German slang: why is it important to understand youth slang? What are the most popular phrases among Germans? Where can I find a list of current German slang words? Look for answers in today’s article!

As you know, a language is a living “being”: it develops, it is filled with new words and concepts. The language “keeps pace” with the time, as young people always adapt it to modern realities, by creating new slang words. German progressive youth quite actively uses slang: sometimes they are rude expressions and incomprehensible abbreviations, sometimes very interesting borrowings and unusual derivatives from other words. Let’s dive in! (but not head first 😉 )

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Why do we need slang at all?

Youth slang is a large cake of the spoken German language, and at the time of learning it you will have to come across the corresponding vocabulary.

Slang words can be heard in any informal setting, just walking down the street is enough. It can be encountered even in ordinary everyday situations, so don’t think that this is a narrow-minded vocabulary that you will never need.

Youth slang is used only in oral speech or in an informal situation for example in when chatting through messengers. Here, I have put together a selection of relevant phrases and expressions for you that you will not find in your German textbook!

1) Slang words

Mensch! / Ach Mensch! – Well, really! / Come on! (expresses irritation, frustration)
Krass! – Crazy! / Insane!
geil / cool / super – cool
Doof! – Stupid! / Lame!
Ne / nö (from nein) – Nope! / No!
Siehste !? (= siehst du?) – You see !?
das Selfie – selfie

Hallöchen! – Hi!
Hau ab! – Get out of here!
Hä / hö? – What? (surprise)
Alter! – Bro! / Buddy! (appeal)
Cao! – Until!
Gönn dir! – Treat yourself!
der Bierzeps (= Bier + Bizeps) – beer biceps (beer “tummy”)

2) Slang verbs

gammeln – loaf around (do nothing)
glubschen – to stare / look (at smth.)
googeln – to look search on the Internet / to google
kriegen – to get
haten (from English hate) – to hate
jabbern – to jabber
chatten – to chat
kreativen – to invent, “to be creative”
lenzen – to rest, relax
möpen – be nervous

panieren – to beat someone
pilgern – go on a pilgrimage
rallen – to understand
kickern – to play table football
daddeln– to play the PC
dissen – to anger someone
durch sein – to be out of your mind
durchsumpfen – to celebrate all night
eskalieren – to celebrate on a grand scale

facebooken – to use Facebook
französisch duschen – use a deodorant
funzen – to function properly
stalken – to stalk (e.g. on social media)
im Internet surfen – search on the Internet
tolles Zeug labbern – carry utter nonsense
abgehen – come off
abpimmeln – to do nothing productive
abschimmeln – to chill

abspacken – go completely crazy
aufpimpen – to pimp up / get dressed up
auschecken – to try
j-n baschen – to slam smb.
batteln – to fight smb.
sich beömmeln – to amuse oneself
buffen – to smoke
pikieren – to prick
brettern – to rush / drive
sich aufbrezeln – get tarted/dressed up

3) Slang phrases and expressions

So ein Mist! – Pancake!
Das ist abgefahren! – Wow!
Dumm wie Brot sein – To be dumb as a tree
Das passt schon! – It’ll do!
Her damit! – Come on already!

Komm mal klar! – Calm down!
Heraus damit! – Spread it out! / Speak!
Was laberst du da? – What nonsense are you talking about?
Das weiß nur der liebe Gott! – Only God knows!
Scher dich zum Teufel! – Go to hell!

Du kannst mich mal! – Duck you!🦆
Der Typ war total assi drauf! – This guy was absolutely crazy!
Ich bin am Ende. – I’m exhausted.
Nein, danke! Ich bin voll! – No thanks! I’m full!
Ich muss für kleine Mädchen. – I need to go to the toilet.

Ich bin so sauer! – I’m so angry!
Das ist kein Grund zum Trübsal blasen! – This is not a reason for whining / blues!
Ich bin ja nicht auf den Kopf gefallen! – I’m not a fool!
Lass mich doch! – Get off (get away) from me!
Er hat den ganzen Tag verpennt! – He’s been a couch potato all day!

Es geht ihr dreckig! – She’s all bad! She’s not doing well!
Jetzt steht ihr das Wasser bis zum Hals. – She is now on the verge (in critical condition).
über den Durst trinken – to get drunk (to 💩)
Das Wetter ist heute total beschissen. – The weather today is absolutely disgusting.
Bist du bescheuert? – Are you completely nuts?

Do not be surprised that you will have to replenish your stock of slang words and expressions every year, because young people constantly come up with something, and new realities emerge.

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