When pulling a prank on someone or telling a joke that could come across as offensive, usually we say "take a joke" or something along those lines. What is the expression for this in German?

  • 1
    Do you say that in advance? Could you also give an example?
    – 0x6d64
    Jul 28, 2012 at 10:58

3 Answers 3


insertJoke. Das ist nicht ernst gemeint, inserName!

As 0x6d64 points out, the following two expressions are rather used when you say something you are serious about, but personally I think it is not wrong to use them in this case, too.

Nichts für ungut insertName, aber ... insertJoke.

Nimm es mir nicht übel insertName, aber ... insertJoke.

  • 3
    I downvoted this answer, because IMO "Nichts für ungut" and "Nimm es mir nicht übel" are not something you say before you make a joke, but before you say something which you are serious about. Example: Nichts für ungut, aber ich glaube in dieser Sache hast du ausnahmsweise Unrecht funny how this fits here ;-)
    – 0x6d64
    Jul 28, 2012 at 10:57
  • I agree with you on that you use these two expressions rather in serious issues, but I think it is OK to use them before telling a joke, too.
    – efie
    Jul 31, 2012 at 7:35
  • 1
    I don't know if I'm completely off track here, but if you would tell a joke this way I think that I might be irritated. On the other hand: I also don't have a good way to signal "joke ahead" in German, and I also don't get the concept of getting away with offensive jokes just by stating "I know, it is offensive but relax, it's just a joke". But this topic about offending other/feeling offended can lead to a lengthy discussion, which I don't like to take part here.
    – 0x6d64
    Jul 31, 2012 at 11:02
  • It's been a while; I just came back to this question and agree with 0x6f64 that my answer is rather incorrect and irritating. Accepting miracle2k's answer would be better. Unfortunately I cannot delete my answer since it has been accepted.
    – efie
    Dec 5, 2015 at 12:21

I would suggest Spaß verstehen, as in maybe:

  • Versteh doch ein bißchen Spaß or
  • Man muss auch mal Spaß verstehen können.

Mit Humor nehmen

This phrase is only being used though about jokes directed at the person itself. When the joke is generally offensive, "Spaß verstehen" would be a better choice.

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