I'm watching a TV show with German audio (Netflix Original Jessica Jones), and the captions say "Cheaters are good for business." I can pick out part of the German ("_______ sind gut für Geschäft") but I can't pick out the word for "Cheaters".

The character who says this is referring to someone who cheats on their spouse or partner. What would be some ways to translate "cheater" (in this sense) into German? I am hoping to figure out the word she uses since I cannot make it out from the audio.

5 Answers 5


Maybe it would work better if you used the activity instead of the person as subject:

Fremdgehen ist gut fürs Geschäft.

Seitensprünge sind gut fürs Geschäft.

That sounds smoother than Fremdgänger etc.

  • 2
    I think Seitensprünge is the word that was used in the show. Danke sehr!
    – ktm5124
    Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 21:51

cheater: der Fremdgänger / die Fremdgängerin cheaters die Fremdgänger / die Fremdgängerinnen

  • 1
    Correct, but rarely heard. What we frequently hear is "Ehebrecher", which, however, only applies to married couples. The reason for this is simple: "Fremdgänger" is a perfectly fine derivative of "fremdgehen", not found in Duden. It is the best translation I can think of. "Ehebrecher" is an actual lemma in Duden: duden.de/rechtschreibung/Ehebrecher
    – Ludi
    Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 10:37

To cheat on a spouse is in German:

Den Partner betrügen.

So, what you are looking for is:

Betrüger sind gut für das Geschäft.

(Don't forget the article before Geschäft.)

See also cheater on dict.leo.org.

The other translations listed in dict.leo.org (Mogler, Schwindler) are user when someone cheats at playing cards or when someone tells lies that are not very severe:

Hans mogelt beim Kartenspielen. Er ist ein Mogler.

Ilse hat geschwindelt, als sie erzählt hat, woher sie Klaus kennt. Sie ist eine Schwindlerin.

But in German all three nous are user rarely. You more often use constructions, where the verb is used. So the sentence »Betrüger sind gut für das Geschäft.« is not a sentence that a typical native speaker would say. A native speaker would say:

Leute, die ihre Partner betrügen sind gut für das Geschäft.

  • 8
    "Betrüger" is not solely used for cheating on the spouse, though. "Fremdgänger" is the word that would be solely used in that context. "Betrüger" is also someone who scams people, for example.
    – Polygnome
    Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 8:34
  • 1
    The problem with direct translation into German substantives is that in cases of having a sexual relationship to other people than the one this is officially assumed for is that in German you usually express this with a verbal clause such as Er betrügt sie (or sie ihn, er ihn, and so on). Substantives such as Betrüger evoke primarily the concept of fraudulent conduct in business. (However, Ehebrecher and Fremdgänger is only for maritial/sexual relationships. But again you would harldy say Er ist ein Fremdgänger. You say Er geht fremd). Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 10:22

If "Seitensprünge" is the act of a cheating, someone who did this would be a "Seitenspringer" (verb, springen).

This would be a reference to people who "spring" (date) "on the side" even though they are in a primary relationship.

I agree with others that most Germans would refer to the activity, "Seitensprünge" rather than its perpetrators, "Seitenspringer," as being good for business.


As already said by others, "Fremdgeher/in" is probably the most common word.

There is also the more formal and old-fashioned word "Ehebrecher/in", which obviously only works for married cheaters ("Ehe" = marriage).

Note: Although the verb "betrügen" can mean "to cheat on your spouse", the noun "(Ehe-)Betrüger/in" is rarely used in this context.

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