Advent Calendar 3 – “Gettin’ snotty wit’ it”

Written By: Emanuel Updated: May 12, 2021

advent-3Hello everyone,

day 3 of our Advent Calendar, this time with a nice shot of colloquial. Because, god knows… the textbook and course establishment don’t teach you how Germans really speak.
So today, we’ll learn one of those colloquial words that – if used at the right time – will really make you sound native. And this one will help you stand your turf if someone starts to forget about politeness. Get ready for


Pampig is based on the noun die Pampe and Pampe is … well… think of the Chicken Curry Maria made recently. That was some proper… oh wait, you can’t know that. Well, then imagine a puddle of mud…. that’s Pampe in there. A thick, greasy, slippery mush. 

  • “Ähh… Was ist das in der Schüssel da?”
    “Das ist selbstgemachter Pizzateig.”
    “Diese Mehlpampe?! Ich glaube nicht.”
  • “Uhm…What’s that in that bowl there?”
    “That’s homemade pizza dough.”
    “This gloop of flour?! I don’t think so.”

Now, kids love Pampe because it’s fun to touch it and play with it and they don’t have to do laundry yet. But for everyone else, Pampe has a negative touch.
And so it’s no wonder the adjective pampig got a negative touch, too. The literal meaning is “Pampe-like” but the word actually expresses the idea of snotty, stroppy, brazen

  • “Wie, keine Mandelmilch?!?! Das ist ja wohl ein Witz. Und Sie nennen sich ‘Coffeeshop'”
    “Hey, die Mandelmilch war einfach schon alle. Kein Grund gleich pampig zu werden.”
  • “What do you mean, no almond milk?!?! That must be a joke! And you call yourself ‘coffeeshop.”
    “Hey, we simply ran out of it. No reason to get snotty right away.”

The example is the perfect context: you say that people are getting pampig, when they talk back to you in a pissed way or, more generally, if they’re just offensively unfriendly. It’s always connected to specific situations though, so you wouldn’t say a person is pampig as a general characteristic.
Let’s look at some more examples.

  • Berliner Busfahrer werden schnell pampig.
  • Berlin bus drivers get snotty/arsey quick.
  • Warum hast du so pampig reagiert?
  • Why did you react so snottily?
  • Laptop mit einem Sprung im Display schicken und dann am Telefon noch pampig werden – wenn ich könnte würde ich -1 Stern geben.
  • Delivering the laptop with a crack in the screen and then giving lip on the phone – if I could I’d give -1 stars.
    (typical Amazon review lingo)

There’s also a verb anpampen but I don’t know how widespread that really is. Pampig is known all over Germany though, I think, so next time a waiter is really rude you could just say

  • Hey,bitte nich ganz so pampig, okay?

They’ll be so shocked by your skills, they’ll do whatever you want. Well.. or they’ll kick you out.
Anyway, that’s it for today. What about you? Have you heard the word pampig before? Which other German words do you know for this idea of snotty, arsey? And what’s your experience with Germans… do they get pampig easily compared to the people in your country?
Let me know in the comments and win today’s little give away about the German language. Oh and I’ll pick the winners sometime after Christmas, so you you can still enter the competition, even if you’re a week late.
Have a great day and bis morgen.

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