30 Hilarious German Insults You Should Start Using Immediately

Someone engaged in a pointless task or without direction in life can be called a bananenbieger, or “banana bender.”
Someone engaged in a pointless task or without direction in life can be called a bananenbieger, or “banana bender.”
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If you’ve had your fill of German terms of endearment and want to learn how to insult someone instead, look no further. Some of these insults are amusingly innocent-sounding, while others are pretty devastating—so let’s hope you don’t wind up on the receiving end of one of those. Here are 30 of the best German insults we could find.

1. Arschgeige

Someone who doesn’t perform a particular task very well can be called a “butt violin,” or arschgeige.

2. Bananenbieger

Someone who’s engaged in a pointless task, who can't concentrate, or has no direction in life can be called a bananenbieger, or “banana bender.”

3. Erbsenzähler

A “pea counter” is a nitpicker who obsesses over the little details. Similarly, you can call an overly pedantic person who always plays by the rules an ameisentätowierer, or “ant tattooist.”

4. Lustmolch

This word literally translates to “pleasure newt,” which is what you’d call someone who is sex-crazed.

5. Arsch mit ohren

A "butt with ears"—or, put simply, a complete idiot.

6. Evolutionsbremse

An “evolutionary brake” is an unintelligent person whose very existence on Earth hinders the advancement of the human species, so to speak.

7. Einzeller

In a similar vein, this word means a “single-cell organism.”

8. Hosenscheißer

These “trouser-poopers” are cowards.

9. Dünnbrettbohrer

A “driller of thin planks” is someone who takes the easy way out and does the bare minimum.

10. Spargeltarzan

This imaginative insult translates to “asparagus Tarzan,” and describes someone who is thin and gangly.

11. Kotzbrocken

A "lump of puke."

12. Heißluftgebläse

A “hot air gun” is someone who talks too much, but about nothing. You can also call someone a labertasche, or “babble bag.”

13. Gehirnverweigerer

A “brain denier” is someone who doesn’t use their noggin often.

14. Teletubbyzurückwinker

This word, which means “someone who waves back at Teletubbies,” describes someone who isn’t too bright.

15. Schluckspecht

A boozer who hits the bottle too much can be called a “guzzling woodpecker.”

16. Stinkstiefel

A “smelly boot” is an especially grouchy person.

17. Tratschtante

A “gossip aunt” is someone who loves to spread rumors and talk about other people.

18. Rotzlöffel

A brat—literally, “snot spoon.”

19. Speichellecker

A “saliva licker,” or brown-noser.

20. Lackaffe

A “varnish monkey” is an overly flashy man who dresses garishly.

21. Schweinehund

In English, someone who behaves crassly (typically a man) can be called a “pig” or a “dog.” German combines both into schweinehund, meaning “pig dog.”

22. Trantüte

Here’s one for your morning commute: You can call the slowpoke in front of you a trantüte, or a “bag of whale blubber.”

23. Backpfeifengesicht

Backpfeife is a slap across the cheek, and gesicht is face. Put them together and you get “a face that invites a slap.”

24. Blockflötengesicht

Remember the recorder from your childhood music class? It has seven holes and blows hot air, just like a “recorder face,” or blockflötengesicht. (It refers to a person’s two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, and mouth.) Basically, it means an idiot, or someone given to meaningless talk.

25. Socken-in-sandalen-träger

There are a few sock-oriented taunts in German. A socken-in-sandalen-träger, or “socks-in-sandals wearer,” is kind of a wimp. So is a sockenschläfer (someone who sleeps in socks) and a sockenfalter (a man who folds his socks).

26. Weichei

Likewise, “soft eggs” are weak or wimpy. This word (and the rest of the insults listed below) are part of a whole list of German synonyms for wimp called weicheiwörter, or "soft egg words."

27. Warmduscher

A warmduscher is a wuss who takes warm showers.

28. Jeansbügler

Someone who irons their jeans.

29. Tee-trinker

Someone who drinks tea—most likely when everyone else is drinking beer.

30. Schattenparker

Someone who parks in the shade.

What's the Difference Between Stuffing and Dressing?

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iStock

For carbohydrate lovers, nothing completes a Thanksgiving meal quite like stuffing—shovelfuls of bread, celery, mushrooms, and other ingredients that complement all of that turkey protein.

Some people don’t say stuffing, though. They say dressing. In these calamitous times, knowing how to properly refer to the giant glob of insulin-spiking bread seems necessary. So what's the difference?

Let’s dismiss one theory off the bat: Dressing and stuffing do not correlate with how the side dish is prepared. A turkey can be stuffed with dressing, and stuffing can be served in a casserole dish. Whether it’s ever seen the inside of a bird is irrelevant, and anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong and should be met with suspicion, if not outright derision.

The terms are actually separated due to regional dialects. Dressing seems to be the favored descriptor for southern states like Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia, while stuffing is preferred by Maine, New York, and other northern areas. (Some parts of Pennsylvania call it filling, which is a bit too on the nose, but to each their own.)

If stuffing stemmed from the common practice of filling a turkey with carbs, why the division? According to HuffPost, it may have been because Southerners considered the word stuffing impolite, and therefore never embraced it.

While you should experience no material difference in asking for stuffing or dressing, when visiting relatives it might be helpful to keep to their regionally-preferred word to avoid confusion. Enjoy stuffing yourselves.

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What’s the Difference Between Forests, Woods, and Jungles?

Jui-Chi Chan/iStock via Getty Images
Jui-Chi Chan/iStock via Getty Images

If you're an English speaker, there’s a good chance you often use the words woods, forest, and jungle correctly without even thinking about it. Even if a patch of trees takes up a significant portion of your backyard, you probably wouldn’t consider it a forest; and you wouldn’t talk about the beautiful fall foliage in New England’s jungles. Based on those examples, it seems like woods are smaller than forests, and jungles aren’t found in colder climates. This isn’t wrong—but there's more to it than that.

According to Merriam-Webster, a forest is “a dense growth of trees and underbrush covering a large tract,” while woods are “a dense growth of trees usually greater in extent than a grove and smaller than a forest.” The reason we consider forests to be larger than woods dates back to the Norman rule of Great Britain in 1066, when a forest was a plot of land owned by the Crown that was large enough to accommodate game for royal hunting parties. Whether that land contained trees or not was essentially irrelevant.

These days, scientists and land managers definitely consider the presence of trees necessary for land to be classified as a forest. To set it apart from woods, or woodland, it usually has to meet certain density qualifications, which are different depending on whom you ask.

According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), a forest must cover about 1.24 acres of land, and its canopy cover—the amount of land covered by the treetops—must exceed 10 percent of the acreage [PDF]. “Other wooded land” must also span about 1.24 acres, but its canopy cover is between 5 and 10 percent. In a nutshell, the FAO thinks forests and woods are the same size, but forests are more dense than woods. Australia, on the other hand, employs plant ecologist Raymond Specht’s classification system for its vegetation, in which any tree-populated land with less than 30 percent canopy cover is a woodland, and anything more dense than that is a forest.

Unlike forests, jungles don’t have specific scientific classifications, because the word jungle isn’t really used by scientists. According to Sciencing, it’s a colloquial term that usually denotes what scientists refer to as tropical forests.

Tropical forests are located around the Equator and have the highest species diversity per area in the world. Since they’re so densely populated with flora and fauna, it makes sense that both Merriam-Webster and the Encyclopedia Britannica describe jungles as “tangled” and “impenetrable.” They’re bursting with millions of plants and animals that are different from what we see in temperate and boreal forests to the north.

Because most of us aren’t in the habit of clarifying which type of forest we’re talking about in casual conversation, it’s no surprise that we often refer to the temperate forests we see in our own climate simply as forests, which we differentiate from those rich, overgrown tropical territories to the south by calling them jungles.

To summarize, forests are historically and colloquially considered to be larger than woods, and scientifically considered to be more dense. Jungles are technically forests, too, since jungle is a casual word for what scientists call a tropical forest.

And, all differences aside, it’s relaxing to spend time in any of them—here are 11 scientific reasons why that’s true.

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