German word of the day: Brüller

Tom Ashton-Davies
Tom Ashton-Davies - [email protected]
German word of the day: Brüller
Photo credit: Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash + Nicolas Raymond / flickr

This versatile word can be used to describe a funny joke, a well-received product, or even a bad mistake.


What does it mean?

The colloquial term ‘Brüller’ in German encompasses various meanings. Firstly, it is often used to describe a mistake or a blunder.

Beyond that, it can also be used to describe a really funny joke, similar to a ‘hoot’ in English - when somebody makes this great joke, you may respond with ‘Was für ein Brüller’ (what a hoot!)

Moreover, ‘Brüller’ refers to roaring or screaming, for instance the atmosphere at a football game. 

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Lastly, it can be employed to describe something well-received or in high demand, once again in a casual manner. 

For instance, a newly-released shoe model flying off the shelves can be deemed as a ‘Brüller’ - ‘das neue Schuhmodell ist ein Brüller’. 

‘Ein Brüller’ finds its origin in the German verb ‘brüllen’, meaning ‘to roar’ in German.

The verb traces its roots back to ‘brüelen’ from Middle High German, a period spanning roughly from the late 11th century to the 14th century. 

During this time, ‘brüelen’ transformed into Early New High German, marking the period in which ‘Brüller’ saw its peak usage.


How it's used

Using ‘Brüller’ referring to a joke

‘Der Witz, den der Komiker erzählt hat, war ein absoluter Brüller’.

The joke that the comedian told was an absolute hoot. 

‘Wenn er den Ministerpräsident imitiert, ist das immer ein garantierter Brüller’.

When he imitates the Prime MInister, it’s guaranteed to be a howler. 

Using ‘Brüller’ referring to a blunder

‘Diese Entscheidung war ein Brüller’.

That decision was a real blunder 

Using ‘Brüller’ for something well-received 

‘Das neue iPhone von Apple war ein totaler Brüller’.

There was great demand for the new Apple iPhone. 

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