Be careful - it's a gift! (English/German)

One year when my German teacher, Herr McCarley, was living in Germany, he once opened the door to a very nervous looking postman. The postman very slowly and carefully handed Herrn McCarley a package. His parents had sent him a Christmas present and did not want him to open it early, so they wrote "gift" many times on all sides of the package. What they did not know was that Gift is German for "poison". The postman very shakily said, Vorsicht ... Gift, careful ... poison, and left as soon as he could.

Sent by: Josh


Helena 2011-01-31

Gift means poison in Swedish as well but it also means married (jag är gift = I am married)

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Michael Ludgate, Taunton, UK 2010-12-20

It's also just as funny the other way around, I saw a news article a few years back. Chemical drums destined for secure burial that were marked up with 'Gift'!

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Jo, Australia 2009-11-28

One of Mum's friends is German who apparently didn't know much English when he came to Australia - so he got very confused by the ads on TV offering a 'free gift' :)

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Stan Rider 2008-11-02

I was purchasing a schnapps flask, and told the Verkäufer it was a gift for my son. The man looked horrified, I didn't know Gift in German meant poison.

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Phil 2008-01-27

Years ago when my wife and I were stationed in Germany. We had a landlady we really loved like a mother. One day my wife had a present for her. She called up to Elsie on the phone and said Elsie: I have a gift for you. Elsie came down upset and said: Carol why you want to kill me? My wife explained she had a present for her and all was ok. We did not know Gift means poison.

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Annabella 2008-01-02

German and English have a lot in common. But there are also mind-boggling differences. For example: Art means in German 'kind'. Kind means in German 'child'. Who is 'Wer'. Where is 'Wo'. Werden is 'become'. Bekommen is 'get'.

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Christine 2007-12-31

Briliant. This is a word you'd never forget.

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