23 Weird Words in German (With Examples)

German is an impressive language with many words that have no accurate English translation.

That said, for non-native German language speakers, the language is full of some seriously weird words.

Read on below and discover our picks for the top weird words in German!

Weird Words in German

Whether you are looking for some new words to impress your German-speaking friends and family, or you’re simply curious about what weird words other languages have to offer, here are 25 weird words in German:

1. Torschlusspanik (Closing-gate panic)

The weird German word Torschlusspanik translates to “closing-gate panic.” However, we’re not talking about automatic garage doors and entryways to gated communities here.

The type of closing-gate panic that Torschlusspanik represents is the closing gate of life opportunities, and life itself, rather than an actual physical gate.

Example of the word Torschlusspanik in a proper sentence:

“Torschlusspanik gripped his mind as he beheld the men on stage playing their instruments and effortlessly wooing the crowd. The men were younger, more successful, and made him regret giving up his dream of playing music for a factory job 27 years ago.”

2. Stinktier (Stink animal)

Stinktier is a weird German word that translates to “stink animal” in English. If you’ve ever seen a skunk, you’ve seen a stinkier, because they are one and the same.

Stinktier may also be a nickname/pet name for a friend or partner as well.

Example of the word stinkier in a proper sentence:

“Why, you little stinktier! I can’t believe you shared that picture on your Insta! Take it down! *pouts*.”

3. Weltschmerz (World pain)

The third weird German word on our list is Weltschmerz, or, translated into English: world pain.

The definition doesn’t describe the actual pain of the world itself, though. Weltschmerz is the pain that we feel in our hearts and minds when life doesn’t add up to what we think/wish it could/would.

Example of the word weltschmerz in a proper sentence:

“His heart and mind were Weltschmerz as he watched the young successful musicians playing their hearts out for the audience. Surely he’d missed his calling in life, he thought to himself.”

4. Fernweh (Distance pain)

Fernweh is another weird German word that you can add to your dictionary of strange words. It’s even better for LDR couples, as it translates to “distance pain” in English (think, homesick, in reverse).

Example of the word fernweh in a proper sentence:

“The Fernweh in his heart made him restless. His nerves were on fire. He had to get up and go. He needed to explore the vast distances between him and there.”

5. Weichei (Soft egg)

The weird word weichei translates roughly to “soft egg” in the English language. The meaning of the word is closer to “wimp” or “weakling” however.

Example of the word weichei in a proper sentence:

“Get over here, ya weichei! I’ll squash you like a bug if I get my hands on you! *pulls gum out of his hair*.”

6. Kummerspeck (Grief bacon)

Kummerspeck is another great word from the German language that sounds absolutely weird coming off the tongue.

“Grief bacon” is the literal English translation of Kummerspeck. The actual meaning is the weight that you put on during periods of inactivity due to depression, grief, and other mental states of unhappiness.

Example of the word kummerspeck in a proper sentence:

“I’m happily dating now, but, I can’t seem to get rid of this dang kummerspeck! Maybe I should buy a gym membership.”

7. Sitzfleisch (Sit or seat meat)

Sometimes, the German language offers up some seriously amusing words such as Sitzfleisch. The literal definition is “seat meat,” or “sit”.

What does that actually mean? In simple English, Sitzfleisch means “butt”.

Example of the word sitzfleisch in a proper sentence:

“*shakes fist at young hooligans* “If I catch you little brats in my garden one more time I’m gonna put my boot to your sitzfleisch! * continues shaking fist*”

8. Lebensmüde (Life tired)

This weird German word means something akin to “tired of life” or “weary of life.” In other words, it is a form of depression or negative/dreary thinking.

Example of the word lebensmüde in a proper sentence:

“What’s the matter with you, woman? Has Lebensmüde gotten hold of you?”

9. Innerer Schweinehund (Inner pig dog)

Innerer Schweinehund is a weird word from the German language that translates literally to “inner pig dog.”

What it really means is the inner voice in your head that tries to lead you astray.

Example of the word schweinehund in a proper sentence:

“If it weren’t for the innerer schweinehund screaming at me all hours of the night I would be in this pickle, to begin with! *uselessly struggles against the straight-jacket*”

10. Purzelbaum (Tumble tree)

Purzelbaum, or “tumble tree” in the English language, is the 10th weird German word on our list.

If you imagine a person, trying to tumble, and looking like a tree, you probably see someone doing a summersault in your mind.

Purzelbaum is exactly that; a summersault.

Example of the word purzelbaum in a proper sentence:

“Ok, students! Line up and take turns doing Purzelbaums.”

11. Treppenwitz (Staircase joke)

The weird German word, treppenwitz, translates literally to “staircase joke” in English… which is bizarre sounding, to say the least!

What it means in actuality is someone who is dim-witted or slow thinking.

Example of the word treppenwitz in a proper sentence:

“Did you see the look on that treppenwitz face? Five whole minutes after the punch line!” *slaps knees and belly laughs*

12. Fremdschämen (Exterior shame)

The strange-sounding German word, Fremdschämen, translates to “exterior shame” and “second-hand embarrassment”. It’s definitely worthy of a place on our list of weird words!

This is the sort of embarrassment that you feel when a friend or family member does something embarrassing in front of others.

Example of the word fremdschämen in a proper sentence:

“The Fremdschämen was crippling. She didn’t dare look up. She knew that every eye in the church was on her and her screaming child.”

13. Dreikäsehoch (Three cheeses high)

The weird German word Dreikäsehoch translates into “three cheeses high” or “three cheeses tall” in English. In actuality, it is referring to the height of a small child.

Example of the word dreikäsehoch in a proper sentence:

“I’ve been stomping n00bs on Starcraft since their moms were still Dreikäsehoch, son.”

14. Backpfeifengesicht (Slap face)

Backpfeifengesicht is a weird German word that loosely translates into “slap face” in the English language.

Another translation is “A face that needs a fist in it.”

Example of the word backpfeifengesicht in a proper sentence:

“Go on, Backpfeifengesicht. Make my day.” *clears leather faster than greased-lightning*

15. Zungenbrecher (Tongue breaker)

Zungenbrecher is a weird German word that translates to “tongue breaker.” It is the German equivalent of the English term “tongue twister.”

Example of the word zungenbrecher in a proper sentence:

“My favorite Zungenbrecher is “peter pepper picked a patch of purple pickled peppers and packed them perfectly in Patricia’s purple purse.”

16. Erklärungsnot (Explanation poverty)

Erklärungsnot is a weird German word that translates into English as “explanation poverty”. What it means, in plain English, is someone who lacks enough financial resources to evade poverty.

Example of the word erklärungsnot in a proper sentence:

“Stay away from those bums, Jimmy! And be thankful that you’re not an Erklärungsnot yourself.”

17. Schattenparker (Shadow parker)

A schattenparker is someone who parks their car somewhere shady, in order to avoid the sun. Apparently, this is, or was, seen as a sign of weakness in Germany, hence the term is a derogatory word.

Example of the word schattenparker in a proper sentence:

“Hey, guys, look at the schattenparker! Awww, he’s parking his car in the shade because the big bad sun is too strong for him.” *everyone laughs at the man parking in the shade*

18. Donnerbalken (Thunder beam)

Donnerbalken is a weird German word for “shit house”, or “toilet” if you prefer. The word can be used to describe a person, who is more or less a “shit head”, or an actual toliet/bathroom facilities.

Example of the word donnerbalken in a proper sentence:

“Did ya’ll get a load of that donnerbalken over there? Guy thinks he can cut in line! He must not be from ’round’cheer! Let’s get’em!” *angry mob attacks the rude man who cut in line*

19. Kuddelmuddel (???)

Kuddelmuddel is a weird German word that, more or less, translates to “chaos” in the English language. When something goes off the rails, it goes to kuddlemuddle.

Example of the word kuddlemuddle in a proper sentence:

“Everything was going great… and then, blam! T’was suddenly a kuddlemuddle, in the merest twink of an eye!”

20. Wildpinkler (Wild pee-e)

Wildpinkler is a weird German word that roughly translates to “wild pee-e”, or “wild pee-er” in English. It is used to signify a person who pees (urinates) publicy.

Example of the word wildpinkler in a proper sentence:

“Stay away from that wildpinkler, especially on a windy day!”

21. Eselsbrücke (Donkey’s bridge.)

The word Eselsbrücke is another weird one from the German Language. It’s one of the hardest words to define in English, if you don’t know the German language.

The true definition of the word, in English, is roughly “silence”. think quiet enough to hear a pin drop.

Example of the word Eselsbrücke in a proper sentence:

“The room was Eselsbrücke. You could literally have heard a needle drop.”

22. Ohrwurm (Earworm)

Ohrwurm is the second to last weird German word on our list. It means “earworm” in English. This word refers to mentioning a juicy piece of gossip to someone, or mentioning something that makes the other person extremely curious.

Example of the word blank in a proper sentence:

“Sometimes, all you need to drop a little ohrwurm in their ear, sit back, and wait for the show.”

23. Handschuhe (Handshoe)

The last weird German word on our list is Handschuhe, or “handshoe” in plain English. In other words, it means a glove or mitten!

Example of the word blank in a proper sentence:

“It’s snowing out there, children. don’t forget your hats, scarves, snowboots, and handshoes!”

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