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I have just seen in the youtube comments section of a video I was looking at:

"Du hast einen an der Waffel, das ist alles!"

What does this mean exactly?

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"Waffel" is a pastry, but it was also an old word for mouth or head that isn't used any more except in some idioms.

The english word "to waffle" (to ramble, to prate) is related.

"Du hast einen an der Waffel" means there's something wrong with your head, you're a lunatic. It's not really clear what "einen" refers to in this idiom, presumably some kind of damage.

"Du kriegst gleich einen auf die Waffel" would mean you're on the verge of getting hit on the head or the mouth.

"Du hast einen an der Waffel, das ist alles!"

means "You're a lunatic, that is the end of it."

Goes without saying that it is rude to the max, even for a Youtube comment.

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  • Haha, thanks HalvarF for the explanation. I won't be repeating this to Germans! – Graham Lucas Nov 14 '20 at 16:19
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    It's not really a strong expression, so there's no harm in saying this jokingly to Germans. They probably laught about it and will be impressed that you know this obscure phrase – infinitezero Nov 14 '20 at 18:15
  • Ok. Thank you infinitezero. – Graham Lucas Nov 14 '20 at 19:15
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    Like most insults, you can say it jokingly to people who know you well. Using it on the internet towards people you don't know is a different thing though imo. – HalvarF Nov 14 '20 at 22:58
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    "Du kriegst gleich einen auf die Waffel"? Where, when, is that reliable and original or predating the idiom? Da habe ich so meine Zwaffel. – vectory Nov 17 '20 at 6:26
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Einen an der Waffel haben is a sloppy phrase denoting intellectual deficiencies in the same category as:

  • nicht ganz richtig im Kopf sein
  • einen Schlag haben
  • einen Sprung in der Schüssel haben
  • einen Vogel / eine Meise haben

Additional material found at Rolf-Bernhard Essig on SWR or Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache. Due to these numerous examples (there seems to be a pressing need to state that meaning) there seems not much benefit of mentioning that Waffel refers to mouth, which is considered as outlet from the special brain; but it may assist in remembering the meaning.

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  • Thank You guidot, much appreciated. – Graham Lucas Nov 14 '20 at 16:08
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    Your answer would be even better, if you could add on quote from one of the links that explains, that „Waffel“ stands for the mouth / the head in this context... – Torsten Link Nov 16 '20 at 5:51
  • In comparison with the remark about mouth one can only think of English waffle, which is a verb however and as a noun could then only imply speech, approximately (cp. for analogy Mund und vorgeblich nicht verwandt (Vor)mund, bevormunden, auch in Leumund, zuweilen Munt, und daneben meinen, Lat. ment- "mind", usw. usf.).Demnach dürfte es durchaus erheblich sein dass man "an der" auch als ander- verstanden haben wollen könnte. Quasi: Du hast aber eben noch was ganz anderes gemeint. Ich find das ziemlich offensichtlich, also wirich kaum der Rede wert. Danke für den Hinweis. – vectory Nov 17 '20 at 6:15

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