful German expressions that will add swagger to your language skills

It’s been thrown around many times in German pop culture, with Pipapo used as the title of songs, stories and characters, often as a play on words.

For example, a group called the Podpiraten hosts a regular podcast called PiPaPo, both an abbreviation for Piratenpartei Podcast (Pirate Party Podcast) and way of describing its content, since it deals with everything and then some related to the fringe political party. 

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Here’s how it’s used

Ich habe schon Fahrkarten besorgt und das ganze Pipapo für unsere Reise erledigt.

I already took care of getting train tickets and everything else for our trip.

Ich suche nach einer Wohnung mit zwei Schlafzimmern, einem Bad, und allem Pipapo. 

I’m looking for an apartment with two bedrooms, a bathroom and all the trimmings.

Im Supermarkt kaufe ich Brot, Käse, Gemüse, Joghurt, Pipapo.

In the supermarket, I’m going to buy bread, cheese, vegetables, yogurt, etc.

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