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German Loan Words Quiz
These German words have sneaked into the English language. See if you can guess them.
These words are not necessarily used the same way in German
Last updated: August 27, 2018
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March 4, 2010
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Literally, lightning war
Preschool for children aged 4-6
Mischievous, noisy type of ghost
The dots above this ü
Dog breed called a "wiener dog"
The spirit of the times
Hitler's job title
Pleasure from the misfortune of others
A person's double or look-alike
German for above, Deutschland ____ alles
What you say when someone sneezes
Politics based on pragmatism, not idealism
Large beer mug
Musical instrument similar to a xylophone
Breaded meat cutlet
Apr 30, 2013
Updated and expanded!
Mar 6, 2018
Nice quiz, thank you! I'm German and have a few suggestions: I never heard the word "Stein" before I talked to native English speakers (German word would be "Maß(krug)". When I first read the word Dachshund (-hound) somewhere I had to look it up in a dictionary because I had no clue what kind of dog this might be (in Germany we call the breed "Dackel").
Apr 15, 2018
Ich hab genau den gleichen Gedankengang gehabt. :-D
Nov 23, 2018
Alternatively, mug of beer could also be "Humpen". Interestingly, "Stein" seems to be a German word used in the English language for that definition, but not in German. To be fair, in Germany we also have an English borrow word like that: "Handy"! (German for "cell phone")
Dec 4, 2018
I'm German too and I've never heard some of this.
Dec 5, 2018
I am totally grasping at straws in response to you native Germans. Though, I believe the issue is that these words were "borrowed" and interpreted a long time ago. Where, Germany has several differing dialects, etc. I mean, 150 years ago, you all were completely separate principalities and differed, somewhat, immensely. Just my two cents, however. Please don't take it as the hard truth. I am just a history buff and no where near a native German. Had a German girlfriend in my 20s and only traveled from Frankfurt (am Main) to Landstuhl/Ramstein a few times for work. These do not qualify for much of anything.
Feb 16, 2019
Same thoughts here, especially with Dachshund. Typed in Dackel without success.
Jul 29, 2019
Indeed, I am German and never heard of Stein before (in this context)
Feb 19, 2020
"Stein" is actually the common word for a "Maß" in palatina, but it is very regional
Jul 8, 2019
there are a lot more words, which u could put in this quiz, like - Angst - Weltschmerz - Leitmotif (Leitmotiv in german) - Kitsch - Rucksack - Schnaps
May 2, 2013
May 18, 2013
Mien got in heimel. I knew these. If I could spell I'd be a... wunderkind.
Sep 3, 2016
Du bist hässlich und deine mutter kleider sie komischer. :-) Sorry, that's all I've got.
Jul 29, 2019
"You are ugly and your mother dress she stranger"
Apr 22, 2017
Ich bin ein Berliner.
Oct 14, 2017
My God in Heaven! Thus spoke Zarathustra! Whereof one can not speak, there of one must remain silent.
Jun 27, 2018
Den namen Gottes misbrauchen1
Jun 22, 2013
I wish I could spell...
Jul 17, 2013
I've never heard the word gesundheit actually said in everyday life. I saw it on a programme once, but other than that I'm pretty sure the majority of people say bless you. Gesundheit seems to be a bit vague.
Apr 27, 2015
I have always said "gesundheind."
Oct 26, 2013
Please change Stein - because this is not a beermug - its a stone. Never heard that as a word for mug and I am german.
Dec 13, 2013
First i tried Bierstien and then I tried beerstein, I was quite annoyed those didn't work.
May 28, 2014
In the US we call beer mugs stein - and these are German words in English so it makes sense to me.
Apr 29, 2015
Correct, "Stein" is (mostly in the western and south western part) a common word for a mug with 1 liter. I know it, as I live there...
Oct 20, 2015
We used Stein in both the UK and NZ :) oh and at beerfest lol
Mar 21, 2014
A, E, I, O, U, Ä, Ö and Ü are Umlaute. The dots above are called Umlautpunkte e.g. There are some other names for them too. I also don't understand the "German for above" part. "Deutschland über alles" probably refers to the National Anthem as it's a line but it actually means "Germany above all". Is "German for above" a thing? I mean I don't see a connection there. Never heard of a Stein either but that's probably cause it depends on the region you're at how that mug is called. To me it looks like a Bembel, which is a mug for applewine though.
May 9, 2014
"German for above" means the German word for "above". über = above
Aug 28, 2014
"Germany for above" is a rahter awkward translation imo. I'd say "Germany above all" is more accurate.(and actually makes sense)
Oct 20, 2015
@tielenhei87 "German for above" is not a translation. It's the clue for this word. To be more understandable maybe it should be written like "German for
Jan 19, 2016
Ah, I get it now. Yeah it should be written like this to make it clear.
May 4, 2015
To be accurate, only Ä, Ö, Ü are Umlaute, A, E, I, O, U are plain and simple Vokale. And Umlaut still is a German word in English, even if the meaning slightly shifted.
Jul 29, 2019
No! A, E, I, O and U are not "Umlaute". They are "Vokale". Umlaute are just Ä, Ö and Ü!!
May 20, 2014
You mentioned the war once, but I think you got away with it. So, that's two egg mayonnaise, a prawn Goebbels, a Hermann Goering, and four Colditz salads.
May 28, 2014
Can you please accept some other spellings for Daschund? <-- This spelling is used elsewhere on this site.
Jun 9, 2014
Jul 31, 2014
Jul 7, 2015
Snuck is a classic mistake. My spellchecker is highlighting it right now. Sneaked is the correct form.
Admission: snuck sounds better to me
Jul 20, 2018
Let's be real about this, Quizmaster - it's not that Sneaked is the 'correct' form. It's just that it WAS the correct and only form from around the 1500s. For the last 100-150 or so years, Snuck has been an accepted variant. This is simply a matter of BrE vs AmE.
Jul 16, 2014
Oct 25, 2014
You should accept Berliner for the pastry question..."Ich bin ein Berliner!" (I am, of course, just kidding!)
Nov 21, 2014
I see people debating Stein....isnt this a viking word??? my grandfather spoke fluent german along with his native language, czech. He never taught me that beer mug was stein??? The rest was fun though...and easy because of my background :)
Mar 16, 2015
If you are going to accept the +e convention for Führer/Fuehrer, which is perfectly normal and acceptable in German (albeit a bit old-fashioned), please also accept it for Doppelgänger/Doppelgaenger and über/ueber. Für die Deutschen, die sich über die Bedeutung des Wortes „Stein" klagen, in den Vereinigten Staaten sagt man „Stein" als Kurzung des Wortes „Steinkrug". Ein Maß ist immer aus Glas gemacht. Ein Stein(krug) ist ein Humpen, der aus Steinzeug gemacht ist.
May 4, 2015
Fun quiz. Thanks.
Oct 22, 2015
Tried daschund, dashchund, dashund. No leeway at all on that spelling?
Mar 30, 2016
No, because Dachshund means badger dog. Dachs = badger, Hund = Dog. Accepting more spellings doesn't make any sense.
Jun 2, 2016
I could never quite get all the letters in the right order, not to mention that I kept adding a "t". I kept want it to be datschund or daschund. Close, but no weiner dog. 🐩
Jan 28, 2016
Never heard a German call a "wiener dog" Dachshund. Though it is a word for that dog breed, they're commonly called Dackel.
Apr 19, 2016
Regardless of its use in the expression 'Deutchland uber alles', the word 'uber' has, as the intro of the quiz makes explicit, 'sneaked (sic) into' the English language.
Apr 28, 2016
I'm thinking gesundheit must be an American thing, I'm guessing upper midwest. I have never encountered it in Australian, NZ or UK English.
Feb 17, 2017
I am in Australia and I often hear it said when someone sneezes. I have also heard it said in England. I don't know from where it came into expressions originally, but probably in movies somewhere along the line.
Jun 5, 2016
I always assumed that "realpolitik" was Russian.
Jun 14, 2016
It's most associated with Bismarck.
Jun 8, 2016
Good quiz. Tricky words to spell, too. Thanks for allowing so many variations! :)
Aug 15, 2016
Could you include Beerstein/Bierstein?
Dec 21, 2016
What the hell is a "wiener dog"??? A dog from Vienna? A sausage in a bun? I am from Germany and I didn't get it. Still don't. Maybe it is an expression in Austrian (German)? If so, you should specify that. If it says that the words are from the German language, one would assume that you mean Hochdeutsch.
Jan 25, 2017
What is so hard to get about it? It's simply the english word for Dackel or Dachshund, both very Standard German words.
Feb 17, 2017
I have heard the expression 'Sausage Dog' a thousand times but never 'Weiner Dog'......... I think it is a case of double translation mix-up.
Sep 29, 2017
You never heard of "weiner dog"? What country are you from? Very common in the USA.
Sep 29, 2017
That's because most Americans, like me, can't spell dachshund......lol
Feb 27, 2017
german words are fun to say
Mar 12, 2017
Dachshund, which means "Badger Dog" if translated word for word is only used in English, not in German. The German word for Dachshund is "Dackel".
Sep 29, 2017
Got 7. Spent all my time trying to spell dachshund.
Dec 10, 2017
a Schnitzel isn't always breaded, only a Vienna/Wiener Schnitzel is without exception, but, for example, a Zigeunerschnitzel isn't usually breaded.
Feb 24, 2018
I know that a beer mug is referred to as a "Stein" in English (though I couldn't think of it in the quiz), but we don't call it that in German. It's known as a Krug, a Bierkrug or a Steinkrug. The latter is probably what the english word derives from.
Apr 27, 2018
Six attempts to spell "gesundheit" correctly...
Jun 20, 2018
English native speakers are accustomed to words in English being sometimes spelt oddly or strangely; but never for any apparent reason, or with any pattern. Whereas, words in German are all spelt completely consistently and regularly according to well-defined spelling rules. You only have to learn what those spelling rules are.
Sep 26, 2018
too many long words for this hunt-and-peck typist...
Dec 4, 2018
I know right? It's impossible to find everything. I actually can type, but I'm doing it in the dark. :l
Dec 7, 2018
Missed dachshund... knew it ended in hund, but couldnt remember, so tried schweinhund... not correct as expected.. Edit:ow yea also didnt get realpolitik. Never heard of it (and sounds more english than german to me, besides the k at the end ofcourse)
Jan 13, 2019
only missed realpolitik this time around. And glockenspiel sort of means the same as "family jewels" here...
Jun 23, 2019
Please remove "Deutschland über alles". it is not from the official national anthem. It is from a verse that is part of the song the national anthem is taken from, but you should never say these words in Germany, unless you want to identify yourself as a neonazi. This line is closely associated with Nazi Germany.
Aug 23, 2019
You know that "blitzkrieg" was never used in Germany unless with the expression " The so called ... " or "What they call..." right? So it would be interesting to know if it is currently in a German dictionary as an own word or a borrowed one.
Jan 3, 2020
Could not for the life of me spell "gesundheit".
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