14 Oktoberfest Sayings and Key German Phrases You Have To Know

Beer lovers and festival enthusiasts!

Did you ever wonder what all the fuss is about when it comes to Oktoberfest? Get ready, because we’re about to share 14 of the most important Oktoberfest sayings and other key German phrases related to this event.

Natürlich German (a German-teaching YouTube channel) shares 10 amazing facts about the Oktoberfest.

Curious about the traditional outfits, the mouthwatering Bavarian treats or the best Oktoberfest sayings? We’ll tell you everything you want to know, and trust us: it’s not just about the beer (although it’s a big part of it)!

1. O’zapft is! (It’s tapped!)

This iconic phrase officially kicks off Oktoberfest.

The mayor of Munich uses it to announce the festival’s start. You’ll hear it in large groups when the first keg is tapped. It’s not really for casual conversations.

Imagine the start of Oktoberfest like this:

Hans: Hast du gehört? Der Bürgermeister kommt gleich! (Hans: Have you heard? The mayor is coming soon!)
Greta: Ja, ich kann’s kaum erwarten! Bald heißt es “O’zapft is!” und das Bier fließt! (Greta: Yes, I can hardly wait! Soon it’ll be “O’zapft is!” and the beer will flow!)

2. Prost! (Cheers!)

Prost” is a super little word, it’s used everywhere and everytime when you’re out drinking.

You can use it when you’re drinking with others, whether it’s a big group or just you and a friend. It’s informal and perfect for toasting before taking a sip.

you can hear oktoberfest sayings on oktoberfest

Say cheers in German like this:

Lukas: Endlich Feierabend! Ein Bier? (Lukas: Finally, work’s over! A beer?)
Sophia: Gerne! Prost, auf ein schönes Wochenende! (Sophia: Gladly! Cheers, to a nice weekend!)

3. Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit (A toast to coziness)

This phrase is part of a traditional Oktoberfest song.

It’s semi-formal and used in groups, often sung with the song. You wouldn’t use it in everyday conversation, but it’s perfect for creating that festive Oktoberfest atmosphere.

Let’s imagine this German conversation, when the song comes on:

Max: Hör mal, die Band fängt an zu spielen! (Max: Listen, the band is starting to play!)
Emma: Oh ja! “Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit!” Lass uns mitsingen! (Emma: Oh yes! “Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit!” Let’s sing along!)

4. Oans, zwoa, drei, g’suffa! (One, two, three, drink up!)

This Bavarian phrase is super informal and fun.

Use it with friends when you want everyone to drink together. It’s great for groups and creates a party atmosphere.

A casual encounter might sound like this:

Felix: Alle Gläser voll? Na dann… (Felix: All glasses full? Well then… )
Gruppe: Oans, zwoa, drei, g’suffa! (Group: One, two, three, drink up!)

5. Nicht schütten, nicht kleckern, gleich saufen! (Don’t pour, don’t spill, just chug!)

This humorous, very informal saying encourages quick drinking. Use it jokingly with close friends, but be careful – it’s not appropriate in all settings!

Also, be careful when you’re drinking.

Imagine it like this:

Tobias: Mann, du trinkst ja so langsam heute! (Tobias: Man, you’re drinking so slowly today! )
Nina: Alles klar, alles klar. Nicht schütten, nicht kleckern, gleich saufen! (Nina: Alright, alright. Don’t pour, don’t spill, just chug!)

6. Noch a Maß! (Another liter!)

Use this informal phrase when ordering another beer at Oktoberfest.

It’s perfect for one-on-one conversations with the server or shouting out in a group when everyone needs a refill.

Do you need the refill?

Kellnerin: Noch was zu trinken? (Waitress: Anything else to drink?)
Thomas: Ja, bitte! Noch a Maß! ( Thomas: Yes, please! Another liter!)

7. Bierleichen (Beer corpses)

This humorous term refers to those who’ve had too much to drink.

Use it informally with friends to describe the scene, not directly to someone who’s overdone it.

Like this:

Lisa: Schau mal da drüben, der schläft ja schon! (Lisa: Look over there, he’s already sleeping!)
Michael: Ach du meine Güte, die Bierleichen werden immer mehr. (Michael: Oh my goodness, the beer corpses are increasing.)

8. Ozapft is, o’gschütt muas sei! (It’s tapped, it must be poured!)

This saying follows “O’zapft is!

a woman carrying a glass of beer could be a part of oktoberfest sayings

It’s a bit more informal and expresses the need to start pouring and drinking once the keg is tapped. Use it in groups to encourage the party to start.

It could be like this:

Markus: Hey, hast du gehört? O’zapft is! (Markus: Hey, did you hear? It’s tapped!)
Jana: Na dann, ozapft is, o’gschütt muas sei! Lass uns zum Bierzelt gehen! (Jana: Well then, it’s tapped, it must be poured! Let’s go to the beer tent!)

9. Auf die Wiesn! (To the Meadow!)

Wiesn” is the local name for Oktoberfest. Use this informal phrase when you’re heading to the festival or toasting to it. It works in any group size.

Use in local cities and towns like this:

Paul: Wo gehen wir hin? (Paul: Where are we going?)
Sarah: Na, auf die Wiesn natürlich! Los geht’s! (Sarah: To the Wiesn, of course! Let’s go!)

10. Gsuffa! (Drink up!)

This is a very informal, Bavarian way to say “drink up!” Use it with close friends in a cheerful context. It’s great for small groups or one-on-one.

Be careful, this expression is informal:

Florian: Prost, mein Freund! (Florian: Cheers, my friend!)
David: Prost! Und jetzt… gsuffa! (David: Cheers! And now… drink up!)

11. Zicke zacke, zicke zacke, hoi hoi hoi!

This fun chant is used in groups to create a lively atmosphere. It’s informal and often used as a call-and-response.

One person leads, others respond with “hoi hoi hoi!

A bit of an insight to German culture:

Anführer: Zicke zacke, zicke zacke! (Leader: Zicke zacke, zicke zacke!)
Gruppe: Hoi hoi hoi! (Group: Hoi hoi hoi!)

12. Die Krüge hoch! (Raise the mugs!)

Use this semi-formal phrase to encourage everyone to raise their glasses for a toast.

It works well in both small and large groups.

You could even say a toast in German:

Christoph: Alle da? Gut, dann die Krüge hoch! (Christoph: Everyone here? Good, then raise your mugs!)
Alle: Prost! ( All: Cheers!)

13. Lass mas krachen! (Let’s get this party started!)

This informal phrase is perfect for kicking off the festivities. Use it with friends when you’re ready to start the fun, whether at Oktoberfest or any party.

Like this!

Julia: Endlich sind wir da! Was jetzt? (Julia: We’re finally here! What now? )
Tim: Na, was wohl? Lass mas krachen! (Tim: Well, what else? Let’s get this party started!)

14. Wiesn-Zeit ist die schönste Zeit (Oktoberfest time is the best time)

This saying expresses love for Oktoberfest. Use it informally with anyone who shares your enthusiasm for the festival. It works in any group size.

Use it in any group size:

Mia: Ich freue mich schon das ganze Jahr darauf! (Mia: I’ve been looking forward to this all year!)
Leon: Ich auch! Wiesn-Zeit ist einfach die schönste Zeit! (Leon: Me too! Oktoberfest time is simply the best time!)

Key German words and phrases for Oktoberfest

It’s also good to be up-to-date with the key German words and phrases used just before and during the Oktoberfest in Germany.

We made a list of the best German sentences and chunks related to this German holiday:

Wann beginnt die Wiesn dieses Jahr?When does Oktoberfest start this year?
Lass uns ins Bierzelt gehen.Let’s go to the beer tent.
Ich hätte gerne eine Maß Bier, bitte.I’d like a liter of beer, please.
Wo kann man hier Dirndl und Lederhosen kaufen?Where can we buy dirndls and lederhosen around here?
Die Blaskapelle spielt wunderbare Musik.The brass band is playing wonderful music.
Können wir einen Tisch reservieren?Can we reserve a table?
Der Anstich findet um 12 Uhr mittags statt.The tapping ceremony takes place at 12 noon.
Lass uns im Biergarten sitzen, das Wetter ist schön.Let’s sit in the beer garden, the weather is nice.
Wie viel kostet eine Maß Bier dieses Jahr?How much does a liter of beer cost this year?
Wo finde ich die besten Schmankerl?Where can I find the best Bavarian delicacies?
Lasst uns schunkeln!Let’s sway arm-in-arm to the music!
Ich möchte gerne ein Hendl mit Brezen bestellen.I’d like to order a roast chicken with pretzels.
Wann ist der große Festzug?When is the grand festival parade?
Die Stimmung hier ist fantastisch!The atmosphere here is fantastic!
Können wir eine Runde im Riesenrad drehen?Can we take a ride on the Ferris wheel?
Prost! Auf eine tolle Wiesn!Cheers! To a great Oktoberfest!

Practice Oktoberfest sayings with our exercises

It’s always good to know the best Oktoberfest sayings before traveling to Germany. So, practice time!

If you want to practice more, you can do it now! Just click this button here, and you’ll have access to our Full Practice Worksheet Library!

Learn Oktoberfest sayings and other Bavarian phrases with Conversation Based Chunking

And there you have it, folks! You’re now armed with some killer Oktoberfest saying and some Bavarian German phrases.

Pretty cool, right?

You can remember these expression easily if you use the Conversation Based Chunking method: it’s a method that teaches you the language with lexical chunks. Instead of learning boring and complex grammar rules, you focus on these chunks, the natural building blocks of the language.

Keep chunking, keep learning!

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