10 Soft Insults in German and what they Mean

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

Soft German insults and their meaning. Alija @gettyimages

When you come to Germany and walk through the streets you might listen to some slang or curse words. 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.


I. Warmduscher

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 cowardish.


II. Sitzpinkler

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


III. Streber

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.


IV. Angeber

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. My bet, someone will drop the word “Angeber”.


V. Teletubbyzurückwinker

This is one of my favourites. Remember the Teletubbies? Well this word describes someone who would wave back to the Teletubbies – and this is – unless you are 2 years old – considered as 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.


VI. Tee-Trinker

In Germany, the country of beer drinking, drinking tea while others have a beer is uncool – I am sorry for the British and other tea fans here. 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.


VII. Schattenparker

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 in German summer in the city…


VIII. Weichei

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


IX. Verzögerungsgenießer

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.

X. Frauenversteher

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 counter example of a "womenunderstander" by one of the better known comedians from some time ago.

And in case those insults above not be manly enough for you why don't you try this Beleidigungsgenerator, which won't beat around the bush. You might need a very good dictionary though. Just in case you haven't yet come across it: linguee.com is amazing. 

I hope that gives you a little insight into the mindset of some Germans which is still surprisingly macho. My pleasure from these terms rather derives from a language lover's point of view and I hope you will not necessarily make use of any of these insults as life's too short not to be nice to each other no matter in what language.

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Schmitz, Michael. "10 Soft Insults in German and what they Mean." ThoughtCo, Mar. 29, 2015, thoughtco.com/soft-insults-in-german-1444811. Schmitz, Michael. (2015, March 29). 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 February 23, 2018).