Word of the Day – “satt”

Hello everyone,This guy is satt

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


Everyone knows the following. Just as you fork up the last bit of the Christmas goose, totally determined to never eat anything ever again, you realize the grave mistake you just made. But it is too late. SHE has seen it and a white, empty porcelain plate is nothing your partners mother can accept. “Have some more…  !” … in a desperate attempt to save your stomach you try to make a case against another helping… it is hard for you to concentrate, but, given that she is German, you have to try to say it in German since this will significantly increase your chances. What the hell was the word for full in that case? Come on brain! Wasn’t it something remotely related to saturated?… and then you remember and the words start to form. 

  • “Danke. Ich … uh … ich bin total satt.”

Anxiously you gaze at your plate  … one second… 2 seconds… 3 seconds. Still no pile of mashed potatoes … and you start to realize that you made it. Thank god and thank you Word of the Day :).

Satt probably originates from the same Latin term as saturated does so it does make some sense that it is the German word for full. But it really is only the full in sense of food, a bottle is not satt, a bottle is voll. People sometimes use the word voll also to indicate that the are satt and there is nothing wrong with it but that wouldn’t work for a question, for which you need to use satt. So your partners mom might ask you

  • Bist du satt?
  • Are you full?

Besides this main meaning, satt is also used in context of colors. Ein sattes grün is a rich deep green. Furthermore there are a number of idiomatic expressions with satt. The common concept of the word in these expressions is the idea of having enough of something. You will be able to figure these out without any problems so I will give only one example here.

  • Der Marathonläufer hat einen satten Vorsprung.
  • The marathon runner has a comfortable lead.

Satt is also used in a phrasing that expresses your discontent with something.

  • Ich habe etwas satt.
  • I am fed up with something.

So when your roommate has left the kitchen trashed yet again these phrasings may help you.

  • Ich habe es satt, dass du nie die Küche aufräumst.
  • I am fed up with you never cleaning the kitchen.
  • Ich habe deine Ausreden satt.
  • I am sick of your excuses.

So this is the word satt. It is used in a number of expressions in sense of enough, but the main meaning is full as in not hungry anymore. Does it apply to drinks also? No, it does not. If you are not thirsty anymore, you say “I am not thirsty anymore.” There is no German word for this…  except for this really really stupid one. Back in 1999 the Duden – something like the Merriam Webster- and an Ice Tea manufacturer decided that the language needs a sister for satt, that would express “not thirsty anymore”. So they started a competition and asked people to send in their ideas. Naturally all kinds of nonsense were proposed and the winner was… sitt. Yeah, how creative. The pathetic attempt to establish this crap in the German language failed however. People just wouldn’t accept the new word and I think it isn’t even widespread enough to make for a good party joke. What this whole event shows after all is that language is really a democratic thing, formed and developed only by the people who speak it. And since you have learned another word today, you are one step closer to cast your vote… ooooh there it was, the transitions seminar again. This really were 15.000 Euro well spent. Gotta go now, 3 jobs waiting. Exhausting? Sure, but I have some dept to pay…

So this was our Word of the Day satt. If you have questions or suggestions pleas drop me a comment. I hope you liked it and see you next time.