New German Words

I’ve technically now being learning German for 14 years, which, sitting back and thinking about it, is a hell of a long time. It’s over half my life, let’s put it like that! But it’s safe to say I still make my mistakes and I still learn new words. Here’s a sample of new words I’ve learnt this year so far.


die Garnele

I learnt this word when I asked Tim what he was cooking. I definitely didn’t understand what he was making so had to ask again in English what on earth it was he was actually making. It was lecker in the end!


der Hummer

I can see some sort of pattern going on here… but no, Tim wasn’t cooking lobster (how posh would that be?!). To be honest, I can’t actually remember where I was when I learnt this, but I most likely zoned out of the conversation when I panicked and didn’t know what was being spoken about – I thought of the truck!


die Grille

Cricket as in the insect, not the sport. I learnt this, of all places, in my Spanish class. We were talking about how quickly Spring seems to be coming in Frankfurt (to a certain extent), and one of my classmates said something along the lines of “ja, und die Grillen in der Stadt auch”. My translation to that was: “Yes, and there are people barbecuing in the city”. Curious, I thought. I definitely hadn’t come across any barbecues. Then they spoke about the noise that is soothing that these Grillen (to me: barebecues) make, but other classmates said they find it annoying when there are too many of them in one place. Safe to say, I got completely lost in the conversation, until I quickly googled on my phone and realised they were talking about crickets all the time, and not barbecues.

Definitely not a barbecue. Image credit: Mario Viertel ( – Subject to CC 2.0 License.


der Köder

I decided to get my ‘Thousand First Words in German’ book out when quiet Sunday and test Tim on his knowledge of the English language. Through that, I learnt German words myself that I’d never heard of, such as Köder!


die Gürtelrose

The translation of Gürtelrose is literally ‘belt rose’ – how do the Germans, known for their curious words such as ‘tooth meat’ for gum and ‘breast wart’ for nipple make something so horrible sound so nice?


to spawn

This was another one of those “GET YOUR OWN DAMN WORDS!” moments of mine. I was explaining a game and wanted to talk about where enemies are spawned on the map. I got to the word spawn, couldn’t say it, ask how you say, and the reply was “spawnen”. Get your own damn words, German! Geez!

What weird and wonderful words have you recently learnt in German? Or any other languages? It would be interesting to read about your new additions to your vocabulary!

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