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: Rübengeister

Oct 31, 2014 | Germany.info
pumpkin

It's Halloween! If you live in the US, you're probably carving scary faces into pumpkins and sticking a candle in the middle. But if you live in Germany, maybe Jack-o'-lanterns aren't your choice: instead, some Germans decorate their homes with so-called Rübengeister ("root vegetable ghosts")!

Word of the Week: Hexenschuss

Oct 24, 2014 | Germany.info
Hexenschuss

Have you ever had a sharp pain in your back - one that leaves you cringing in pain or crouching in agony? Germans would call that a Hexenschuss - a shot by a witch!

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

Word of the Week

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