I want to know what this sentence means:

Du kannst mich mal.

  • Welcome to German Language SE. Can you please edit your question to provide some context and state what you found and understood so far, e.g., why did a dictionary not help you? This site is neither willing nor suited to replace a dictionary, but that’s all we can do in response to your question.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Apr 17 '17 at 7:13
  • @Wrzlprmft In this case, I disagree. On the surface, yes, the OP could try a dictionary, but "you can me" isn't particularly helpful, is it? I'd suggest an edit instead. (Happy to do it, but later.)
    – Stephie
    Apr 17 '17 at 7:19
  • @Stephie: Good dictionaries do contain phrases: 1, 2. (Anyway, if there is some disagreement I will reöpen, so the community can decide.)
    – Wrzlprmft
    Apr 17 '17 at 7:24

It is a short version of

Du kannst mich mal am Arsch lecken.


You can lick me at my ass.

In English you would say:

Kiss my ass.

Maybe interesting to know:

In previous times, German speaking people did not lick at the ass, but in the ass:

Leck mich im Arsch.

Two famous quotes:

  1. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote this lines in the third act of his stage play »Götz von Berlechingen«:

    Götz: Mich ergeben! Auf Gnad und Ungnad! Mit wem redet Ihr! Bin ich ein Räuber! Sag deinem Hauptmann: Vor Ihro Kayserliche Majestät, hab ich, wie immer schuldigen Respect. Er aber, sags ihm, er kann mich im Arsch lecken.

    Götz: Surrender? To grace and disgrace? Who are you talking to? Am I a robber? Tell your captain: I, as always, properly respect your imperial majesty. But he, tell him this, he can lick me in the ass.

  2. Here, on Youtube, is a canon in six voices from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart about licking in the ass: »Leck mich im Arsch« on Youtube

    Read more about this canon on Wikipedia: »Leck mich im Arsch« on Wikipedia


It's a shortened variety of the Swabian salute. ("Kiss my arse.") It comes in many varieties, sometimes omitting parts, sometimes changing words to "hide" the offensive bits - while the listener clearly understands the meaning.

A frequent version is your Du kannst mich mal am Arsch lecken! and it's so standard, that even the beginning is clearly recognized without saying the "offending" parts aloud.

  • 1
    Interesting trivia: Even if his saying is today called the Swabian salute, Götz would most probably have considered himself a Franconian. History always seems to get it wrong ;)
    – tofro
    Apr 17 '17 at 12:47

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