All posts for: Word of the day

This section brings you the German word of the day and a round up on how to use it.

Prefix Verbs Explained – “anmachen”

anmachen-meaningsHello everyone,

and welcome to another episode of German Prefix Verbs Explained. And wow, is today’s word useful. It can help you when it’s dark, it can help you when you’re single and it can help you if you want to eat a nice, tasty salad. Oh but you need to be careful, because it can also get you in trouble.
Now you’re like… “Wow, that’s broad, even for German prefix verb. What is that mystery verb?”
Well, ladies and gentlemen,  get  ready for a look at


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Word of the Day – “der Zweck”

zweck-meaningHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll take a look at the meaning of

der Zweck

Back in the 8th century a Zweck was something like a small nail or pin.  to be a small nail and in the 14th century is was especially often used in context of fixing your target on a tree or a wall for archery training. Not everybody was a good shot. One king in particular had a really bad aim. And so one day, at target practice, this happened: Continue reading

Word of the Day – “der Hammer”

hammer-meaningHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll have a look at the meaning of

der Hammer

Hammer is a comestible. It’s usually made from porc and it’s either dried, smoked or wet cured. So basically it’s like ham just … hammer.
Wow.  “Like ham, just hammer”?!
That must have been one of the unfunniest jokes ever. Oh boy, so much for my new years resolution of making better jokes. But hey… it can only go uphill from here. Or can it.
Anyway… of course, der Hammer is the exact same thing as the English hammer, the tool to put in nails. What you might not know though is just how much Germans like the word. Continue reading

Prefix Verbs Explained – “ausgehen”

ausgehen-rausgehen-meaningHello everyone,

and welcome to a new episode of our series about German prefix verbs – this time with a look at the meaning of


Just like Engish out  the German aus has the following two somewhat independent core ideas: outside-ness and off-ness. Today, we’ll see both of them in action and we’ll actually see that they’re not all that far apart.
Let’s start with the idea of off-nessAusgehen with the off-aus is the German verb for to turn off.  Well, we should say to turn off by itself because ausgehen does NOT work for you turning off something.  Continue reading

False Friends Explained – 1

eventually-eventuell-false-Hello everyone,

and welcome to a brand new mini series. Or should I say YET another mini series… seriously, I feel like, we got quite a few seriesseses here :).
Anyway, the new one is all about

false friends

There are a lot of false friends between German and English and some of them can actually lead to real misunderstandings. So I thought, let’s have a look at some of them every once in a while. But of course we’ll not just check what they mean, what the misunderstanding is and how to avoid it. We’ll also explore WHY they became false friends to begin with – or in other words:

Who screwed up? 

German or English? Who’s the true meaning mangler? Yeah, I hear many are screaming “German”… but who knows. So what do you say… does it sound rad? Great, then let’s roll ;)
Continue reading

Word of the Day – “winken”

winken-meaningHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll have a look at the meaning of


Winken looks a lot like to wink. But that’s deceiving as this old Goethe** poem tells us.

Under the tree, I sit,
and I think:
“Winken” and “to wink”

are like red and pink.
(**: poem might not have been written by Goethe;
Goethe might have actually hated it)

What the poem is trying to tell us is this: red and pink are somewhat similar colors. Yet, a red shirt and a pink shirt are TOTALLY different things… fashion-wise. Trust me. I’m an expert.
And it’s the same with winken and to wink. They have similar ideas and yet they are completely different things translation-wise. So, today we’ll find out what winken is why it is so similar to to wink. And that’s not all. Winken comes of course complete with a bunch of prefix versions and as if that isn’t enough already there are some cool, useful related words in family. Curious yet? Moderately? Well, that’s curious enough. In we dive :) Continue reading