Is it just an example of an English word creeping in to use in German, or is there a particular reason why Queen is used rather than Königin?

And does Die Queen always refer to Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, or is it used for other female monarchs as well?

  • 4
    If talk about "The Queen" in Germany everyone thinks of "Her Majesty The Queen of Britain". Queen is used as an alias. Jul 31, 2011 at 12:52
  • use google.com/trends to find out what current terms are more common in specific local regions. imho the most up to date database available to see what terms people as keyword/common term and which term is used in internet news
    – Hauser
    Jul 31, 2011 at 16:05

3 Answers 3


According to Duden there are three meanings for German "die Queen":

  1. britische Königin
  2. (umgangssprachlich) weibliche Person, die in einer Gruppe, in ihrer Umgebung aufgrund bestimmter Vorzüge im Mittelpunkt steht
  3. (Jargon) sich feminin gebender Homosexueller

By far the most used meaning is however Her Majesty The Queen of Britain. This can best be seen e.g. by performing an image search on German Google for "die Queen".

By looking up Google Ngrams we can see that today "die Queen" is used almost as often as "Königin von England":

enter image description here

  • 1
    The Duden... What's sated there as "proper German" by this time is a joke. For example: plural of Pizza and Taxi -> Pizzas and Taxis is correct (so called "Neue deutsche Rechtschreibung") -_- it's horrible... should still only be: Pizzen and Taxen :-) Back to topic: no one would ever use 2. and 3. in Germany ;-) Jul 31, 2011 at 13:05
  • i strongly doubt the statistical significance of ngrams here ;) What average joe reads book about this topic or writes one :) Google Trends shows used search keywords and frequency of terms in (boulevard) news. Much more reliable to see what terms in local mass media are more common imo. Probably biography/history books use all Königin but i never heard königin von england in mass media...
    – Hauser
    Jul 31, 2011 at 16:02

I can think of some reasons why we use Die Queen in German, but refer to Königin Beatrix der Niederlande. Most people in Germany understand a fair amount of English, at least in ex-west-Germany. We say President Obama as well, for example.

We had a time of occupation were the English language could greatly influence our own, and there is the British national anthem God save the Queen that is, at least for its title, known to some degree in Germany.

So yeah, if you talk about Die Queen in Germany, you are talking about Elizabeth.

  • 3
    Do you say President or Präsident? Not much difference to my ear... Jul 31, 2011 at 11:41
  • 1
    @Brian "President" and "Präsident" are pronounced quite differently. The German word is stressed on the last syllable and the letter R is pronounced in the throat.
    – splattne
    Jul 31, 2011 at 11:59
  • 6
    In Germany we say "Präsident (der vereinigten Staaten von Amerika) Obama" or easy Barack Obama, der Präsident der vereinigten Staaten. Jul 31, 2011 at 13:08
  • 1
    just edited the shaving out of the answer, I think Takkat is right and trying to be funny won't help in finding an answer.
    – Baarn
    Jul 31, 2011 at 21:18

Blue: "Queen", Red: "Königin", Green & Orange: "Prince William"

Look up Google Trend to see how germans use it. The more often search of queen in Germany instead of Königin makes it pretty clear imo.

Its the same like King of Pop (Michael Jackson), King of Rock'n'Roll (Elvis Presley). You hear König des Pop nearly never in german TV and Radio. A mixture of convention, Denglish and Boulevard media influence. But in the mass media they all refer to the same english term.

PS: Also the british royals are like a eine schreckliche nette Familie (Married...with children) in the german boulevard media, they get the most attention of the european royals. So Queen is synonym to Queen Elizabeth of Britain.

  • What an epic analysis XDDDD Jul 31, 2011 at 13:20
  • @infinit despite al bundy would never betray peggy :D
    – Hauser
    Jul 31, 2011 at 17:01

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