German words that sound inappropriate in English

The first word is Abfahrt which means to depart but sounds like somthing about farting. Then there is dick: Er ist dick means he is fat. How about hören, to hear, and just when you think you have the rules of grammar figured out, the rules change, lol. My Mom said she couldn't teach us German because we kept laughing at words like this. Now you must admit these words sound like words that aren't thrown around in public social situations, lol.

Sent by: Syndi


Pat, UK 2010-06-24

We used to laugh at the German for father as Vater seemed to describe a lot of dads!

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John, UK 2009-07-20

Some of the early shipments during the Berlin Air Lift were labelled "Gift from the USA".

Understandably, some of the recipients were a little wary!

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Erik 2009-03-20

If pronounced with the correct umlaut vowel sound, hören doesn't sound inappropriate to me as a native English speaker.

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Anonymous 2009-02-25

hell - bright

damit - therewith

womit - wherewith

hören - to hear

Bubi (/booby/) - young boy

dick - chubby, thick

Fach - subject, cubby hole

Fächer - subjects, cubby holes

aß (/ahss/) - ate

Aas (/ahss/) - carrion (rotting carcass)

Abfahrt - departure

Autofahrt - car ride

Bootsfahrt - boat ride

Butterfahrt - trip to buy duty-free merchandise

Busfahrt - bus ride

Extrafahrt - additional ride

Fahrtenmesser - travelling knife

Fahrtroute - travel route

Fahrtwind - airstream, air turbulence

Familienfahrt - family trip

Gratisfahrt - free trip

Kaffeefahrt - cheap bus trip combined with a sales pitch

Kamerafahrt - tracking shot

Klassenfahrt - field trip

Lustfahrt - pleasure cruise

Radfahrt - bike trip

Seefahrt - navigation

Sternfahrt - car rally

Tagfahrt - day trip

Taxifahrt - taxi ride

Testfahrt - test drive

Trampfahrt - sea cargo hauling to multiple ports

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Frank 2008-10-19

Please remember that, in English, Dick is a name (short form for Richard, confer also the phrase 'every Tom, Dick or Harry' and the cartoon character Dick Tracey). But there are also other English names that sound inappropriate or ridiculous. The English names Gail or Gayle sound similar to the German word geil. For its (complex) history of meaning and changes of meaning, please consult Wikipedia, but in the modern slang of the young, geil means cool, great (ein geiler Film, a great movie), but referred to girls and women, geil mostly means sexy (Kylie Minogue is in Germany sometimes called geilie Kylie). In German, Depp (Johnny Depp) is a swearword, meaning 'idiot'. The German word Brett (Brad Pitt) means board, shelf.

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Nicks 2008-11-09

I think it's simply hilarious that Brad Pitt is nothing but a shelf and Johnny Depp who I hate is an IDIOT!!

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Bill 2008-12-10

In German the word Gift translates to English as 'poison'. The Germans say, "Buy an Andenken for your wife, but buy a Gift for your mother-in-law".

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