Revising the various usages of “als”, the website thegermanprofessor.com lists in section "(3) than (comparative conjunction)" the usage of “niemand als” as “nobody but”, unfortunately without an example.

Checking on the Internet, I have only found versions which use außer (e.g. Duden).

Außer dir habe ich keinen Freund.

Could this usage of „niemand als“ be a regional phenomenon?

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    This phrase sounds familiar and strange the same time^^. I found e.g. synonyme.de/niemand-als where the maybe more common things are "niemand sonst [außer Dir]" or "bloß" or "kein anderer". Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 9:54
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    DWDS is a good source for examples in this case.
    – RDBury
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 20:03

2 Answers 2


"Niemand als" in the sense of "nobody but" is not a (very) contemporary German expression.

You'll find Niemand als in archaic texts like the Bible

Als sie aber ihre Augen aufhoben, sahen sie niemand als Jesus allein

(Matth. 17,18)

In contemporary German, this is generally replaced with außer.

You might also find negated sentences as standing expressions with als in the sense of "außer", like in:

Mit dem Kerl hat man nichts als Ärger

Ich schwöre, die Wahrheit zu sagen, nichts als die Wahrheit!


"Niemand als" is probably somewhat dated. You can find it in the Bible or in church hymns.

However, the variants "niemand anderer als" or "niemand anders als" are still in use.

Also the neuter variant "nichts als" is a commonly used expression.

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