They’ve got a word for everything!

backpfeifengesicht: the word you didn't know you needed!

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backpfeifengesicht: the word you didn't know you needed!

Story by Sydney Randolph, Staff Writer

The 9 random German words and definitions that you absolutely need to be using.

You might ask, why did I decide to write an article on weird German words and their definitions? To be quite honest, I’m not so sure myself. So here goes nothing! I asked a few people what they thought these words meant, and I kept them anonymous upon requests. So let’s get started with the nine words that you didn’t know you needed!


Word #1: Backpfeifengesicht

Guess #1: Something with soccer

Guess #2: bread

 Definition: A face in desperate need of a slap

 Starting out strong with this word! We all know that one person. Really, please stop talking. I have my headphones in. OR. Yes I ordered those french fries for myself. Not for you. Please stop taking my fries. 


Word #2: Schadenfreude

Guess #1: A shadow

Guess #2: happy

  Definition: Pleasure derived from someone else’s misfortune.

Falling down the stairs, running into something. I do it too (to be honest, quite frequently.) But when someone else does it, it’s absolutely hysterical. Most definitely going to laugh. 


Word #3: Schattenparker

Guess #1: something parking

Guess #2: hitting someone

Definition:Somebody who parks his car in the shade, for fear of it getting too hot in the sun (a wimp)

Well well well. What do we have here? Come on, I know it’s hot in the summer, but we don’t live in Arizona. (Or maybe you do. I don’t know.)  Either way, it’s ok if your car gets a little toasty.


Word #4: Torschlusspanik

Guess #1:Panic?

Guess #2: An ethnicity 

Definition: last minute panic

We all know the feeling. The, “OH SHOOT I FORGOT TO DO MY HOMEWORK OH SHOOT THE TEACHER’S COLLECTING IT” feeling. The exact definition of last minute panic. 


Word #5: Verschlimmbesserung 

Guess #1: A person that gives a riddle, a jokester

Guess #2: tree

  Definition:Making Things Worse than they Already Are by trying to make it better.

Why do I feel so attacked right now? I don’t know. No further comment. 


Word #6: Erbsenzähler

Guess #1:I want to say herb but that’s dumb

Guess #2: a German street thing

  Definition:“Someone who is obsessed with details and a bit of a control freak.”

Group projects are unbearable for this person. This person may or may not be myself. I don’t know. And I’ll never tell. 


Word #7:Treppenwitz

Guess #1: A happy perky mood

Guess #2: palm tree

Definition: a witty comeback you thought of too late

The shampoo bottles have all witnessed this. The re-working of an argument inside your head, and then the sudden lightbulb, “I GOT IT!” And then the depression of not being able to use it. 


Word #8: Kopfkino

Guess #1:Keey keey coofs I don’t know 

Guess #2: A creepy company

Definition:The act of playing out an entire scenario in your mind. Literally head cinema.

Yes, the shampoo bottles have also witnessed this one. Many times. 


Word #9: Fremdschämen

Guess #1:friendship

Guess #2: feeling bad for yourself

Definition:being vicariously embarrassed by the behavior of someone else 

Your best friend being a little crazy? That’s alright. Hit her with the “FREMDSCHÄMEN”, grab something to disguise your face, and walk away. Or not. Or just act insane with her. No judgement.