Ever wondered how you can sound more like a native speaker in German? Well, German slang is your answer!
Denisa from Spring German (a project I co-founded) made a fantastic video about the slang phrases and words you’ll hear all the time, and need to use:
Exploring vibrant streets of German slang is like unlocking a secret garden within a language – it’s where the colloquial flowers bloom and fill the conversational air.
To truly understand the German language and culture, learning the local slang isn’t just fun; it’s really important to receiving a key to the city, that allows you to explore hidden alleys of expression and connect with natives on their own homeland.
Now, let’s dig into the soil of this linguistic landscape and uncover some of the most colorful German slang words and phrases.
1. 10 Most Common German Slang Words
Before we categorize all of these brand-new and already existing German slang words and phrases, let’s take a look at the 10 most common German slang words that’ll give you a head start in sounding like a local or a native speaker.
These German slang expressions became an essential part of the German everyday language, so you probably won’t even realize that people are using them! They are basically common German phrases by now.
10 most common German slang words
|German Slang Word
Yes, I know, I know! This is all good and nice but what’s it worth if you don’t try it out in a conversation? Well, you’re right!
Below, you’ll read a short conversation between Hans and Georg about travelling to Berlin. Pay attention on how these German slang expressions and phrases appear in their sentences!
Hans: Ey, Alter! Wie war dein Trip nach Berlin? (Hey, dude! How was your trip to Berlin?)
Georg: Ach, es war krass! Die Stadt hat echt eine geile Stimmung. (Ah, it was awesome! The city really has a cool atmosphere.)
Hans: Haha, ich sag’s dir, Berlin ist ein Knaller. Hast du neue Kumpels gefunden? (Haha, I tell you, Berlin is a blast. Did you find new buddies?)
Georg: Klar, ich habe ein paar coole Leute kennengelernt. Wir sind in schicken Clubs rumgehangen. (Sure, I met some cool people. We hung out in chic clubs.)
Hans: Man, das klingt nicht mies. Wie war das Essen? (Man, that doesn’t sound bad. How was the food?)
Georg: Oh, das Essen war der Quatsch – ich habe so viel Döner gegessen, dass ich fast geplatzt bin! (Oh, the food was nonsense – I ate so much kebab that I almost burst!)
Hans: Hahaha, typisch! Und hast du auch ‘ne Tussi aufgerissen? (Hahaha, typical! And did you pick up a chick?)
Georg: Quatsch, ich war nur zum Spaß da. Aber die Frauen dort sind definitiv hübsch. (Nonsense, I was just there for fun. But the women there are definitely pretty.)
I also want to introduce you to a method called Conversation Based Chunking: it’s a method I developed and since I introduced it, it has helped tens of thousands of students to achieve fluency in their target language. You can learn German slangs easier with Conversation Based Chunking. Learn more about this method by clicking the button below!
2. German Slang Phrases for German Greetings: Say Hello Like a Native Speaker
The next step is to group all of these known phrases into different categories.
Ditch the textbook “Hallo” and “Guten Tag” and greet like a true German by using slang phrases.
Here’s how they differ from the formal greetings:
German Slang phrases for greetings
|German Slang Phrase
|Was geht ab?
|What’s going on?
In a conversation, this would look like:
Georg: Moin, Hans! Wie geht’s dir heute? (Hi, Hans! How are you today?)
Hans: Servus, Georg! Alles klar bei dir? (Hello, Georg! All good with you?)
Georg: Na? Bist du bereit für ein neues Abenteuer? (So? Are you ready for a new adventure?)
Hans: Tach! Klar, lass uns loslegen. (Hi! Sure, let’s get started.)
3. Learn German Slang Words and Phrases for Saying Cool
Keeping up with the younger generation often involves knowing how to exclaim that something is “cool” or “awesome”. Amidst all of the newest slangs from social media, it’s hard to remember everything the Gen Z and the Generation Alpha comes up with.
We’re here to help you understand some of these nuances in German.
Here are some German slang phrases that’ll help you stay ‘hip’:
German slang for staying cool
|German Slang Word/Phrase
|The Hit/Big Thing
For example, “Dieser Club ist echt geil!” would connect you with the teenagers conversing about their favorite hangout spot. 😎
4. Common Longer German Slang Expressions
Despite the standard rules set in language learning resources, real-life dialogues involve a tremendous amount of informal expressions and regional nuances that make German an exciting language to learn.
This section will introduce you to some of the most commonly used German colloquial expressions to help you fit in conversations like a real local.
Here’s a variety of longer German slang expressions from different parts of the German-speaking world:
Longer German Slang Expressions
|German Slang Sentence
|Das ist mir Wurst.
|It’s all the same to me.
|Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof.
|I don’t understand anything.
|Lass uns einen heben.
|Let’s have a drink.
|Ich glaub, ich spinne.
|I think I’m going crazy.
|To be up for it/To feel like doing something.
|Ich bin fix und fertig.
|I’m exhausted/worn out.
|Das geht ab!
|That’s amazing/That’s going off!
|Auf keinen Fall!
|No way!/Definitely not!
|Nicht mein Bier.
|Not my problem/Not my thing.
|Jetzt mal Butter bei die Fische!
|Let’s get to the point/Let’s get real.
|Das ist Jacke wie Hose.
|That makes no difference.
|Hast du Tomaten auf den Augen?
|Are you blind?/Don’t you see it?
|Da steppt der Bär.
|It’s going to be a great party/It’s lively.
|No interest/No motivation.
Austrian German Slang Expressions
When you go to Austria, it’s like stepping into a storybook with beautiful mountains and cozy towns.
Like you probably already know, the people there also speak German, but they have their own special way of saying things, kind of like a secret language that makes them special with German slang.
We’ve made a compiled a list of words that people in Austria use so you can talk like them too!
This way, if you ever visit Austria, maybe to sip hot chocolate in a cafe in Vienna or to play in the snow on the mountains, you can use these words and fit right in, just like you’re one of the friends from the neighborhood.
Austrian German slang phrases
|Austrian German Slang
|Das geht sich nicht aus.
|That won’t work out.
|Gleich geht’s los.
|It’s about to start.
|Heute geh ma steil.
|We’ll party hard tonight.
|Schau ma mal.
|Let’s wait and see.
|I hab di lieb.
|I love you.
|Des is ur leiwand.
|That’s really awesome.
|Get out of here!/Go on!
|I bin patschnass.
|I’m soaking wet.
|Are you crazy?!
|A Eitrige mit an Bugl.
|A cheese-filled sausage with a roll.
|Hawara, geht’s no?
|Dude, are you okay?
Swiss German Slang Expressions
In Switzerland, people speak an even more special kind of German that might sound funny to your ears! If you ever visit the land of chocolate and mountains, you can say these words and make new friends who will think you’re really cool for knowing them.
Here are some more of these secret slang words from Switzerland:
Swiss German slang expressions
|Swiss German Slang
|Läck du mir!
|Oh my goodness!
|Es het solang’s het.
|First come, first served.
|Merci viu mau!
|Thank you very much!
|Enjoy your meal!
|See you later!
|Chasch mir helfe?
|Can you help me?
|Miär nämed das.
|We’ll take that.
|Ich bi müed.
|I am tired.
|Schön dich z’gseh!
|Nice to see you!
5. Improve your German Language Learning Journey with Conversation Based Chunking
German slang can significantly enrich your language learning expedition, making you sound more authentic and connecting you deeply with the German-speaking culture. One of the best ways to advance this new acquaintance in your life is through Conversation Based Chunking, a method where you learn the language in chunks or phrases as they are used in real-life situations.
This approach not only teaches you how to use German slang in the appropriate context but also helps you to think in German more naturally. With chunking, you get a feel for the rhythm and flow of the language, enabling you to use slang expressions and colloquialisms seamlessly.
The guide to German slang is more than just memorizing words; it’s about really understanding the little things of the language and the culture embedded within. So explore the the vivacious world of German slang words and phrases, and sound more like a native with every conversation.
As you do, you’ll find that the German language content you absorb becomes more relatable, and your German skills will flourish, making you feel like a German native in no time!