Word of the Day – “Hosenstall”

no commentHi everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will look at the meaning and only at the meaning of :

der Hosenstall (pron.: Hoezun shtall)

So I was in the middle of writing an article about this really useful word … I think it was schon or noch or something… but then it struck me… April is comin’ up and so is Aprils Fools’ Day and I should hook you up with at least one Aprils Fools’ joke… I don’t want you to stand aside while all the others are having ever so much fun. So today I will give you one of the absolute classics and the main component for it is der Hosenstall

Now Hosenstall is a really funny word. You’ll see why but first let’s look at its components. The first part is Hose or die Hose to be precise. Now there is a word in English that is written just the same: the hose, which is some sort of flexible tube. And guess what… die Hose perfectly fits that description. The German and the English word are actually the same and hose used to mean flexible tube also in German. It still does in a certain domain. We sometimes call a cyclone a Windhose. But the main meaning of Hose has gradually evolved to be … pants or trousers. And it is not A word for it it is THE word for it. There is Jeanshose, Leinenhose , kurze Hose (short pants), Schlafhose (pyjama pants), Unterhose (slip) and many more.
What’s important is that a Hose is singular in German so you technically say:

  • My pants “is” wet.
  • Meine Hose ist nass.

The plural is Hosen by the way. There are a lot of idioms with Hose. I’ll give you the 3 most common.

  • Thomas hat die Hose voll.
  • Thomas has the pants full. (lit.)

The matter the pants  are filled with is brown… need I say more? So the meaning of this is that Thomas is scared.

  •  Maria hat in Beziehung die Hosen an.
  • Maria is wearing the pants in that relationship. (lit.)

This one basically means “to be the boss” or the dominant one. 

  • Beim Meeting musste ich die Hose runterlassen.
  • At the meeting I had to drop my pants. (lit.)

That means I had to be very honest and expose a lot I kept in private before… figuratively.

Now let’s look at the second part of Hosenstall  … Stall. Also this word exists in English but in German it solely is a Stall as in barn or stable. There is not really a verb in German. By the way … it was fascinating how many different words for Stall exist in English… for every animal it is a different word. When we went to Ger-Man and asked him to help us distinguish the different buildings he justed used his superpowers and made some compounds for us… so we have Pferdestall (for horses), Kuhstall (for cows) and Hühnerstall (for chicken).

So does that mean a Hosenstall is a barn for pants? Could that maybe be a closet after all? Yeah that would make sense I guess… but it is different. A Hosenstall is the barn of the pants…. and that basically is the area behind the fly. Weird?
Well think about it… it has a lot of the typical barn features… smelly at times, full of hay, and there is a stallion that wants out for a ride… … (CLICK HERE !!!) .

In daily life der Hosenstall is the fly though. We don’t really think of it as the area behind it. So… you might already know which joke I am going for…

  • Dein Hosenstall ist offen.
  • Duyn hoezun shtull is ophun.
  • Your fly is open.


If you have any questions just leave me a comment. And let me know how the joke worked out for you.
Hope you liked it and see you next time.

Oh I almost fortgot, when you “close” the joke, in German you simply say

  • April, April. (pron. uprill, uprill)