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Nerdy flowers to alcoholic birds: the 12 most colourful German insults


Who would think that calling a man someone who likes to take warm showers is an insult? Apparently people in Germany, where myth has it that taking a cold shower is considered masculine. Nowadays its applied to people who may be a bit on the cowardly side; you can also call them a Weichei (soft egg), or a wimp.


If you know about the do-it-yourself-mentality of Germans, who pride themselves as skilled handymen who'd never even think about hiring a professional to do something they could do themselves for free, this is a severe insult. The guy who translates to “thin plank driller” is not the most popular guy around. Something like a deadbeat, a Dünnbrettbohrer is a rather unintelligent and unambitious fellow, someone who might get the job done but would never bother to go the extra mile.


You dont think too highly of someones intelligence, or lack there of, if you refer to them as this word, literally meaning someone who puts the breaks on evolution due to their very existence, which embodies so much stupidity that it slows the advancement of the species down.


Little is known about the definite origins of “Honk”, but the term refers to a total idiot. While this word has no underlying meaning and no German etymology, rumour has it that Honk stepped on the scene when the famous German comedian Otto Waalkes introduced a baby cartoon character who had a teddy bear named Honk. Other etymologists suggest that Honk really is an acronym for either “Hirn ohne nennenswerte Kapazität” (brain without noteworthy capacities) or “Hirnloser ohne nennenswerte Kenntnisse” (brainless without noteworthy knowledge).


If the old adage “You are what you eat” applied in Germany, a great bulk of Germans would be “asparagus Tarzans” from April through to June during the beloved Spargelzeit. Yet this word does not refer to a veggie-eating behemoth, but rather an especially skinny and gangly person.


This word sounds as annoying as what it implies: a complete brat, or “Bratze.” Its a particular favourite of the Berlin comedian Kurt Krömer, who frequently uses the phrase "Na, du alte Kackbratze!" in order to say hi to someone. Such a person can also be called a Rotzlöffel, or a snot spoon.

Kurt Krömer, the Berlin comedian famous for his use of 'Kackbratze'. Photo: DPA.


This one is reserved for someone you find to be a complete idiot. Or a person could say “Ich habe mich zum Vollhorst gemacht” if they feel they have made a fool out of themselves.

In German, the very common male first name “Horst” somehow became synonymous with “fool”. The prefix “voll” means “total” so that a “Vollhorst” is the ultimate idiot. As of late, the equally common male first name “Otto” is following a similar career that “Horst” pioneered. Both these names work as surnames as well, so if you happen to be named “Horst Otto” or “Otto Horst” you will be a Spaßbremse (killjoy, or literally 'fun brake') in no time!


Literally a “pea counter”, this is reserved for someone who focuses on insignificant details rather than the big picture. This pedant is also known (and hated) as Paragraphenreiter, someone who sticks to the script no matter what. Its about the principle!

An Erbsenzähler sweats the small stuff. PRead More – Source

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