Advent Calendar 22 – “Best thing ever?”

 

 

Hi you German-learning gladiators,

day 22 of our Advent calendar. It’s winter in the north. The days are cold and dark. And after a long day of building amazing cars and being demure, what are Germans looking forward to?
Exactly. Eating potatoes.
And then cuddling in front of the TV.
Yes, unlike laughing, cuddling is something Germans actually do. And the German word for to cuddle is

kuscheln

  • Maria will kuscheln.
  • Maria wants to cuddle.

And I have to say… I really like the sound of it. Kuscheln.  Like a really soft, cuddly pillow :).
All the more surprising that its origins are a command for high class hunting dogs. There was a time when they were trained in French and “Kusch! ” is the germanized version of French “Couche!” – the command to lie down.
Kuscheln is based on the French verb coucher, which means to lie down, and the reason it was imported was as a command for royal hunting dogs, which at the time were often trained in French. In fact, Kusch! is still in use as a somewhat vague command for dogs to go away and the verb kuschen is used to express the idea of shying away from something, not standing up to someone.

  • Maria und Thomas kuscheln.
  • Maria and Thomas are cuddling.
  • Thomas kuschelt sich in seinen neuen Bademantel.
  • Thomas snuggles into his bathrobe.
  • “Crazy news: Maria ist gestern mit dem neuen aus der IT nach Hause gegangen.”
    “Ja, aber sie haben nur gekuschelt, sagt sie.”
  • “Maria went home with the new guy from the IT department yesterday.”
    “Yeah, but they only cuddled, she says.”

  • Die Decke ist super kuschelig.
  • The blanket is super soft and cuddly.

Now, so far so good, but all this you could have found in dictionaries.
But I have a few really cool, colloquial Kuschel-words for you, that’ll make you sound super German. If you have a German partner or  German friends or German co-workers or a German Skype teacher or a German shephard… try one out. They’ll be really impressed. Well, except the shephard maybe :)

  • Der Bademantel hat einen hohen Kuschelfaktor.
  • The bathrobe has a high snuggle factor.
  • Oxytocin wird auch Kuschelhormon genannt.
  • Oxytocin is also called “cuddle hormone“.
    (It really is, even in newspapers)

  • Schatz, ich leide an Kuscheldefizitsyndrom.
  • Honey, I suffer from cuddle deficiency syndrome.
  • Schatz, ich bin unterkuschelt.
  • Honey, I’m “under cuddled”.

And there are many more like Kuschelalarm. Or Wiedergutmachkuscheln :).
So… this was kuscheln,  the German word for to cuddle and an absolute must have… and must do.
If you have questions or opinions or you want to try out some made up kuschel-words or  you want to send a kuschel-request out to the German learning community, just leave me a comment and maybe win today’s awesome (little) giveaway.
Have a great kuschel-laden day and bis morgen.

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Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years ago

Any visitor to wales will find T-shirts and slate placards with the claim “anyone can cuddle, but only the welsh can cwtch”. Now it seems that germans can also kutsch.

5 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

It’s pronounced kinda like kooch. Sounds a bit like baby talk, when they used to say kootchie-koo. It looks like kvetch though, which is whining and moaning. It’s like a cuddly hug with someone you feel safe with.

5 years ago

Don’t forget that here in the uk we now have a brand of toilet paper called cushel, which i took to be the englified literal translation of Kuschel. “Kuscheln sie sich mit cushel” tm of ubungmachtdenmeister.

person243
person243
5 years ago

Don’t forget “das Kuscheltier” the general term for plush animals in German. Mine was a hedgehog, which reminds me of an old joke. “How do hedgehogs cuddle/reproduce?” – “Very carefully.”

Jake
Jake
5 years ago

Da es “unterkuschelt” und nicht “untergekuschelt” ist, heißt das, dass man “meine Frau unterkuschelt mich” und nicht “meine Frau kuschelt mich unter” sagt? ;-)

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen kuscheln und schmusen?

berlingrabers
5 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Im (amerikanischen) Englischen gibt es “to schmooze”. Da schlägt LEO “schmeicheln” oder “Honig um den Bart/ums Maul schmieren” vor, wobei für mich “schmoozing” etwas allgemeiner “versuchen, einen guten Eindruck zu machen” bedeutet. Selbstverständlich kann dabei von Einschleimen die Rede sein. :) Wahrscheinlich noch ein über Yiddish importierter Germanismus…

Übrigens, vielleicht passt “nuzzle” als Übersetzung für “schmusen”?

Katrin Knauer
Katrin Knauer
5 years ago
Reply to  berlingrabers

No, not really – nuzzle is as shorter process – as in, the dog nuzzled up to his owner, as in digging his nose into; schmusen is more like making out

berlingrabers
5 years ago
Reply to  Katrin Knauer

Ah, smooching :)

I don’t think “nuzzling” has to be a one-off, short act, though. To me it’s pretty much face-cuddling. I guess I just wondered how kissy “schmusen” really is – we have a German baby book with animal pictures that have patches of fur etc. for kids to touch and feel, and I’m fairly sure it describes a kitten or puppy’s fur as “schmuseweich.”

berlingrabers
5 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

So machen wir alle sometimes…

Katrin Knauer
Katrin Knauer
5 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Ein bisschen?? Mit Gegenstaenden schmusen waere mehr als seltsam :-)

Katrin Knauer
Katrin Knauer
5 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

I don’t think there is such a word as “unterkuscheln” in the official German dictionary

Ruth
Ruth
5 years ago

Searching a mammal species + kuscheln, or “Tiere kuscheln”, in Google images gets some very kuschelig results.

Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years ago

Hallo, I am noticing on most of your posts its always “Thomas and Maria”…….just an observation….. are they based on real people you know? ;-)

Brightstar
Brightstar
5 years ago

I’d said ‘…. Maria war gestern….’ instead of ‘…. Maria ist gestern….’

When can one use such a construction, present tense with a time adv. to indicate past?

Brightstar
Brightstar
5 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Sorry, of course. Thank you