German word of the day: Aprilwetter

Imogen Goodman
Imogen Goodman - [email protected]
German word of the day: Aprilwetter
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Sunshine one minute, snow the next - if the weather feels like it's lost its mind, this is a German word you'll want to have in your vocabulary.


Why do I need to know Aprilwetter?

Because this handy German idiom perfectly sums up the type of weather you're bound to experience in Germany at this type of year - and if you want to try and make small-talk with Germans, talking about the weather is often a great place to start!

What does it mean?

Das Aprilwetter (pronounced like this) means exactly what it sounds like: weather that is typical in the month of April. In Germany, that tends to mean days that can change from sweltering heat to rainstorms in a matter of hours, or fluctuations between sun and snow on a weekly basis.

If you've noticed that you struggle to decide what clothes to wear each day this month, it could be that you're experiencing the confusing phenomenon that is Aprilwetter. If you take a coat, you may not need it, but if you don't, be prepared for a sudden hailstorm just after you leave the house.

A phrase that you can use with similar connotations is Frühlingswetter, which describes the changeable weather conditions that are typical in spring.

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The poet T.S. Eliot famously wrote, "April is the cruellest month", as the temperamental weather we see at this time of year always seems to be particularly extreme.

If you're struggling to describe weather that seems unable to decide whether it's summer or winter, simply reach for the term Aprilwetter and every German will know exactly what you mean.


Use it like this:

Ich war nicht vorbereitet für dieses krasse Aprilwetter. Ich hätte eine Jacke mitnehmen sollen!

I wasn't prepared for this extreme April weather. I should have brought a jacket with me!

Es gibt kein typisches Aprilwetter - zu diesem Jahreszeit sieht man alle Wetterarten unter der Sonne!

There's no such thing as typical April weather - at this time of year you see all types of weather under the sun!


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