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I know that geil means cool. And I know that it means horny. Can someone give examples so that I can use "geil" as meaning "cool" without running into any awkward situations?

Wann kann man "geil" benutzen? Ich weiß, es bedeutet cool. Und ich weiss, es bedeutet horny. Ich brauche ein gutes Beispiel.

  • Mir ist "geil" überraschend bei Goethe begegnet, im Faust, geiler Wein im Frühling, versehen mit einer Fußnote, dass "geil" "wild treibend" bedeutet. Ob die Bedeutung generell vom Pflanzenleben ins Tierreich gewandert ist und heute in der Ursprungsbedeutung vergessen ist, oder ob die Wanderung umgekehrt war, heute aber weitgehend vergessen ist, weiß ich nicht. Weder vorher, noch später bin ich dem Begriff im Zs. mit Pflanzen begegnet. – user unknown Aug 17 '16 at 1:54
  • Im oberösterreichischen Dialekt, bestimmt auch in anderen, kann "geil" auch "fettig" bedeuten. Siehe auch de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibergeil – Dohn Joe Aug 17 '16 at 15:31
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Generally, I'd use "geil" only in informal conversations. Maybe with coworkers, if they are my age. If in doubt, use e.g., "toll" instead of "geil".

"Das Spiel gestern war geil!"

"Schon wieder Überstunden? Na, geil..." (irony / sarcasm)

I'd avoid the horny meaning of "geil" unless you share details of your sex life with the other person(s) or are complaining about someone and their sex drive.

"Müller? Der alte geile Bock aus der Buchhaltung?"

Also check Superjeile Zick for how they use "geil" in a clearly very relaxed / familiar atmosphere.

5

In short I would say that every time when geil is used for a person, it means horny or hot. Examples are

Du bist geil.

Ich bin geil.

Du machst mich geil.

Tom ist ziemlich geil, findest du nicht auch?

One exception, however, is the ironic use of geil, meaning someone is or did something totally crazy. Here, geil could be replaced by irre, wahnsinnig oder verrückt (I personally never use geil in this context).

Das hast du wirklich getan? Du bist ja geil drauf!

Wie geil bist du denn!

3

I agree with +Robert to use "geil" only in informal conversations.

Personally, I do not use the word at all. The connotation of "cool" is fairly young, and people that are not still default to the connotation of "horny".

If you yourself are not particularily young, your use of the word to mean "cool" to me sounds like currying favour of the young generation, wanting to belong. To me and most of my generation, it also sound cheap and vulgar.

My advice: It is good to have the word in your passive vocabulary and to know and be able to distinguish the two connotations, but not to use it.

  • 5
    “Fairly young” means dating back to the 80s, right? Back then it still sounded quite vulgar, though. I agree it should be avoided with old people like us ;) – Carsten S Aug 16 '16 at 9:26
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I think the word is also associated with a certain generation. My generation (38y.o.) used geil before it was cool.

So for my impression someone over ca. 60, who is using "geil" tries to sound younger than he is.

Most of the people I know who are younger then approx. 35 would use "cool" instead.

So if you are between 35 and 60 the other answers apply.

  • I think there was a McDonalds ad a few years ago in which two elderly female citizens went to said place and bought the largest burger they serve. One of the two was watching a nearby child eat its burger and copied it. Then the other asks her ‘Und?’ ‘Geil!’ – Jan Aug 20 '16 at 0:43

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