It seems that both, Bauer and Landwirt mean farmer. Landwirt, I guess, is someone who does Landwirtschaft. Bauer, apparently, has some additional meanings, including pawn (chess piece).

Is there any fine difference between these two when we are talking about farmers? Which one should I use?

1 Answer 1


Landwirt is a modern higher word. It implies managing and maintaining a farm as a whole economic structure like a company. You will find it rather in professional job descriptions and "official" written language.

Bauer is an ancient term which is more broad and sometimes also used as swearword. However there are many farmers who are proud for being explicit a "simple" Bauer since they see it from a traditional way. Nowadays a Bauer has many obligations because of rules and economic pressure.

Conclusion: Both words are still in use, it little depends from context if your opposite sees Bauer with negative implications. To be sure and if you want to sound professional I recommend to use Landwirt.

  • 1
    I don't know what you mean with "a modern higher word". "Landwirt" and "Landwirtshaft" are attested in their modern meaning since the 18th century. See: dwds.de/wb/Landwirt
    – fdb
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 15:49
  • @fdb: Thanks for the link. "modern" in language history is really hard to judge, however in relation to Bauer it is really new. Do you have an alternative to express this?
    – Thomas
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 18:33

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