German word of the day: Dudelsack

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

This hilarious sounding German word describes something quintessentially Scottish.


Why do I need to know Dudelsack?

In the run-up to the German v Scotland opening match of Euro 2024, there were a lot of these gracing the streets of Munich. More importantly, why wouldn't you want to know a word like Dudelsack?

Just say the word aloud and it will brighten your day. 

What does it mean?

Dudelsack (pronounced like this) is one of those German words that's both charmingly literal and somewhat onomatopoeic, describing a big bag or sack that makes a 'doodling' kind of noise: in other words, the bagpipes.

As well as sounding like the noise this traditional Scottish instrument makes, dudeln also translates as 'to drone', and anyone who's heard the bagpipes will know that this is also a fairly accurate description of how they sound. 

READ ALSO: 10 German words with hilarious literal translations

As Scotland geared up to play Germany in the opening match of Euro 2024 in Munich, many sacks were doodled in the Bavarian capital. 

Seeing parades of kilts and hearing the distinctive wail of the Dudelsack against the backdrop of Munich's gothic town hall isn't something you experience every day, and we're sure it's an experience the people of Munich also won't forget for a while. 


Use it like this: 

Hör mal auf, Dudelsack zu spielen! Es geht mir auf die Nerven.

Stop playing the bagpipes! It's getting on my nerves.  

Weißt du, wie der Dudelsack klingt? Man hört ihn überall in Schottland.

Do you know what the bagpipes sound like? You can hear them everywhere in Scotland. 



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