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5 great German Idioms


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Hey!

Well, since I'm new here and German is my native language, I thought I'd make myself useful by posting a couple of my favourite German Idioms! Here they come:

1. Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm!

Literal translation: The early bird catches the worm!

Use: There a two main uses of this one. The first one is to get kids out of bed (Anna, steh auf! Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm!) and the second one to ridicule people who simply came to late to something or acted to slowly to secure a benefit/position for them. The early birds all handed in their applications for a great new position early, but Peter missed the deadline an therefor missed the chance: A classic case of "Tja, Peter, der frühe Vogel fängt halt den Wurm!".

2. Schnee von Gestern

Literal translation: Snow from yesterday

Use: When something is no longer actual or relevant, you can say that it's "Schnee von Gestern."

3. Wie Faust aufs Auge

Literal translation: Like fist on eye

Use: Now, that one is a little crude and I wouldn't use it in a job interview. There is an even cruder version of it out there that I'm not going to include here *lol*. It's used if something fits perfectly together, both literally or methaphorically. As in: "Peter and Anna are a cute couple. They fit together like Faust aufs Auge!"

4. Klar wie Kloßbrühe

Literal translation: Clear like a special kind of (very clear) soup (I'm unsure whether Kloßbrühe exists outside of Germany)

Use: When something is very logical and simple to understand, it's "klar wie Kloßbrühe".

5. Dumm wie Brot

Literal translation: Dumb like bread

Use: An insult to someone who is really, really dumb. Like, really idiotic.

I hope you enjoyed the list!

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Hey!

Well, since I'm new here and German is my native language, I thought I'd make myself useful by posting a couple of my favourite German Idioms! Here they come:

1. Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm!

Literal translation: The early bird catches the worm!

Use: There a two main uses of this one. The first one is to get kids out of bed (Anna, steh auf! Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm!) and the second one to ridicule people who simply came to late to something or acted to slowly to secure a benefit/position for them. The early birds all handed in their applications for a great new position early, but Peter missed the deadline an therefor missed the chance: A classic case of "Tja, Peter, der frühe Vogel fängt halt den Wurm!".

2. Schnee von Gestern

Literal translation: Snow from yesterday

Use: When something is no longer actual or relevant, you can say that it's "Schnee von Gestern."

3. Wie Faust aufs Auge

Literal translation: Like fist on eye

Use: Now, that one is a little crude and I wouldn't use it in a job interview. There is an even cruder version of it out there that I'm not going to include here *lol*. It's used if something fits perfectly together, both literally or methaphorically. As in: "Peter and Anna are a cute couple. They fit together like Faust aufs Auge!"

4. Klar wie Kloßbrühe

Literal translation: Clear like a special kind of (very clear) soup (I'm unsure whether Kloßbrühe exists outside of Germany)

Use: When something is very logical and simple to understand, it's "klar wie Kloßbrühe".

5. Dumm wie Brot

Literal translation: Dumb like bread

Use: An insult to someone who is really, really dumb. Like, really xxxic.

I hope you enjoyed the list!

I am, also, new and enjoyed your list very much!

My favorite has to be Schnee von Gestern.  I think this is a witty, useful phrase to begin my journey into speaking German!  :laugh:

Even though I spent a year in Germany (many years ago), my ability was limited to the basics of hello, goodbye, thank you, sorry I do not speak German, do you speak English?

The next time I visit, it would be nice to interact on a more personal level!  Throwing in a couple of these idioms would be fun!

Perhaps, as a bilingual speaker, you could provide some insight into my post within the General German Discussion section under the title, "Do bilingual German speakers see the world differently?".

Nice to "meet" you!

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Haha, these are great! I especially like "Dumm wie Brot."

I'm not sure if it counts as an idiom, but I often hear people say "Kopfkino." As I understand it, it means the imagery of something bad or worrisome which plays in your head.

Another idiom to add to the list is "Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof." I haven't actually heard anyone say this to me, which is a good thing I think, but I read it once before coming to Germany and it has stayed in my head. It is when the speaker doesn't understand what you are saying, so they say, "I only understand train station."

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  • 6 months later...

Thanks for the list! I'd heard most of these, but "wie Faust aufs Auge" is new to me. Definitely going to want to look up some more contexts for that one so I get a good understanding of it. Honestly, my favorite part of language learning has always been the expressions etc. that make them unique from others. :)

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  • 7 months later...
Scribendi: World-Class Editing and Proofreading

I love these! I especially like Dumm wie Brot. Though, is bread really dumb? Who knows.

I'm not sure if it's an idiom or not, but one of my favorite German sayings is "Das ist mir Wurst," which literally translates to "That is sausage to me." I just find it so amusing that I can say something is a piece of sausage to me, and I don't really know why!

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  • 1 year later...

Awesome!

I'm not sure if this is an idiom, but my personal favourite German saying is: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln, literally: the dumbest farmers have the biggest potatoes. It means 'stupid people have the biggest luck', which is something I find quite apt to describe our world. :P

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