35+ German slang phrases to speak like a native

Discover a comprehensive list of 35+ German slang words and phrases for everyday life. Speak more naturally and understand natives better.

Sherzod Gafar
September 20, 2022
9 MIN
35+ German slang phrases to speak like a native

This post explains why learning German slang and everyday phrases is a good way to improve your German and comes with 35+ cool German slang words and expressions.

Why knowing everyday slang and expressions is practically useful?

Most of us learn German from textbooks, at language courses and with language appsof the world. Most of these methods and resources teach academic, bookish German also known as 'Hochdeutsch' which is usually quite different from the colloquial speech and German slang. If you keep learning German, you’ll eventually reach a point when you might want to start learning everyday phrases and words to communicate naturally. In the end, everyday German will help you understand and be understood a lot easier.

screenshot google search for Hochdeutsch
We need to learn everyday language, too

Below is a list of frequently used slang words and everyday expressions which will definitely come in handy in enriching your colloquial vocabulary. By the way, you can learn all these words and much more with the free Heylama flashcards app.

German slang and informal vocabulary

Alter

Translation: this idiomatic expression is common among teenage and young German speakers (and if you're into Hip Hop). It's an equivalent of such slang words as "dude," "mate," "pal," "bro," and "man" that we often use in English as well. You can use it when greeting someone, addressing someone, or as an interjection.

Examples:

Ich bin stolz auf dich, Alter. - I'm proud of you, mate.

Alter, was geht ab? - Dude, what's up?

Nein alter, alles war in Ordnung! - No, dude, it was totally fine.

Alter, so ist das nicht gelaufen... - man, that's not how it went down..

Alles fit?

Translation: How is it going? What’s up?
Example: Hey Ladies, alles fit bei euch? Wer will einen Shot mit dem Geburtstagskind?
Example translation: Ladies, what's up? Who wants to take a shot with the birthday boy?

abgefahren

Translation: awesome
Example: Das war ziemlich abgefahren!
Example translation: It was pretty awesome!

Bleib mal locker

Translation: Relax; Take it easy
Example: Es ist ja gut, bleib mal locker.
Example translation: It’s alright, take it easy!

Back dir ein Eis

Definition/Translation: to make it clear to someone that s/he should not bother you or just shut up. A softer way to say: piss off! Not very popular, might sound a bit off, but understood by everyone.
Example: Weist du was??? Back dir ein Eis!!!
Example translation: You know what?? Get lost!

Das ist bescheuert

Translation: That sucks; it’s ridiculous
Example: A: Klingt interessant, oder? B: nein das ist bescheuert!
Example translation: A: Sounds interesting, right? B: nope, that’s dumb.

Auf etwas bock haben

Translation: to be up for something, to feel like doing something
Example: Hast du bock auf Kino?
Example translation: A: Do you feel like going to the movies?

Dabei sein

Translation: to be in (as in joining or accepting an invitation)
Example: A: Hast du bock auf Kino? B: Ja, ich bin dabei!
Example translation: A: Do you feel like going to the movies? B: Yep. I'm in!

Eins A

Translation: perfect, awesome
Example: A: Das hier soll eine eins a Party sein
Example translation: A: This is gonna be an awesome party

Mega nervig sein

Translation: annoying, boring, lame
Example: Die letzte Episode von Game of Thrones war mega nervig
Example translation: The last episode of Game of Thrones was lame

Jemandem auf den Zeiger gehen

Translation: to get on somebody’s nerves
Example: Mann, hör auf, du gehst mir auf den Zeiger!
Example translation: Man, cut it out, you are getting on my nerves!

Auf keinsten!

Translation: no way, under no circumstance
Example: Ich schaffe es auf keinsten vor 17 Uhr.
Example translation: No way I can make it before 5 pm

Mach‘s gut!

Translation: take care! (when saying good-bye)
Example: Na ja Leute, bis Montag. Mach’s gut!
Example translation: Alright folks, see you on Monday. Take care!

Was geht ab?!

Translation: what’s up?
Example: A: Hey Mark, Was geht ab? B: Nichts besonderes. Was geht bei dir?
Example translation: A: Hey Mark, what’s up? B: Nothing special. How about you?

Einen Kater haben

Translation: to have a hangover
Example: Ich hab’ einen schrecklichen Kater
Example translation: I have a horrible hangover

Kohle

Translation: cash, dough
Example: Ich bekomme die restliche Kohle heute
Example translation: I will get the rest of the dough tonight

Läuft bei dir!

Translation: good job, good for you,
Example: A: Das Game hab ich gewonnen! B: Läuft bei dir!
Example translation: A: I won the game! B: Good job!

Geil oder supergeil

Translation: wicked, awesome
Example: Mensch, Berlin ist so geil!
Example translation: Man, Berlin is so awesome!

dicht

Translation: wasted, exhausted
Example: Ich bin total dicht
Example translation: I am completely wasted

spitze

Translation: wild, great
Example: Mann, diese Burger waren spitze.
Example translation: Man, these burgers are awesome

blöd

Translation: stupid, dumb
Example: Das ist blöd und funktioniert nicht
Example translation: This is stupid and itäs not working

Das ist zum Kotzen

Translation: that’s nasty, that's disgusting,

Quatsch

Translation: nonsense
Example: Ach Quatsch, die Reise hierher war wunderschön.
Example translation: Oh, nonsense, the trip down here was beautiful

Scheißwetter

Translation: shitty weather
Example: Was ist mit dem Scheisswetter los?
Example translation: What's going on with the bloody weather?

Etwas versauen

Translation: to mess or screw something up
Example: Lass es uns dieses Mal nicht versauen.
Example translation: Let’s not screw it up this time

Was du nicht sagst!

Translation: You don’t say

das gibt’s (doch) nicht!

Translation: no way, that's not possible

Von wegen!

Translation: Are you kidding?, No way!
Example: Urlaub machen? Von wegen!
Example translation: Take a vacation? Are you kidding?

Schatz

Translation: dear, honey (endearment)
Example: Schatz, ist alles in Ordnung?
Example translation: Honey, is everything OK?

verpiss’ dich!

Translation: Piss off!

Halt die Klappe!

Translation: shut up
Example: Ronnie, halt die Klappe nur eine Minute
Example translation: Ronnie, shut up just for one minute

die Klamotten

Translation: clothes
Example: Denn andere Klamotten habe ich nicht.
Example translation: Cause these are the only clothes I've got

Der Kumpel

Translation: buddy, mate
Example: Das ist mein Kumpel Jon Schnee
Example translation: That’s a mate of mine, Jon Snow

verarschen

Translation: To pull someone's leg
Example: du verarscht mich!
Example translation: You are shitting me!

Etwas satt haben

Translation: to be fed up with something
Example: ich hab’ es satt
Example translation: I've had enough of it

Sauer sein

Translation: to be angry, pissed
Example: Ich glaube, er ist ziemlich sauer auf uns
Example translation: I think he is really angry with us

Summary

This is by far not an exhaustive list of German slang and everyday expressions. There are many more words and phrases which did not make into this list because they are often too contextual. Some of the best ways to discover such words are to read German books, watch original movies in German, YouTube videos and speak to native speakers.

Mach's gut,
Sherzod

Heylama - find your perfect language tutor

Have you already tried the Heylama

flashcard app?