I want to translate (something like) the following:

Chris, in his infinite wisdom, has...

In English, in so.’s infinite wisdom is a sarcastic way of saying that you think what someone did was stupid.

Would the correct translation be something like:

In seiner unendlichen Weisheit hat Chris...

or is this untranslatable, in which case, is there another German idiom which means something similar?

  • Is it really sarcasm or rather "irony"?
    – user20884
    Mar 20, 2016 at 8:33
  • 2
    I'm pretty sure this is sarcasm, @user20884, but if you can draw up some stuff (dictionary definitions) as to why it could be irony, that'd be great!
    – digitalis_
    Mar 20, 2016 at 10:57

2 Answers 2


In seiner unendlichen Weisheit is correct and idiomatic, i.e., it is actually used by native speakers. However, there are two other idiomatic alternatives you might want to consider:

  • In seiner nicht enden wollenden Weisheit: Nicht enden wollend  liteally means not wanting to end and thus the phrase almost means the same as your suggestion. The slight difference is that nicht enden wollend implies that Chris’ has a history of doing stupid things – his current action demonstrates that he is yet undepleted as a source of wisdom stupidity.

  • Die Weisheit mit Löffeln fressen: This literally means to eat wisdom with spoons. It can be used ironically and non-ironical (in which case it is often negated). Temporally, you first eat the wisdom and then act because of it. You might use it in your example sentence as follows:

    Chris hat die Weisheit mit Löffeln gefressen: Er hat …

    Chris, der die Weisheit mit Löffeln gefressen hat(te), hat …

  • 5
    Personally, I’d prefer another variant: in seiner/ihrer unergründlichen Weisheit. It is less common than unendlich according to Google, though.
    – chirlu
    Mar 19, 2016 at 20:18
  • 1
    @chirlu: Why don’t you make it another answer?
    – Wrzlprmft
    Mar 19, 2016 at 21:06
  • Does using 'hatte' instead of 'hat' change the meaning subtly? I might guess that 'hatte' implies that this particular action was stupid, whereas 'hat' would mean that this person has a track record of doing stupid things.
    – digitalis_
    Mar 20, 2016 at 11:02
  • @digitalis_: Without further context: no. I don’t want to exclude the possibility of a context where it does make a difference, but I cannot think of one right now.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Mar 20, 2016 at 11:29
  • Another variant is "unermessliche Weisheit".
    – Paul Frost
    Nov 19, 2021 at 17:52

"In seiner unendlichen Weisheit" is exactly correct and expresses the intended sarcasm.

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