Parts of the Body German for Beginners Lesson

Human anatomy chart
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The German words for many parts of the body are similar or identical to English: der Armdie Handder Fingerdas Haardas Kinn. (English is, after all, a Germanic language.) But of course they're not all that easy, and you still need to learn the genders of even the easy ones. (Don't ask me why a hand is feminine but a finger is masculine. It's pointless to worry about such things.)

German Expressions Using Parts of the Body

Hals- und Beinbruch!
Break a leg!

(Neck and leg break!) (Although it adds the neck, the German expression actually wishes someone good luck, as in English.)

One element of this lesson relates to the way that German-speakers talk about the body. In the classic film "Casablanca," Humphrey Bogart's character says to Ingrid Bergman: "Here's lookin' at you, kid." In the German version, that Americanism became "Ich schau dir in die Augen, Kleines." Instead of saying "your eyes," German tends to be more like the English expression "I'm looking you in the eye," using the definite article with the dative to show personal possession. Let's learn the basic vocabulary of Körperteile (parts of the body).

German Glossary for Body Parts

In this glossary, the plural form is given only for those items that usually come in pairs or multiples (eyes, ears, fingers, etc.). You'll notice that our glossary runs from the top of the body (head) to the bottom (foot, von Kopf bis Fuß).

der menschliche Körper
von Kopf bis Fuß
The Human Body
from head to toe
hair*das Haar/die Haare (pl.)
  *In German "hair" can be referred to as singular or plural, when it is only singular in English: "my hair" = mein Haar (sing.) or meine Haare (pl.); "her long hair" = ihr langes Haar (sing.) or ihre langen Haare (pl.)
headder Kopf
ear, earsdas Ohrdie Ohren (pl.)
facedas Gesicht
foreheaddie Stirn
eyebrow, eyebrowsdie Augenbrauedie Augenbrauen
eyelash, eyelashesdie Wimperdie Wimpern
eye, eyesdas Augedie Augen
nosedie Nase
lip, lipsdie Lippedie Lippen
mouth*der Mund
  *An animal's mouth is called das Maul. When used for people, it's considered rude: "Halt's Maul!" = "Shut up!"
tooth, teethder Zahndie Zähne
chindas Kinn
neckder Hals
shoulder, shouldersdie Schulterdie Schultern
backder Rücken
arm, armsder Armdie Arme
elbow, elbowsder Ell(en)bogendie Ell(en)bogen
wrist, wristsdas Handgelenkdie Handgelenke
hand, handsdie Handdie Hände
finger, fingersder Fingerdie Finger
thumb, thumbs*der Daumendie Daumen
  *Instead of crossing your fingers, in German you "press your thumb" for good luck: Daumen drücken! = "Cross your fingers!"
index fingerder Zeigefinger
finger nail (nails)der Fingernagel (-nägel)
chestdie Brust
breast, breasts (bosom)die Brustdie Brüste (der Busen)
stomach, bellyder Bauch