What would the word raffen mean in general conversation? Not the Google definition. I am trying to pick a business name, and this came up as “to gather”, however some colleagues seem to think it means a miser, or a money grabber. I don’t want a company name that in common use means greedy. I am trying to find out what a German speaking person would feel or think when they heard the word raffen.

  • 5
    You should give more information about the kind of business you plan to name like that. Usually one would avoid naming a business "raffen" as in most contexts the word has negative connotation. But in very specific contexts this could be different, e.g. when you are working in creative industries and want to give your firm an ironic name. Jan 8, 2018 at 17:36
  • Off topic or resolved comments removed. Please do not abuse comments for discussions irrelevant to the question.
    – Takkat
    Jan 10, 2018 at 8:34

4 Answers 4


Raffen in the meaning you seem to be concerned about has definitely a negative connotation - "Geld raffen" or "Reichtum raffen" would translate to grub or hog money or wealth and would probably not be appropriate for a company name.

The verb has some more meanings you apparently are not looking for like gathering clothing or, colloquially, understanding something.

  • Immer diese Rede von der Nebenbedeutung (connotation). Nein, das ist schon die Hauptbedeutung! Die kann sich nur an verschiedenem festmachen, an Segeln oder an Geld. Jan 11, 2018 at 13:28
  • @userunknown Extra für dich: connotation darf man hier als "Unterton" verstehen. Man kann "Röcke raffen", damit man sie beim über die Strasse gehen nicht schmutzig macht und man kann dasselbe tun, indem man reihenweise Schränke damit füllt. Das sind definitiv zwei verschiedene Bedeutungen.
    – tofro
    Jan 11, 2018 at 14:11
  • Aber beim Stoffraffen schwingt nichts von der angeblichen Konnotation mit. Deswegen ist es keine. Jan 11, 2018 at 20:36
  • @userunknown Deswegen steht da ja auch nichts davon. Lies nochmal.
    – tofro
    Jan 11, 2018 at 20:57

In colloquial speech raffen is (very much like to gather) often used in the meaning of to understand or to comprehend.

Ich raff das nicht, kannst Du mir das näher erklären?
Hast Du es jetzt gerafft?

A name for an informative or educational business like e.g.

Ich raff das!

would be prefectly fine. No negative connotation to this. But keep in mind that raffen then would be colloquial speech used amongst (nowadays not more so) younger people and should not be used in a formal setting.

Today amongst young people checken is used rather than raffen (confirmed by my teenaged children):

Ich check das nicht... Checkst Du's jetzt?

Jemand, der es blickt oder rafft, wäre also heute ein Checker (oder, falls nicht, ein Non-Checker).

  • Wobei "Checker" auch einen Halbstarken bezeichnet. Nicht jeder, der was checkt ist ein Checker und nicht jeder Checker checkt überhaupt noch was.
    – npst
    Aug 22, 2018 at 16:04

Perhaps it is helpful to see the broader semantic field

raffen - (directly) Stoff in Falten zusammenlegen (see also reffen - the same thing for sails on a sailing boat)

raffen - (metaphorically) Dinge an sich reißen, zusammenhäufen...

Raffgier - der Drang, Geld o.ä. an sich zu reißen, ohne Rücksicht auf andere

Raffzahn - ein Mensch, der solchen Drang verspührt bzw. so handelt

If you think your company is described well by this word, then go for it. (Is it a bank?)


Depends on your company. There is no general conversation without context.

  • in connection with textiles or sailing, it's fine
  • with money, credits, insurance, I would stay away from it
  • with intelligence, learning, quizzes etc. again fine

You need to take care about ads, that people don't miss the context, and get the wrong impression first.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.