German Curse Words: Swearing and Insults as Part of German Slang

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One of the biggest headaches for distance learners of German is the comprehension of German slang and foul language. To decode the German street jargon it helps to be familiar with the most common German curse words as they represent a major part of the slang vocabulary. Some German words used as swearwords are harmless when part of regular vocabulary but can also be used offensively while others only occur in foul language. Literal translations of German curse words into English may not always be accurate. Certain German swear words may be used in similar situations but with different frequency, or may be harsher or milder in their meaning than their English equivalents, so be careful when using them. Therefore, if you wish to swear in German, make sure you thoroughly understand the actual meaning of German cuss words you intend to use.

Furthermore, German has adopted a number of English bad words. A good example is “Shitstorm” which happens to be a lot more popular in German than it is in English. Likewise, many Germans tend to use the English swearwords “fuck” and “shit” instead of their German counterparts which can often be used in similar context.

The reasons why German learners wish to learn German swear words and insults vary but most people only want to know them to be able to better understand the German street jargon and bad language in German movies, reality shows, songs or social media. Many non-native German speakers will never feel comfortable using German insults in real situations.

Below you can find an alphabetical list of the most frequently used German swear words, insults and offensive phrases with their translations into English. Not every single word on this list is a bad word but each of them can be used as a curse word or an insult. Defamatory meanings of some of these words may be difficult to find in a dictionary.

A List of German Curse Words and Offensive Phrases

German original English equivalent
das Aas bitch, swine (lit. carcass)
der Aasgeier vulture
der Abschaum scum
sich abzapfen to jerk off
der After anus
der Angeber braggart
der Armleuchter bonehead, knucklehead
der Arsch ass
der Fettarsch fat-ass
der Oberarsch supreme idiot (lit. super ass)
leck mich am Arsch (short: leck mich) kiss my ass (lit. lick my ass)
das geht mir am Arsch vorbei I don’t give a shit about that
setz deinen Arsch in Bewegung! get your arse into gear!
der Arschficker ass-fucker
die Arschfotze lit. ass-cunt
das Arschgesicht shitface (lit. ass-face)
der Arschkriecher bumlicker, ass-crawler
der Arschgeiger dickhead, ass-strummer
das Arschloch asshole
dummer Arsch jerk (lit. dumb ass)
blödes Arschloch stupid asshole
der Bastard bastard
behindert handicapped, retarded
der Beidl dick
der Saubeidl pig dick
blöd stupid
blöde Gans stupid woman (lit. goose)
bumsen to fuck
der Depp idiot
die Dirne prostitute
Donnerwetter! darn it!
zum Donnerwetter! my goodness!
der Dreck dirt, crap
die Drecksau dirty pig
der Drecksack dirty bastard
der Dreckskerl filthy bastard
dumm stupid
dummes Huhn stupid chicken
stockdumm utterly stupid
der Dummkopf blockhead, shithead
die Dumpfbacke dumb-ass
der Dussel twit, twerp
die Eier balls (lit. eggs)
der Esel donkey
feiger Hund coward
ficken/der Fick fuck (verb/noun)
fick dich fuck you
fick dich ins Knie same as above (lit. fuck yourself in the knee)
geh fick deine Mutter (Vater, Schwester) go fuck your mother (father, sister)
ich ficke deine Mutter I fuck your mother
der Fickfehler retard (lit. fuck error)
der Mutterficker motherfucker
die Flasche looser (lit. botle)
die Flöte cock (lit. flute)
flöten to suck cock (lit. play the flute)
die Fotze pussy, cunt
die Stinkfotze stinking cunt
die Fregatte fat old bitch
die Fresse gob
die Hackfresse shitface (lit. chopped face)
halt die Fresse! shut up!
furzen/der Furz fart (verb/noun)
geil horny, but also awesome or wicked
halt die Klappe! shut up!
halt’s Maul! shut up!
hau ab! take a hike, get lost
Himmeldonnerwetter! damn it! (lit. sky-thunder-weather)
Himmelherrgott! goddamn it!
der Hoden (plural die Hoden) testicles, balls
der Hodensack scrotum
die Hölle hell
fahr zur Hölle! go to hell!
was zur Hölle… what the hell…
die Hure whore
dreckige Hure dirty whore
der Hurensohn son of a bitch
das Hurenkind bastard (lit. child of a whore)
der Idiot idiot, jerk
kacken/die Kacke to take a crap/shit
die Klappe gob
halt die Klappe! shut the fuck up!
die Knalltüte wimp, twit
kotzen puke, throw up
zum Kotzen awful
die Kuh twerp (lit. a cow)
dumme Kuh lit. stupid cow
geh ene Kuh melken go milk a cow
das Luder bitch
das Schwanzluder slut
der Lutscher sucker, sissy
der Schwanzlutscher cocksucker, gay
das Maul gob
halt’s Maul shut up
die Mieze pussy (also pussy-cat)
miese Ratte dirty rat
die Missgeburt freak, bastard
der Mist shit, damn
das Miststück bitch
der Bockmist bullshit, nonsense
verdammter Mist! goddamn it!
die Möpse boobs, tits
die Möse cunt, pussy
die Muschi pussy (kitty), loser
die Nervensäge pain in the neck (lit. nerve-saw)
die Nüsse nuts, balls
die Nutte hooker, whore
der Nuttensohn son of a whore
onanieren/sich einen runterholen to masturbate
der Penner bum, git, jerk
die Pfeife dick
die Pflaume pussy (lit. prune)
der Piefke German (used by Austrians)
der Pimmel cock, dick penis
pinkeln to urinate
die Pisse/pissen piss (noun/verb)
die Pissnelke nerd, jerk
verpiss dich fuck off, piss off
der/das Puff whorehouse
die Puffmutter whorehouse madam
der Sack bastard, bugger
(ein) fauler Sack lazy bum, bugger
das Sackgesicht dickface
Sakra! damn!
die Sau pig, swine
das Sauwetter awful weather
der Saukerl skunk, bastard
die Scheide vagina
die Scheiße/scheißen shit (noun/verb)
der Scheißdreck shit, crap (lit. crap dirt)
der Scheißkopf shithead
der Scheißkübel lit. shit bucket
der Hundeschiß dog shit
verdammter Scheiß bloody hell
du scheißt mich an you are  a pain in the ass
beschißen crappy, lousy, miserable
das Scheißhaus toilet (lit. shithouse)
der Scheißkerl asshole (lit. shit-guy)
der Schleimscheißer ass-kisser (lit. slime-shitter)
der Hosenscheißer coward
der Klugscheißer know-it-all, smart ass
das ist mir scheißegal (furzegal) I don’t give a fuck
die Schlampe whore, slut, bitch
schleich dich! fuck off, get lost
der Schleimer kiss ass
der Schwachkopf moron, blockhead
der Schwachsinniger same as above
der Schwanz cock, dick penis
der Affenschwanz monkey-dick
der Schlappschwanz wimp
geh einen Schwanz lutschen go suck a dick
das Schwein pig, bastard, swine
der Schweinekerl same as above
der Schweinehund same as above (lit. pig-dog)
die Schweinerei filth, dirty trick, mess
die Schwuchtel fag (male gay)
der Schwuler/Schwuli fag, poof
spinnst du? are you mad?
der Spinner nutjob, madman
der Stinker stinkpot
der Stricher male prostitute
der Strichjunge same as above
die Stricherin female prostitute
das Strichmädchen same as above
zum Teufel! dammit! (lit. to devil)
geh zum Teufel! go to hell!
die Titten tits, boobs
die Hängetitten droopy tits
der Trottel fool, idiot
der Dorftrottel hayseed, local idiot
der Volltrottel complete idiot
die Tratschtante blabbermouth
verdammt damn, damnit, bloody
gottverdammt god damn it
verdammt noch mal damn it all
verflucht damnm, bloody
das Weichei sissy, wimp
der Wichser wanker
der Flachwichser fuckwit, fucking wanker
die Zicke bitch
die Ziege bitch (lit. doe goat)
dumme Ziege stupid bitch
zieh Leine! get lost!

German Swear Words and Insults in YouTube Videos

How to swear in German Part 1: German bad words and Part 2: German insults from the channel Learn German with Anja

Most obscene German insults: German insults from “grandma’s vocabulary” – an entertaining lesson from the channel Get Germanized

German swearwords Part 1 and Part 2 from the channel Easy Languages: random people in the German city of Münster are asked about their favourite cuss word

German curse words and Funny German insults, some common as well as less common terms from the German teaching channel DontTrustTheRabbit

Use Slang and Swear Words with Caution

If you study German while living far from Germany and you are not very much into movies, TV shows, pop music or social media you may never come across German swearwords. But to understand the native speakers in the streets of Germany or in a bar you should also know some contemporary German slang and bad language. The above list of German curse words and phrases should help you improve your comprehension of German street slang. Learn them but better do not use them. If you really want to use these words and phrases, make sure you perfectly understand their subtle meaning to avoid getting into embarrassing situations.