Germans sure have a funny way with words, part 1!

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German Idioms Part 1

Friends and family have always told me that they get a kick out of my German expressions. My infamous “Zack! Zack! Zack!” to get a move on things is tame compared to some of the funnier sayings in my homeland. When it comes to idioms, Americans can “kill two birds with one stone” or “look a gift horse in the mouth” but only in Germany can you “stand like the ox before the mountain” or “give someone a running passport.” What does it all mean? Find out below. And come back  for Part II and III. You might just “laugh me a branch.” Enjoy German Idioms Part 1 and you might want to read more in German Idioms Part 2.

GERMAN PHRASEENGLISH TRANSLATIONACTUAL MEANING
Alles fuer die KatzAll for the catIt was all for nothing
Der LaufpassRunning PassportDitch somebody
Du stehst wie der Ochs vorm BergYou stand like the ox before the mountainYou’re at a total loss
Es ist mir WurstIt is me sausageIt doesn’t matter to me
Ich lach mir ‘nen AstI laugh me a branchTo laugh one’s head off
Jemandem den Laufpass gebenGive someone a running passportTo ditch somebody
Keinen Kaese erzaehlenTell no cheeseDon’t tell me nonsense
Mein lieber Herr GesangvereinMy dear mister singing clubMy goodness
QuadratlatschenSquare slipperBig Feet
WeicheiSoft eggSissy
  • Melanie

    My favourite – Backpfeifengesicht – a face you could just slap!
    And the one my kids like – Kabelsalat – lots of cables tangled up into a “salad”

    • The Oma Way

      Melanie, thank you for sharing. I didn’t think about the Backpfeifengesicht for a very long time, but it is a good one.

  • Marion Deimling

    … da wird ja der Hund in der Pfanne verrückt 😉 I am very interesting in Part two and three 🙂