I'm translating some song lyrics to English from here.

Und wenn du mich da draußen grade hörst
Dann bitte warte kurz auf mich, ich bin direkt bereit und fahr los
Doch wenn nicht, gehe ich einsam ins Bett
Und hoff' dass ich gleich wieder penn'

At the end of the song, the abbreviated word penn' is used. What is it short for and what does it mean?

I looked for what I expected to be the longer version "pennen" on a couple German to English sites, but only found "kip" as the translation. The answer provided, which is that "pennen" is interchangable with "schlafen" was a great help and also provided me with a dictionary resource to use in the future.

  • To close voters: It is not to be expected that we will find an entry for penn in a dictionary. Do we really want a disclaimer "Folks I looked in this and that dictionary but my word is not listed" on each and every word request? If you don't want to see any of these questions at all please discuss this on Meta. meta.german.stackexchange.com/questions/698/…
    – Takkat
    Jun 29, 2014 at 6:19
  • 3
    I explained why I asked this question here and could not find the answer myself.
    – Tanner
    Jun 29, 2014 at 11:19
  • 2
    Ah, your dictionaries were not completely wrong, but also not very helpful.
    – Carsten S
    Jun 29, 2014 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


This is a short form for pennen (Ich penn' ↔ Ich penne) and means schlafen.

It's also at dict.cc.

Concerning etymology, it's origin is vague. From dwds.de:

pennen Vb. ‘schlafen’, umgangssprachlich (19. Jh.) aus der Gaunersprache; vielleicht zu jidd. pannai ‘müßig’, hebr. penaj ‘(freie) Zeit’, eigentl. ‘Zeit zur Muße’, wenn nicht besser Ableitung von ²Penne f. ‘Kneipe, schlechte Herberge, Schlafstelle’ (Anfang 19. Jh.), älter Benne (Mitte 18. Jh.); aus der Gaunersprache, vgl. Bonne ‘ein Haus, wo Spitzbuben ein und aus gehen’ (Ende 17. Jh.); auch stille Penne ‘Gefängnis, Zuchthaus’ (dieses nach zigeunerisch štilepen ‘Gefängnis’ ?). Vielleicht zu jidd. bono ‘er hat gebaut’, binjan ‘Bau, Gebäude’ (hebr. binjāh, binjān). Dazu Pennbruder m. ‘Landstreicher’ (Ende 19. Jh.) und Penner m. ‘Landstreicher, Schlafmütze’ (Anfang 20. Jh.).


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