What’s German slang like? What are it’s uses and common functions.
Germans tend to use the word cool often in their day to day slang. Because of this they have developed many different was to explain cool.
The most common way is the word “geil”. This used to mean horny, but now the meaning has changed. Other words are cool, fett, der hammer, knaller, krass or voll krass,….. The outdated way of saying this was prima, but that word is now out of fashion.
You might also hear the word “oder” used out of context or so it seems. Oder means “or” and is used at the end of sentences. “Geil oder?” would then mean “cool, isn’t it?”. So in English it translates to isn’t it?, wasn’t it?, does it?, will it? can it? Get the picture? It is to place a question tag and get someone’s opinion on your statement.
Saying hello is often something that you will come across some changes within German speaking territories. The formal way would be “Guten tag” all areas, and Grüss Gott, in Baden Württemburg, Bavaria and Austria. But colloquially in the north you might hear Moin, moin, (morgen, morgen or Morning, morning), in Bavaria and neighbouring parts of Austria “servus”, (both hello and goodbye), and Gruezi in Switzerland.
One type of slang that is common in most languages and dialects is the way people call men and women in their slang. In German a guy will be called a “Jung”, “typ”, alter (dude), and girls called “mädeli”, ‘heisse biene -hot chick (bee)’, hase-a rabbit,
One great and common intensifier in German is the phrase “wie die sau- like a sow (female pig)”. It is used for something strong or the use of extra effort, for example ‘es schüttert wie die sau- it’s pouring rain like a sow” or ” ich habe gearbeitet wie die sau- I worked like a sow- meaning very hard”.
German speakers often use English words in their slang. Words like “cool” and “shit happens” are used instead of the equivalent “kuhl” and “schiesse passiert”. Other words are “job” and “McJob” which is a low paid job.
If you are interested in other German Slang words visit our German slang page, or