22 brilliant German idioms that simply can’t be translated literally!

22 brilliant German idioms that simply can’t be translated literally!

Idioms are those phrases that mean more than the sum of their words. They can all be used in everyday conversations. The best way to learn these is to read each sentence to yourself and immediately read the English equivalent.
The results are laugh-out-loud funny!



Schwein haben:
literal meaning: to have pig
idiomatic meaning: to be lucky

“ich habe Schwein gehabt!”:
literal meaning: “I’ve had a pig!”
idiomatic meaning: “I’ve had a stroke of luck!

 

 

 

Alles in Butter:
literal meaning: everything in butter
idiomatic meaning: everything is allright

 


Tomaten auf den Augen haben:
literal meaning: to have tomatoes on one’s eyes
idiomatic meaning: to be oblivious to what is going around you

 

 

 


Ich habe die Nase voll davon.
literal meaning: I have the nose full.
english equivalent: I’m sick of it. (To be sick of someone or something)

 

 

 

 


So läuft der Hase:
literal meaning: That’s the way the hare runs.
english equivalent: That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

 

 

 

 

eine Extrawurst haben:
literal meaning: to ask for an extra sausage
idiomatic meaning: to ask for special treatment

 

 

 

dumm wie Bohnenstroh:
literal meaning: as dumb as a bean straw
english equivalent: as thick as a brick

 

 

 

 

Die Daumen drücken!
literal meaning: Press the thumbs!
english equivalent: Keep your fingers crossed!

 

 

 

 

Da kansst du Gift drauf nehmen:
literal meaning: You can take poison on that
english equivalent: You can bet your life on that

 

 

 

 


Kissenkuhlebalsal:
literal meaning: pillow chill refreshment
english equivalent: the cold side of a pillow

 

 

 

 

 

Da liegt der Hund begraben:
literal meaning: That’s where the dog is buried
english equivalent: That’s the heart of the matter

 

 

 

wie seine Westentasche kennen:
literal meaning: to know something like one’s waistcoat pocket
english equivalent: to know like the back of one’s hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wo sich Fuchs und Hase gute Nacht sagen:
literal meaning: Where fox and hare say goodnight to one another
english equivalent: In the middle of nowhere or out in the sticks

 

 

 

Du nimmst mich auf den Arm!
literal meaning: You’re taking me on your arm!
english equivalent: You’re pulling my leg!

 

 

 

 

Himmel und Hölle in Bewegung setzen:
literal meaning: put heaven and hell in motion
english equivalent: to move heaven and earth

 

 

 

 

 

sich zum Affen machen:
literal meanind: Make an ape of yourself
english equivalent: Make a fool of yourself

 

 

 

Man soll den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben:
literal meaning: Don’t praise the day before the evening.
idiomatic meaning: Don’t count your chicks before they hatch

 

 

 

 

 

zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen:
literal meaning: kill wo flies with one swat
english equivalent: to kill two birds with one stone

 

 

 

 

Schnapsidee!
literal meaning: booze idea
english equivalent: an ingenious/ daft/ ridiculous plan thougt up while drunk

 

 

 


löcher in den Bauch fragen:

english equivalent: to pester someone with questions

 

 

 

 

 

 

weggehen wie warme Semmeln:
literal meaning: go like warm rolls
english equivalent: go or sell like hot cakes

 

 

 

 

Dankeschön! Thank you! :)

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