Word of the Week

Every Friday, Germany.info and The Week in Germany highlight a different "Word of the Week" in the German language that may serve to surprise, delight or just plain perplex native English speakers.

Word of the Week: Quälgeist

Oct 16, 2014 | Germany.info
Dennis - der Quälgeist

When you were little, you might remember nagging your parents persistently to buy you something in a store. Germans would have called you a Quälgeist, which basically means "a pest."

Word of the Week: Wolpertinger

Oct 10, 2014 | Germany.info
Wolpertinger

In the Bavarian Alps, a strange-looking creature with antlers, fangs, wings and a tail roams quietly through the forests - according to folklore, that is. This mythological creature is what Germans call a Wolpertinger - a hybrid species that you've probably never seen before.

Word of the Week: Rennpappe

Oct 2, 2014 | Germany.info
Rennpappe

If you're familiar with East German cars, you probably know that they're not the best quality. But that's probably an understatement: they were so bad, in fact, that Germans began referring to them as Rennpappe, which means "running cardboard".

Word of the Week: Wiesn

Sep 26, 2014 | Germany.info
"Horse race at the Oktoberfest in Munich 1823," H. Adam

Are you going to Oktoberfest or to the Wiesn? Well, if you're going to one, you're also going to the other: the word Wiesn is basically a synonym for Oktoberfest!

Word of the Week: Zwangsumtausch

Sep 19, 2014 | Germany.info
Deutsche Mark

No one likes to be forced to do anything, especially when it comes to spending money. But in 1964, the East German government began a policy known colloquially as the Zwangsumtausch ("forceful exchange of money").

Word of the Week

Word of the Week

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