25 Cool German Idioms That Will Make You Sound Like A Native

Being a Germanic language, English has a lot in common with German, including its extensive usage of idiomatic sayings. Today we’re going to take a look at some popular German idioms and proverbs that Germans like to use. So whether you are planning on traveling or just want to improve your Deutsch, these are 25 cool German idioms that will make you sound like a native!


Kein Schwein war da

pigSource: duden, wiktionary, Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/nature-farmer-dutch-hd-wallpaper-66627/

Translation: “No pig was there”.

Meaning: Nobody was there. “Pig” is one of those words in German that can have both a positive or negative meaning. If you directly call somebody a pig (Schwein)…get ready to fight. But if you call somebody a “poor pig” (armes Schwein), then it’s more like saying “poor guy/bloke”.


Das kannst du deiner Oma erzählen

grandmaSource: duden, wiktionary, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/doll-grandma-wood-play-nostalgic-550584/

Translation: “You can tell it to your grandmother.”

Meaning: I don’t believe anything you’re saying. Maybe your grandma will believe you…


Ich habe die Nase voll!

clownSource: duden, wiktionary, Image: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=168540&picture=mim-s-cervenym-nosem

Translation: “My nose is full!”

Meaning: I’ve had enough of this already!


Da liegt der Hund begraben

dogSource: duden, wiktionary, Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/animal-dog-pet-focus-7720/

Translation: “That is where the dog is buried”.

Meaning: That is the problem/cause/issue. It would often be used after figuring out what the issue is e.g. “So that’s where the dog is buried!”. Nobody is exactly sure where this came from but it is suspected that it has something to do with dogs following their masters to the grave.


Nul Acht Funfzehn

08/15Source: duden, wiktionary, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MG_08-15.JPG

Translation: “zero eight fifteen” (08/15).

Meaning: It’s okay/mediocre/average. Some cool history is warranted here. The 08/15 was the standard issue rifle during World War I. Since then, saying 08/15 has basically evolved to mean anything that was just okay. How was your trip? 08/15.

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