10 German Swear Words – Learn German Insults and German Curse Words

Swear words and curse words, while often considered impolite or offensive, serve some important linguistic functions in different cultures. And it’s no different in German!

German swear words can express frustration, anger, or put emphasis on certain expressions. Moreover, swear words in German offer insight into a country’s or a region’s cultural values and social norms – what’s accepted and what’s not! Easy German made a great podcast on how to swear in German. Take a look!

Whether you’re learning German for practical purposes or out of curiosity, learning these German curse words can help you become more fluent in the language.

Disclaimer: This post contains content that some readers may find offensive. It is intended for educational purposes only. Proceed with caution and use the information provided with respect and understanding of its potential impact on others. This content is not suitable for children and may be inappropriate for some audiences.

Top 10 German swear words in one table

Before we get deeper into this world, let’s take a quick look at all of the German swear words we’ll mention in this blog post. Along with English translations, you’ll find the vulgarity level, too!

Top 10 German Swear Words

German Swear WordEnglish TranslationVulgarity level
ScheißeShitModerate
Verdammte ScheißeDamned shitModerate
ArschlochAssholeStrong
SchlampeSlutStrong
FickerFuckerStrong
QuatschNonsenseMild
DeppIdiotMild
Halt’s Maul!Shut up!Strong
Fick dichFuck youStrong
Leck mich am ArschKiss my assStrong

1. Scheiße (Shit)

Effortless Answers

One of the most versatile and commonly used German swear words is “Scheiße,” which translates to “shit” in English.

It is often used to express frustration, disappointment, or annoyance, similar to its English counterpart. But, “Scheiße” can also be used in a more lighthearted manner among friends or acquaintances.

Maximilian: “Hast du meine Schlüssel gesehen?” (Have you seen my keys?)
Sophia: “Nein, tut mir leid. Scheiße, wo könnten sie sein?” (No, sorry. Shit, where could they be?)

2. Verdammte Scheiße (Damned shit/bloody hell)

Verdammte Scheiße” translates to “damned shit” or “bloody hell” in English. It intensifies the expression of frustration or anger, adding another layer of emphasis to the sentiment expressed. This phrase is more forceful than simply saying “Scheiße” and is commonly used in situations of heightened irritation or exasperation.

Lukas: “Wir haben den Zug verpasst!” (We missed the train!)
Emma: “Verdammte Scheiße! Jetzt müssen wir eine Stunde warten.” (Bloody hell! Now we have to wait for an hour.)

3. Arschloch (Asshole)

Arschloch” translates to “asshole” in English and is used to refer to someone who is rude, obnoxious, or unpleasant. It is a STRONG insult and should be used with caution: it can escalate tensions or cause offense if directed towards another person. (This swear word could also very well be one of the funny German words, haha!)

Alexander: “Warum hast du das gemacht?” (Why did you do that?)
Mia: “Weil du ein verdammtes Arschloch bist!” (Because you’re a damn asshole!)

4. Schlampe (Slut/bitch)

Schlampe” translates to “slut” or “bitch” in English. It is a derogatory term used to insult women, implying promiscuity or immoral behavior. Like “Arschloch,” “Schlampe” is a highly offensive word and should be avoided in polite conversation.

Leon: “Hast du gehört, dass Lena mit Tom und Max rumgemacht hat?” (Did you hear that Lena hooked up with Tom and Max?)
Hannah: “Ja, die verdammte Schlampe!” (Yeah, that damn slut!)

5. Ficker (Fucker)

Ficker” translates to “fucker” or “motherfucker” in English. It is a vulgar insult used to denigrate someone’s character or behavior. Similar to the previous ones, “Ficker” should be used sparingly and with caution due to its offensive nature.

Felix: “Der Chef hat mich wieder angeschrien.” (The boss yelled at me again.)
Anna: “Was für ein verdammter Ficker!” (What a damn fucker!)

6. Quatsch (Nonsense)

Quatsch” translates to “nonsense” or “rubbish” in English. While not as strong or offensive as some of the previous swear words, “Quatsch” is commonly used to dismiss something as absurd or untrue. It can be used in various contexts, from playful teasing to genuine disbelief.

Jonas: “Ich habe gehört, dass wir morgen alle bis Mitternacht arbeiten müssen.” (I heard we all have to work until midnight tomorrow.)
Lena: “Quatsch! Das kann nicht stimmen.” (Nonsense! That can’t be true.)

Now, STOP! Please remember, we’ve already included a disclaimer at the beginning. I want to mention Conversation Based Chunking method to you: it is a method that focuses on natural language blocks of the language, called chunks. Sign up now to get the German Conversation Based Chunking Guide and learn more about lexical chunks and along with them, German swear words. For bonus, you’ll get a study program and access to our full practice worksheet library!

7. Depp (Idiot/fool)

Depp” translates to “idiot” or “fool” in English. It is a relatively mild insult compared to some of the other swear words listed here but is still considered impolite. “Depp” is often used to express mild annoyance or frustration with someone’s actions or behavior.

Paul: “Ich habe vergessen, meine Hausaufgaben zu machen.” (I forgot to do my homework.)
Laura: “Du bist aber auch ein Depp!” (You’re such an idiot!)

8. Halt’s Maul! (Shut up!)

Halt’s Maul!” translates to “shut up!” or “shut your mouth!” in English. It is a direct and forceful way of telling someone to stop talking or making noise. “Halt’s Maul!” is considered extremely rude and should be used with caution – particularly in formal or polite settings.

Elias: “Ich kann nicht glauben, dass du das gerade gesagt hast.” (I can’t believe you just said that.)
Marie: “Halt’s Maul und lass mich ausreden!” (Shut up and let me finish!)

9. Fick dich (Fuck you)

Fick dich” translates to “fuck you” in English and is used to express anger, contempt, or disdain towards someone. It is a highly offensive phrase and should be used sparingly, if at all, as it can severely damage relationships and escalate conflicts.

David: “Du hast meine Sachen kaputtgemacht!” (You broke my things!)
Julia: “Fick dich!” (Fuck you!)

10. Leck mich am Arsch (Kiss my ass)

Leck mich am Arsch” translates to “kiss my ass” or “go to hell” in English. It is a vulgar and dismissive phrase used to express contempt or disregard for someone’s opinion or request. “Leck mich am Arsch” should be used with caution, as it is highly offensive and can escalate tensions.

Niklas: “Kannst du mir bitte helfen?” (Can you please help me?)
Sarah: “Leck mich am Arsch!” (Kiss my ass!)

Learn German curse words with Conversation Based Chunking

Understanding and using swear words appropriately in any language can be a challenge. It requires more than just a direct translation. This is where Conversation Based Chunking becomes essential. If you observe German swear words in the context of real-life conversations, you can understand not only the meanings but also the emotions and connotations attached to these curse words. This method helps learners to immerse themselves fully in the cultural aspects of the language.

Conversation Based Chunking can also prevent embarrassing mistakes and misunderstandings. Sign up now to learn more about the method and get access to our full practice worksheet library!

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