Word of the Day – “das Lob”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time with a quick look at the meaning of

das Lov

oh… ups… I meant

das Lob

 

Sorry for the typo, haha.
So yeah, we’ll look at das Lob today, not only because it’s something that everybody likes to get, but also because there are a few related words that seem to have as much connection to das Lob as I have to the WIFI in the library.
NONE!!
If you listen to this, dear library… your WIFI is really really not good.
And that by the way was kind of the opposite of a Lob

Because Lob is a kind of praise. And if you’re now like
“Oh, like love. Giving love.” then you’re spot on.
The origin is an Indo-European root that is so ancient, it’s actually blue: *leubh-. The core idea of it was liking, wanting, desire and of course this is where the words love and Liebe come from. And also glauben and its English translation believe, by the way. You see, a belief is essentially something you “hold dear” because it serves you in some way. Even the negative beliefs we have serve us in some way.
I for instance believed that I couldn’t get a six pack.
Because I was sure the stores were already closed. But that belief protected me from having to go downstairs into the cold rain.
But then, after a lot of self actualization work, I realized that I could just send an intern and bam, I’m sipping a nice IPA without ever having left my cha… but I digress.
So yeah, the root wasn’t only about really liking, it was also used to express that sentiment.

And that’s what a Lob is all about because a Lob is something you give someone if they did something really well. When you look it up in a dictionary, you’ll get praise and accolades as a translation. But those sound much stronger or bigger than Lob. Like… saying “Really nice soup.” certainly isn’t praise but it’s a perfect example for a Lob.
So in day life, I think “thumbs up” actually captures the essence of Lob the best.

  • Zu Beginn des Meetings erstmal Lob an alle – diesmal mussten wir bei der Betriebsfeier nur zweimal die Polizei rufen. Weiter so!
  • To start the meeting, a compliment/thumbs up to all of you – we had to call the police only twice at the company party this time. Keep it up!
  • Kopiert zu werden ist ein großes Lob.
  • Being copied is a big praise.
  • Eigenlob stinkt. (common idiom)
  • A man’s praise in his own mouth stinks.
    (lit.: self praise)
  • Das war keine Review – das war eine Lobeshymne.
  • That wasn’t a review – that was a puff piece/hymn of praise.
  • “Maria, guck, ich habe abgewaschen.”
    “Und?! Willst du jetzt Lob haben?”
    “Jaaaa, bitte!”
  • “Maria, look, I did the dishes.”
    “And?! Do you want a pat on the back now?”
    “Yes, please!”

I hope you got an idea of the vibe. Lob can be used for actual praises but it’s also the perfect word for a simple “Well done.” And that also goes for the verb loben, which means to praise or, more mundanely, to give a thumbs up.

  • Maria lobt Thomas dafür, dass er abgewaschen hat.
  • Maria gives Thomas a praise/thumbs up for doing the dishes.
  • Lobe den Herrn…
  • Praise to the lord …
    (this is from a famous song… might be Madonna)
  • Mein Date hat mich für mein gutes Deutsch gelobt.
  • My date gave me a thumbs up/praise for my good German.
  • Nicht geschimpft ist genug gelobt.
  • Their silence is enough praise.
    Lit.: “Not scolding is enough praising.”

The last example is apparently the mantra of many bosses and managers in Germany. Should you ever run into that, you can just reply by

  • “Nicht geschlafen ist genug gearbeitet”

They’ll love you for it and give you a raise because if Germans are known for something then it’s their sense of humor.
Anyway, besides loben, there’s also the verb geloben and this is a bit different because it’s not about liking but about making a strong, serious promise, like a vow or a pledge. And the word believe we wasted time on talked about briefly earlier, can provide the missing link. If you make a vow, you really believe what you say to be true. You really really “desire” it to be real, if that makes sense.

  • Ich gelobe, dass ich nie wieder Sachen aus deinem Kühlschrankfach nehme.
  • I pledge/make a vow that I’ll never take things from your shelf of the fridge again.

The verb itself is quite rare and sounds rather epic and highbrow, so you won’t find it in daily life, but you might come across the noun. Well… actually, there are two nouns: das Gelöbnis and das Gelübde. The former is usually used in context of soldiers saying their pledge while Gelübde is used in church related contexts like for priests or, more importantly, the wedding vow.

  • Das Ehegelübde des Bräutigams war so lang, dass die Braut eingeschlafen ist.
  • The wedding vow of the groom was so long that the bride fell asleep.

And this brings us right over to the verb sich verloben, which is the German word for getting engaged. In the sense of marriage, that is. And once again, we have this notion of strong promise here . You “pledge yourself to your partner”.
The verb is rarely used in the present tense, but its drivert.. erm… daritav… deritev… its related words are pretty common.

  • Verliebt, verlobt, verheiratet.
  • In love, engaged, married.
  • Ich habe meinen Verlobungsring verloren.
  • I lost my engagement ring.
  • Mein Verlobter und ich waren zusammen Kanu fahren – jetzt sind wir nicht mehr verlobt.
  • My fiancee and I were canoeing together – now we’re not engaged anymore.

There’s a lot of truth in the last one, by the way. Canoeing together can be a REAL challenge for your relationship.
Anyway, there’s a bunch of other related words like.. uh… belobigen, lobenswert, Hotellobby, Kilobyte or Lobotomie, but they’re all abou the idea of “small” praise and I’m pretty sure you’ll understand them when you see th… wait, what the hell… the last three don’t have anything to do with Lob. Why are they in my script?!
Ugh… these interns. They could have used their time to do a bit more research and find that erlauben and allow are also related to Lob. But no… they think they’re the king of funny and waste time on pranks. I guess I shouldn’t have said “Good job.” at the last meeting. No more Lob from now on, guys!

Anyway, that’s it for today guys. This was our little look at the meaning of das Lob and even if you only payed half attention, you should have no problem with the following question:

What do you call a crustacean that gives a lot of praise?
A lobster.

Badum tish.
As usual, if you want to check how much you remember, you can take the little quiz I have prepared. And of course, if you have any questions or suggestions or some Lob for me, just leave me a comment. I hope you liked it and see you next time.

** vocab **

das Lob = the praise, the thumbs up (not as epic sounding as praise)
Eigenlob stinkt. = A man’s praise in his own mouth stinks.
loben = to praise, to give a thumbs up
Nicht geschimpft ist genug gelobt. = Their silence is enough praise. (idiom)
geloben = pledge, make a vow (sounds very formal)
das Gelübde = the vow (mostly for marriage (Ehegelübde))
sich verloben = to get engaged
verlobt = engaged (sense of marriage)
der Verlobungsring = the engagement ring
der Verlobte = the fiance (die Verlobte for women, gets all adjective endings)
lobenswert = praise worthy

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Mark
Mark
2 years ago

When I read “nicht geschimpft ist genug gelobt,” suddenly my entire experience of living in Germany made sense.

A J
A J
2 years ago

Ich lobe dich dafür, dass du wieder so einen lobenswerten Artikeln geschrieben hast ;)

JaneHF
JaneHF
2 years ago

Re: Kopiert zu werden ist ein großes Lob. Being copied is a big praise…
Do you know this quote? “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”- Oscar Wilde

I learned a lot and laughed a lot – thanks!

Jenn
Jenn
2 years ago

Just wanted to send a huge thank you to Emanuel for all his hard work and to everyone who has allowed for scholarships for people like me who otherwise can’t afford to learn! Super excited to start on this German journey. :)

Katherine
Katherine
2 years ago

What do you call the tense for the verbs in this sentence? “Mein Verlobter und ich waren zusammen Kanu fahren.” I was surprised to see that it seems to work the same as in English, but I have no idea what it’s called.

Jinksy
Jinksy
2 years ago

And I will lob some praise to you (to throw!). B

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
2 years ago

Oh, and if you’ve never seen this, it seems appropriate to post here: https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/titles-of-bach-chorales-as-translated-by-my-niece-after-one-semester-of-german

Check out #5 for the relevant false friend of “Lob” in English…

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
2 years ago

“Praise” really is fine for “Lob” – it’s got a pretty broad range. You can talk about “faint praise” – a weak or not very meaningful compliment. “Accolades” definitely only works for big, serious (and as I understand it, public) praise, though.

I first heard “nicht geschimpft ist genug gelobt” from a colleague who moved to Berlin in the early ’90s and lived there for about 20 years. He learned it in slightly different words, though: “Dass man mich nicht anscheißt, ist Lob genug.”

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it here, but I don’t know if it was from actual Bavarians or not – that’s always a little bit of the issue in Munich. I don’t think the Bavarian mentality is *that* different from the Prussian, though. ;D

Ora
Ora
2 years ago

Another typo:

Ich gelobe, dass ich nie wieder Sachen aus deinem Kühlschrankfach nehme.
I pledge/make a vow that I’ll take things from your shelf of the fridge again.

The English translation is obviously missing “never”. :)

Great article as always!

TonyM
TonyM
2 years ago

By omitting “never” in your translation for “Ich gelobe, dass ich nie wieder Sachen aus deinem Kühlschrankfach nehme”, you completely reversed the meaning of the sentence. Maybe I’m missing a joke here — the translation is funny — especially since it describes the practice of my roommates.

You list these “related words”: Verliebt, verlobt, verheiratet. But don’t explain why verheiratet should be in this list. Did I miss something? One other small point: there a misspelling elsewhere: “adn”

By the way, I got to this post via your email/newsletter which linked to the archive index you are working on (https://yourdailygerman.com/category/a-level-german-vocabulary-grammar/). I don’t know where to comment about that, so I’ll do it here:

I think the index looks great! Not just visually, but also content-wise. The thing I like the most is (1) a simple listing of all the words, and (2) a brief description for each, and especially (3) a listing of the related words. With just these 3 items you provide the “meat” of your articles thereby whetting the appetite for people to dig into the article itself (where the healthy vegetables are ;)

If all these words (1 and 3) were easily searchable it would be great. A simple way would be putting all the words onto one page (which itself would be impressive), but another way would be to put a search feature (that actually works) into each page. The greatest asset of your site is the number of words and phrases and I think that with the right indexing you’d get the page hits you deserve.

Sich lieb....ehm I mean Sich Freunde treffen
Sich lieb....ehm I mean Sich Freunde treffen
2 years ago

Practice Sentence

Lob! Sie haben im Alleingang zerstörten die Partei
Well done! You destroyed the party singel-handly

Er nie gibt mir das Lob nicht mehr
He no longer give me any praise

Horten Sie auf das Eigenlob
Stop praising yourself

Max hat gelobt das baby dafür, dass es ersten Schritte machen

Max hat das baby (für seinen ersten Schritte gelobt / Zum Schritte machen gelobt/gelobt zu Schritte machen)

All the max sentences should be or sth ( Max praised the baby for taking his first steps) just trying few structures

Warum braucht sie gelob?
Why do you need praise?

Ich gelobe die Straße zu suchen (weird, I know)

Verlobung war das Schlimmste ( Engagment was the worst)

Now few questions

“Nicht geschlafen ist genug gearbeitet” What does the sentence which will lead me to unemployment doom mean

If “gelobe” and “Sich verloben” are rare. What are the alternatives. Like would I use ” Sich verloben” to inform of future engagement?

Finally, Sorry for the mess and I would apprecite it if you could comment on my sentences and questions.

Sich lieb... I mean Freunde treffen
Sich lieb... I mean Freunde treffen
2 years ago

Sorry for second reply. In commentry, I would really prefer not just the grammer but natural or suggestions to make it natural

Anon
Anon
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

First sentence correction (zerstört) and should moved to the end

I cannot see what’s wrong with sentence 2.
Sentence 3 (Hören sie)

Then with max
First version (macht)
Second version to last version (gelobbt)

The questions (brauchen Sie)

That’s all I could find

Zum Lob von alles gut,Hilfe bitte

Anon
Anon
2 years ago
Reply to  Anon

And also ( Er gibt nie) nicht (Er nie gibt)

Anon
Anon
2 years ago
Reply to  Anon

Did I miss sth?

Anon
Anon
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Dankeschön

4) I was hoping to see the other strucuters

Anna
Anna
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Max hat das Baby dafür gelobt, dass es die ersten Schritte macht. Also “die” should be “Seine” or “ihreq”

Anna
Anna
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

I never heard that die can be alternative to Seine.
I will try to check that grammatical area. Are my other phrasing correct by any chance.

Anon
Anon
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Ah, I totally forgot about the plural. Thanks for clarifying that (other Max sentences are good)

Bosko24
Bosko24
2 years ago

Super wie immer danke :)

Elsa
Elsa
2 years ago

Hi!
Typo time:
“an Indo-European root” (a Indo-European root)
“apperantly” (apparently) … and what is the mantra you’re talking about? I’m confused here…
“high brow” (highbrow, although I’ve also seen high-brow occasionally)
“pledge yourself for your partner” (pledge yourself to your partner)

Ok, and now a thumbs up and a question all in one:

“Lob an dir” for another great article! Is it “an dir”, “an dich” or some other usage? Lob anyway, I never knew this word even existed; I’m going to try and use it in class on Saturday and see if I get some Lob :)

Bis naechste Woche!

Elsa
Elsa
2 years ago
Reply to  Elsa

Oops, my first correction is my own typo!!!!! That is, I misread your text, then misspelt the correction and ended up “correcting” something that was originally right! Sorry about that! It is “an Indo-European root”!

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
2 years ago
Reply to  Elsa

I’ll just hitch another typo correction onto this: in the example for “Gelübde”, you have “Ehegelübte” instead of “Ehegelübde”.