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.”
iStock.com/gpointstudio

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.

Guess the Places These Foods Were Named After

What's the Difference Between a Rabbit and a Hare?

iStock.com/Carmen Romero
iStock.com/Carmen Romero

Hippity, hoppity, Easter's on its way—and so is the eponymous Easter bunny. But aside from being a magical, candy-carrying creature, what exactly is Peter Cottontail: bunny, rabbit, or hare? Or are they all just synonyms for the same adorable animal?

In case you've been getting your fluffy, long-eared mammals mixed up, we've traveled down the rabbit hole to set the record straight. Although rabbits and hares belong to the same grass-munching family—called Leporidae—they're entirely different species with unique characteristics. It would be like comparing sheep and goats, geneticist Steven Lukefahr of Texas A&M University told National Geographic.

If you aren't sure which animal has been hopping around and helping themselves to the goodies in your vegetable garden, take a closer look at their ears. In general, hares have longer ears and larger bodies than rabbits. Rabbits also tend to be more social creatures, while hares prefer to keep to themselves.

As for the baby animals, they go by different names as well. Baby hares are called leverets, while newborn rabbits are called kittens or kits. So where exactly do bunnies fit into this narrative? Originally, the word bunny was used as a term of endearment for a young girl, but its meaning has evolved over time. Bunny is now a cutesy, childlike way to refer to both rabbits and hares—although it's more commonly associated with rabbits these days. With that said, the Easter bunny is usually depicted as a rabbit, but the tradition is thought to have originated with German immigrants who brought their legend of an egg-laying hare called "Osterhase" to America.

In other ambiguous animal news, the case of Bugs Bunny is a little more complicated. According to scientist and YouTuber Nick Uhas, the character's long ears, fast speed, and solitary nature seem to suggest he's a hare. However, in the cartoon, Bugs is shown burrowing underground, which doesn't jive with the fact that hares—unlike most rabbits—live aboveground. "We can draw the conclusion that Bugs may be a rabbit with hare-like behavior or a hare with rabbit nesting habits," Uhas says.

The conversation gets even more confusing when you throw jackrabbits into the mix, which aren't actually rabbits at all. Jackrabbits are various species of large hare that are native to western North America; the name itself is a shortened version of "jackass rabbit," which refers to the fact that the animal's ears look a little like a donkey's.

A jackrabbit
Connor Mah, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

As Mark Twain once famously wrote about the creature, "He is just like any other rabbit, except that he is from one-third to twice as large, has longer legs in proportion to his size, and has the most preposterous ears that ever were mounted on any creature but the jackass." (Fun fact: Black-tailed jackrabbits' extra-long ears actually help them stay cool in the desert. The blood vessels in their ears enlarge when it gets hot, causing blood to flow to their ears and ridding their bodies of excess heat.)

Rabbits, hares, and jackrabbits all have one thing in common, though: They love a good salad. So if you happen across one of these hopping creatures, give them some grass or weeds—and skip the carrots. Bugs Bunny may have loved the orange vegetable, but most hares and rabbits would prefer leafy greens.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, send it to bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER