I have read Bertold Brecht use "nimmer" to mean roughly "never" or "no more", for example in "Erinnerung an die Marie A.":

Und als ich aufsah, war sie nimmer da.

Is this merely poetic license? Or can "nimmer" be used in more everyday contexts?

  • 2
    "nimmer" is a shortening of "nicht mehr" (not anymore). Using it identifies you as Southern German/Austrian.
    – Janka
    Mar 30 '17 at 23:28
  • The best translation, I think, is “nevermore”. And yes, in that sense it sounds quite poetic but see the answers for alternative usage. Mar 31 '17 at 12:00
  • 4
    Note that there is also "nimmermehr" which I would say is closer to "nevermore". "Nimmermehr" is used exclusively in poetic context.
    – Noiralef
    Mar 31 '17 at 12:59
  • 1
    @KonradRudolph it's also used as a short form of "nicht mehr" ... I've heard it used in Saxony, so not just Southern Germany or further South. Mar 31 '17 at 13:36
  • 1
    Be aware, that "nimmer" has two different meanings. In standard German it means "never again", but in some dialects (and in the case of this poem as well) it means "nicht mehr", as @Janka already pointed out. Apr 1 '17 at 5:04

It is quite an everyday word in Southern Germany and Austria.


  • Is considered to be part of the regional dialect, or just more frequently used there?
    – wogsland
    Mar 30 '17 at 22:44
  • 3
    It is not dialect; it is used in the regional version of Standard German (Hochsprache).
    – fdb
    Mar 30 '17 at 22:46
  • 2
    @fdb, that "regional version" is a dialect (Bavarian in several variants). I would certainly not suggest to use "nimmer" to anyone who is not speaking those dialects fully. In Standard German (Hochsprache) it is certainly not frequent, you will never hear it on (serious) national newscasts etc.. Valid uses in certain sayings/words are given in the other answers.
    – AnoE
    Mar 31 '17 at 10:46
  • @AnoE. We could discuss the difference between dialect and regional standard, but this is not really the place for it. “Nimmer” is part of the standard literary language of Old, Middle and New High German. There are lots of quotations from classical authors in verse and prose in the relevant entry in the “Grimm” dictionary. The poem by Brecht cited at the beginning of this thread is not composed in Augsburger dialect; it is standard literary German.
    – fdb
    Mar 31 '17 at 11:16
  • 3
    @fdb, ok, cutting technicalities then. The question is Or can "nimmer" be used in more everyday contexts? . It cannot, in modern German, except for certain edge cases (nie und nimmer etc.) and certain southern dialects, and your very short answer clearly implies that it can.
    – AnoE
    Mar 31 '17 at 11:20

There is this saying "nie und nimmer" to express that there is not the slightest possibility of something happening. As in

Sie wird nie und nimmer so viel essen können.

She will never ever be able to eat that much.

This expression is commonly used.


For your second question; can "nimmer" be used in more everyday contexts?

There is a made-up word with nimmer and it is used to express that something or an appointment will neven happen.

It is;


Some examples with this idiom;

Auf einen Lotto-Sechser kannst du bis zum Sankt-Nimmerleins-Tag warten.

Alle warten sehnsüchtig auf das Update, aber das kommt wohl erst am Sankt-Nimmerleins-Tag.

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