In English, one would say "The weather is so damn cold!" or "The S-Bahn strikes happen so frigging often!" Is there something similar in German?

I know that, in some cases, you can use an absolute superlative, like arschkalt, or just say sehr kalt; but that feels a bit tame to me, and doesn't always express the depth of my emotion.

  • 3
    saukalt, arschkalt, scheißkalt, verdammt kalt, verflixt kalt, ungeheuer kalt, unglaublich kalt … Some of these work with other adjectives, too.
    – Crissov
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 9:02
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    Arschkalt is, quite frankly, the best translation you can give for damn cold. Even for people who dislike the cold, arschkalt wouldn't start until they're really freezing.
    – Jan
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 11:34
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    Interesting side note: "sehr" was once itself a sort of "swear word" working as an intensifier. It meant something like "painfully" and connected the word that should be intensified with physical agony; so "sehr kalt" literally meant "so cold that it hurts". "Sehr" is related to "versehren" (to hurt, to injure). Over the centuries "sehr" lost its connotation and is today a pure intensifier.
    – Chris
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 11:59

3 Answers 3


You can use the literal translation:

verdammt kalt

Or this one is also commonly used:


as intensification or maximization prefix.

I've heard mega quite often but I wouldn't use it.

Es tut so mega weh!

sounds for instance teenager-vocabulary.

  • 2
    also "hammer"... hammerkalt, hammeroft, hammerlangsam...
    – Emanuel
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 10:23
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    It doesn't need to be a prefix either... "Thomas ist hammer der Idiot.". "BMW is hammer das Looserauto." Oh and at least in the east, there's also "übelst"
    – Emanuel
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 10:30
  • @Emanuel Für mich klingen beide deiner Beispielsätze falsch und wüsste ich es nicht besser, würde ich dich als "non-native" abstempeln. Ich überleg grad, ob ich im Bezug zu dieser Frage überhaupt "hammer" verwenden würde. "hammerkalt", "hammerweh"... tut's alles nicht. Ich erachte das Wort hier im Kontext als falsch.
    – Em1
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 10:34
  • @Em1... dann ist's 'ne regionale Sache. "Hammer" ist für mich (Berlin) der Intensivierer Nummer 1, weit vor "verdammt" und den ganzen anderen Standards. Here some examples that are probably funny to you: google.de/… my favorite is "Hammerschön und Hammeraugen."
    – Emanuel
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 10:40
  • @Emanuel Ich bin in Hamburg aufgewachsen und kann dich leider ebenfalls nicht nachvollziehen. Ich sage zwar nie Hammer, kann mir aber nicht vorstellen inwiefern "Hammer das Looserauto" ein gültiger Dialektbestandteil sein kann. Ich könnte mir jedoch einfach "Hammer!" vorstellen. :o)
    – Columbo
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 11:38

You can use any number of different words: verdammt, verflucht, or (if you'd rather avoid swearing) you could use heftig, extrem, gewaltig, and to add even more emphasis: wirklich heftig, or wirklich extrem. More colloquial would be echt extrem.

  • "so was von kalt" "einfach nur kalt" "völlig kalt" "kalt wie Sau" "schweinekalt" ...the list goes on. There are few tasks in language that have as many solutions as intensifying. They are also particularly susceptible to rapid change, maybe because the meaning is still intellegible even if you've never heard a particular intensifier. Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 8:24

One other, very commonly used intensifier is derbe, other ones include voll/total (roughly equivalent to fully or totally in that context) or krass. These are a bit more colloquial, though.

Das ist doch derbe unnötig! Das Wetter ist derbe kalt, man. Passiert derbe oft, nicht?

Krass unnötig. Es ist doch fast nicht zu glauben, wie krass gefährlich diese Straßenkreuzung doch tatsächlich ist …

Voll bescheuert. Total unnötig.

  • 1
    I'd say "a bit more colloquial" is quite some understatement... :-)
    – Burki
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 12:27

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