10 Soft Insults in German and What They Mean

Why is it that not being masculine is considered an insult?

Man getting hit in face with pie
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When you come to Germany and walk through the streets you might listen to some slang or curse words in the German language. They are very often used to make fun of certain aspects of someone’s behavior. Here are some of the more interesting ones that you might hear when you are an attentive listener.


This is someone who likes to take hot showers. In Germany, it is an often discussed myth that showering with ice-cold water is considered as masculine. Well, somehow they had to see the bright side of a life without electricity and put it like that. Today we just joke and say Warmduscher to people who like it comfortable or might be a little cowardly.


A man who is peeing sitting on the toilet instead of standing. "Real men" stand when they mark their territory - and hopefully clean it afterward.


This is an interesting one because it describes a striver or nerd. And as "nerd” is cooler than “Streber”, we started to use “nerd” too in German when we talk about Streber. If someone is very eager or is behaving like Hermione Granger—you can call him a Streber.


The “Angeber” is a poser, a show-off. This is much stronger and you will hear it for sure when you will see an expensive car at a traffic light and the owner is playing with the pedal to impress the people in the street. 


Remember the Teletubbies? Well, this word describes someone who would wave back to the Teletubbies and this is, unless you are two years old, considered to be really wimpy. Cool grown-ups don’t do this unless they lost a bet. So if you want to use this, do not apply it to yourself and make sure the person you consider as a Teletubbyzurückwinkler is far away so he or she would not hear you.


In Germany, the country of beer drinking, drinking tea while others have a beer is uncool—sorry to the British and other tea drinkers. Of course, you are not supposed to get drunk and become an alcoholic, neither should you feel forced to have a beer—it is just this feeling of having a real “Feierabend Bier” (after-work beer) that makes drinking tea look like a weird idea for a "real" German.


A word which describes someone who parks his car in the shadow because he can not stand the heat. A real man is supposed to stand any heat. Well, if you believe that—have fun during German summer in the city.


Literally, a soft egg. This is simply a wimp, a coward. This could be said in any imaginable situation.


This word comes from the German-dubbed movie "Vanilla Sky". It describes persons who like to enjoy not everything at once but bit by bit. “Verzögerung”—means delay.


This is most likely a word a woman wouldn't use as an insult. Most women would probably love to be understood by a man. But men have turned this quality into a non-virtue and a lack of masculinity. Enjoy this little counterexample of a "women understander" by one of the better-known comedians from some time ago.

If those insults above are not manly enough for you, try this Beleidigungsgenerator, which won't beat around the bush.

Hopefully, this list gives you a little insight into the mindset of some Germans, which is still surprisingly macho. 

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Schmitz, Michael. "10 Soft Insults in German and What They Mean." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/soft-insults-in-german-1444811. Schmitz, Michael. (2021, February 16). 10 Soft Insults in German and What They Mean. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/soft-insults-in-german-1444811 Schmitz, Michael. "10 Soft Insults in German and What They Mean." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/soft-insults-in-german-1444811 (accessed March 22, 2023).