German Language Stack Exchange is a bilingual question and answer site for speakers of all levels who want to share and increase their knowledge of the German language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How do I say 'For God's sakes' in German?

  1. Um Gottes willen, warum bist du hingegangen?

Are there other alternatives for it?

share|improve this question
When asking for translation, it's important to provide context because expressions don't map 1:1 from one language to the other. – Lumi Dec 12 '13 at 18:49
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Um Gottes willen

is the correct translation. There are alternatives that can be used for the same, some very close, some not so close to the original meaning, like

Um Himmels willen!

(For Heaven's sake!)


(God in Heaven! coll.)

Herrgott nochmal!


Himmel, Arsch und Zwirn!

(rude and not very close)


(example for a regional version, used mainly in the southwest of Germany)

share|improve this answer
@DerPolyglott33: Note, however, that while the first two are indeed the literal translations, they are far less common in this context than the English phrase. In comparison, they have a rather milder "flavour" and don't really pack the amount of exasperation and sometimes even disgust a hearty "oh for god's sake!" can convey. Also, if you're interested in regional variants, in Bavaria we often say "Herrschaftszeiten", which usually sounds very exasperated indeed. :) – Mac Dec 12 '13 at 9:26
Warum in Gottes Namen bist du dahin gegangen.... geht auch noch – Emanuel Dec 12 '13 at 10:43
Note that in ‘um … willen’ the word willen is not a noun, but a preposition (with genitive). Therefore, it is written with a small initial letter. – Loong Feb 17 '15 at 12:55

One that was missing:

Meine Güte!

share|improve this answer

Also missing:

Zum Himmel [nochmal]

It's mostly used in questions

Warum, zum Himmel, bist du da hingegangen?


Zum Himmel nochmal, warum bist du da hingegangen?

There are also slight differences in the connotation: zum Himmel is more angry, um Gottes willen is more scared.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.