I find it hard to believe when people claim German to be an extremely unattractive language. Maybe because they have never been shown the creative (and very weird, but funny) side of it. Besides its angry–sounding characteristic, the German language can be surprisingly amusing especially when it comes to the German vocabulary. I present you five humorous German words that will surely change your opinion about this language.
I doubt there is someone who doesn’t look forward to the summer. However, those heat waves can take a toll on all of us. So, when complaining about the unbearable hot weather, in English we would usually say things like ‘boiling hot’, ‘a scorcher’ or ‘stifling’. Germans express their discontent with the expression die Affenhitze or ‘the monkey heat’ (der Affe – monkey; die Hitze – heat). Why would Germans create such a strange compound, it’s unknown. Some believe that since monkeys can be found in a tropical climate, it is logical why these two words would be combined.
You know that feeling when occasionally you hear a song and simply can’t get it out of your head? I regret to inform you that you have been diagnosed with an EAR WORM. Well, don’t panic. It’s not a literal worm. It’s just the word-for-word translation of the German Ohrwurm (das Ohr – ear; der Wurm – worm). It seems that whenever Germans are stuck with some catchy annoying tune, they say they have been infected with an Ohrwurm.
We have all felt hot at some point during the night and kept turning the pillow over and over until we find the cool side. Guess what? Germans have a word for that too! Try to pronounce Kissenkühlelabsal! When we break the word down, we get pillow (das Kissen), cool or coolness (kühle) and refreshment (das Labsal). You must admit, Germans can be quite smart and surprisingly imaginative!
Have you ever drifted off with your thoughts during work, school, or even when doing the simplest things such as grocery shopping or when taking a walk? Do not worry. Germans got you covered again. This phenomenon goes by the name Kopfkino or a head cinema. Since it is a cinema that plays in your mind, you can make it as creative as possible. You have been working for hours and can’t help yourself but think about the burger you are going to eat later. But, be aware. Kopfkino can be a bother too. You go to sleep and suddenly your brain decides to play the movie “The most embarrassing moment in my entire life”. So be careful not to let your Kopfkino get hijacked.
Did you gain some weight during the quarantine? In that case, I am afraid you have some extra Kummerspeck. Translated as grief bacon (der Kummer + der Speck), Germans interpret the meaning of the word as excess weight gained by emotional or stress eating or when overeating because of sorrow and sadness. Bacon is a well-known celebrity among fast food; therefore, its association with weight gain should be of no surprise.
So, whenever you need a good laugh or even an inspiration, open the dictionary and try to find the weirdest yet most expressive words of the German language. You will be amazed at how many there are.