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German Loan Words

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
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: April 13, 2023
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First submittedMarch 4, 2010
Times taken123,360
Average score65.0%
Rating4.22
5:00
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Definition
Word
Preschool for children aged 4-6
Kindergarten
Fermented cabbage
Sauerkraut
Dog breed called a "wiener dog"
Dachshund
Hitler's job title
Führer
"Lightning war"
Blitzkrieg
A strong urge to travel
Wanderlust
Child prodigy
Wunderkind
Mischievous, noisy type of ghost
Poltergeist
The dots above this ü
Umlaut
Large beer mug. In German,
it just means "stone".
Stein
The spirit of the times, literally
"time ghost"
Zeitgeist
Definition
Word
A person's double or look-alike
Doppelgänger
Forbidden
Verboten
Pleasure from the misfortune of others
Schadenfreude
Musical instrument similar to a xylophone
Glockenspiel
Politics based on pragmatism, not idealism
Realpolitik
A recurring musical theme associated
with a particular character or thing
Leitmotif
What you say when someone sneezes
Gesundheit
Breaded veal cutlet
Schnitzel
German for above. Example:
Deutschland ____ alles.
In English slang, it means "very".
Über
105 Recent Comments
+7
Level 61
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.
+1
Level 14
Dec 13, 2013
First i tried Bierstien and then I tried beerstein, I was quite annoyed those didn't work.
+14
Level 60
May 28, 2014
In the US we call beer mugs stein - and these are German words in English so it makes sense to me.
+3
Level 68
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...
+2
Level 37
Oct 20, 2015
We used Stein in both the UK and NZ :) oh and at beerfest lol
+2
Level 77
May 2, 2023
it's not about original german meanings, bozo, it's about what the words have come to mean in English slang
+1
Level 33
Feb 1, 2024
They mean a "Stoa". It`s dialect.
+4
Level 63
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.

+6
Level 33
May 9, 2014
"German for above" means the German word for "above". über = above
+3
Level 83
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)
+14
Level 73
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 above."
+1
Level 63
Jan 19, 2016
Ah, I get it now. Yeah it should be written like this to make it clear.
+4
Level 77
May 2, 2023
it's only unclear if you don't speak English well (it is a quiz designed for English speakers, not German speakers)
+1
Level 70
Mar 19, 2024
I disagree, I read it wrong too at first. Within a second I got it though, but it is written in an ambiguous way. Just like newspaper (or internet article) headlines. Sometimes you really can't tell what they mean.

If you don't initially get it, the example should help you here though.

What was throwing me off was, that is was different from all the other questions, they were not formatted like "german for ........" So it is sort of suggesting (if you follow the style of the other question) : German for "German for above"

+5
Level 44
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.

+3
Level 71
Jul 29, 2019
No! A, E, I, O and U are not "Umlaute". They are "Vokale". Umlaute are just Ä, Ö and Ü!!
+1
Level 48
May 19, 2020
Umlaut would be the entire Ä, Ö and Ü. just the dots are Ü-Stricherln oder Umlautstrichpunkte
+2
Level 53
Apr 19, 2023
The dots are Umlautpunkte. Umlaut is the whole letter
+10
Level 83
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.
+2
Level 60
May 28, 2014
Can you please accept some other spellings for Daschund? <-- This spelling is used elsewhere on this site.
+9
Level 74
Feb 23, 2021
Can you please not accept that. What should that be? Dachshund is a compound word consisting of Dachs = badger and Hund = dog, there is a small but distinct pause between the two words. Daschund however sounds more like an Austrian talking about the Kronen Zeitung.
+2
Level 63
Feb 19, 2023
*kicher* der mit der Kronenzeitung war super!
+1
Level 27
May 8, 2024
Haha, da Schund, genius xD
+2
Level 66
Jun 9, 2014
"Snuck".
+1
Level 37
Jul 31, 2014
that
+4
Level ∞
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

+2
Level 85
Apr 13, 2023
Sneaked is so unpleasant to say that I refuse to acknowledge it as the correct form. Snuck is the only proper past tense for sneak.
+1
Level 69
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.
+1
Level 45
Jul 16, 2014
Great quiz!
+4
Level 89
Oct 25, 2014
You should accept Berliner for the pastry question..."Ich bin ein Berliner!" (I am, of course, just kidding!)
+1
Level 55
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 :)
+7
Level 74
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.
+1
Level 45
May 4, 2015
Fun quiz. Thanks.
+3
Level 85
Oct 22, 2015
Tried daschund, dashchund, dashund. No leeway at all on that spelling?
+3
Level 43
Mar 30, 2016
No, because Dachshund means badger dog. Dachs = badger, Hund = Dog. Accepting more spellings doesn't make any sense.
+3
Level 69
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. 🐩
+4
Level 63
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.
+1
Level 68
Jan 11, 2022
Never heard an English person call a dachshund a "wiener dog" either. We do, however, sometimes refer to them as "sausage dogs".
+1
Level 48
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.
+4
Level 82
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.
+3
Level 70
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.
+1
Level 83
Apr 13, 2023
I'd have to look into it more but I feel like I've noticed that American English seems to have more of a German influence than British English (and I think we have more of a French influence) in terms of where vocabulary and structures differ.
+2
Level 35
Jun 5, 2016
I always assumed that "realpolitik" was Russian.
+1
Level 60
Jun 14, 2016
It's most associated with Bismarck.
+2
Level 29
Jun 8, 2016
Good quiz. Tricky words to spell, too. Thanks for allowing so many variations! :)
+1
Level 66
Aug 15, 2016
Could you include Beerstein/Bierstein?
+2
Level 67
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.
+4
Level 74
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.
+2
Level 70
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.
+2
Level 82
Sep 29, 2017
You never heard of "weiner dog"? What country are you from? Very common in the USA.
+2
Level 82
Sep 29, 2017
That's because most Americans, like me, can't spell dachshund......lol
+1
Level 54
Aug 5, 2021
I've heard of wiener dog before but in the UK it's more common to call them sausage dogs. Maybe that's where the confusion came from
+1
Level 34
Feb 27, 2017
german words are fun to say
+1
Level 81
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".
+1
Level 82
Sep 29, 2017
Got 7. Spent all my time trying to spell dachshund.
+3
Level 44
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.
+4
Level 79
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.
+2
Level 73
Apr 27, 2018
Six attempts to spell "gesundheit" correctly...
+1
Level 48
Sep 26, 2018
too many long words for this hunt-and-peck typist...
+1
Level 33
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
+1
Level 70
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)

+2
Level 70
Jan 13, 2019
only missed realpolitik this time around. And glockenspiel sort of means the same as "family jewels" here...
+5
Level 52
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.
+2
Level 75
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.

+1
Level 88
Apr 13, 2023
Interesting, I did not know that. The term is very common in English-language discussions of WWII, though.
+1
Level 67
Jan 3, 2020
Could not for the life of me spell "gesundheit".
+2
Level 31
Jan 1, 2021
a large beer mug is called a "Mass"
+2
Level 68
Mar 23, 2021
Yeah, that's right. At least in Bavaria. But you should know, that Germany ist a little bit more than only Bavaria ;)
+3
Level 46
Apr 2, 2021
I never heard of 'Stein' and I live in the most beer-infested area on earth.

Also Dackel is 100 times more common in Germany than Dachshund 🇩🇪

+5
Level 62
Jul 5, 2021
The quizz is all about *english* language, not german!
+1
Level 66
Jun 20, 2021
I dunno. Where I come from, a cutlet has a bone, and a schnitzel does not.
+1
Level 47
Oct 17, 2021
Dackel is more common, but Dachshund is still in use allthoug less than in the past.

Dachshund is even used on the memorial which was built for the german emperors (Wilhelm II.) Dachshund Erdmann.

+3
Level 56
Mar 25, 2022
I’m American and I say “gesundheit” rather than “bless you.”
+7
Level 53
Apr 14, 2022
61% people didn't get schadenfreude, hah! :-)
+1
Level 78
Jul 31, 2022
It might be translated literally, but the actual act of certainly does not literally involve lightning.
+2
Level 56
Oct 11, 2022
I tried kimchi... I didn't think that through
+1
Level 68
Jan 25, 2023
As a german speaker, I must say that the english way of using our words are pretty different
+3
Level 63
Feb 19, 2023
Well, well, well ... some of those are not particularly pleasant for us Germans (Führer, über, and so on) but I think that is not the point here. Anyway, it's a great quiz and it is fascinating to see which words (unused by a lot of Germans) made it to loanwords in the english language.

I would like to add "kaputt" for something broken.

+3
Level 80
Apr 13, 2023
Yep, kaput(t) is used in English, as is Bildungsroman, Lager, Hamburger, Frankfurter, Pumpernickel, Bauhaus, ersatz, Hinterland, Pretzel (Bretzel), Angst, Delikatessen.

Loan words are not necessarily the same in the original language, but sometimes they are.

Lager stems from the German word for storage or storehouse, and was probably Lagerbier originally, but being English speakers, we shortened it to lager.

Hamburger is another example of a misunderstood word, which was split into two parts which to a German makes no sense. Ham+Burger, with the misconception that it is a burger made from ham. Then we have the weird derivatives like beefburger and cheeseburger, or chicken burger, because the word 'burger' adopted a new meaning independent of its perceived prefix 'ham'.

+3
Level 80
Apr 13, 2023
The same can be said of Helicopter, which (understandably) some people think is made of two parts "heli' and 'copter'. Thus we have the irrational abbreviation 'copter'. In fact, the word is made from the Greek 'helico' meaning 'helix-shaped' and 'pter' which means 'wing'.
+1
Level 83
Apr 14, 2023
The word 'burger' amuses me because etymologically it means the same thing as 'bourgeois' but the two words would almost never be associated in English
+2
Level 70
Mar 19, 2024
It means citizen in Dutch
+1
Level 83
Mar 29, 2024
Because 'burger' means 'someone from a burg' and 'bourgeois' means 'someone from a bourg'. But in English, and in some other languages too, 'burger' is a reanalysis of 'Hamburger' (assuming that the 'ham' refers to pork), and 'bourgeois' is, as in French, how the connotation of a person from a bourg has ended up influencing the word itself.
+1
Level 65
May 5, 2023
I believe kaput came to English via Yiddish rather than German
+1
Level 75
Apr 13, 2023
"Führer" wasn't Hitler's job title, but rather a salutation. His job title was "Reichskanzler" meaning "Imperial chancelor" and later also "Reichspräsident" meaning "Imperial president".

Suggestion: maybe using quotation marks (Hitler's "job title") would make the question more accurate.

+1
Level 78
Apr 13, 2023
"Führer" was Hitler's official title ever since merging the offices of president and chancellor in 1934. To quote Wikipedia: Seitdem führte Hitler den Titel Führer und Reichskanzler.
+2
Level 76
Apr 13, 2023
Translating "Zeitgeist" with "time ghost" is inaccurate. "Geist" can also mean "ghost", yes, but also "spirit" and "mind", among other things. "time spirit" would be much closer to the meaning in which the word is used in "Zeitgeist".
+2
Level 75
Apr 13, 2023
I've never heard anyone say "verboten" while speaking English. Maybe while putting on an exaggeratedly authoritative attitude and quoting the German, but not just as an English word. I'd agree with an above comment suggesting replacing it with "kitsch".
+1
Level 85
Apr 13, 2023
As per the clue, I've always heard it translated as "spirit of the times."
+1
Level 87
Apr 13, 2023
I have never heard verboten being used, either. Maybe in parts of the country that have a higher percentage of German heritage population?
+1
Level 70
Apr 25, 2023
I use verboten to add particular emphasis to something forbidden or not allowed in any shape, form, or fashion.
+2
Level 68
Apr 13, 2023
Surprised leitmotif is so low
+4
Level 79
Apr 13, 2023
Yeah, I use that word at least two or three times a day. /s
+1
Level 51
Aug 18, 2023
Leitmotiv.
+3
Level 84
Apr 13, 2023
Took forever for me to realize that "German for above" referred to the word "above" and not "veal cutlet", the answer directly above the last clue. D'oh!
+1
Level 69
May 2, 2023
Das war sogar als Deutscher nicht ganz leicht.
+1
Level 51
May 4, 2023
What, no nachträglichkeit?
+1
Level 51
Aug 18, 2023
Motiv ends with v, not with f.
+1
Level 63
Oct 23, 2023
A Schnitzel does not have to be veal. A Wiener Schnitzel however does.
+1
Level 33
Feb 1, 2024
"Deutschland über alles" is part of the forbidden additional verses of the german hymn. They were forbidden, because the Nazis actively and knowingly misimppretated them and they are now mostly Neo-Nazi slogans. Maybe you want to take that out.
+1
Level 46
Feb 17, 2024
The GLo ckenspiel in Marianplatz doesn't look like a xylophone. It's weird looking. It doesn't resemble any instrument.
+2
Level 43
Feb 27, 2024
who says gesundheit when someone sneezes??
+2
Level 61
Mar 8, 2024
German speakers, a lot of English speakers. It's great for those who feel like "God bless you" is a little too church-y.
+1
Level 26
Apr 27, 2024
The word "Dachshund" is very uncommon in german language. "Dackel" is popular for this species.
+1
Level 57
Jun 20, 2024
Wienerschnitzel is veal. But there are other schnitzels, such as Hamschnitzel, which is well... ham.