I am writing an article about Mount Erebus, which is situated at the South Pole. I am looking for a word or an expression describing the South Pole, in relation to its geographical position on the globe. In English, I found references to Antartica as being at "the bottom of the world".

The most appropriate description I've found for German is "Arsch der Welt", which I can't use in my case, so I guess I am looking for a synonym for that.

I have also found "am Ende der Welt" - is this more appropriate?

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    Besides all the answers, I find a wording like "end of the world" problematic as it is factually wrong. A sphere has no end, but only sides at best ;) Commented Jan 23, 2022 at 12:33
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    There are two ways to translate "bottom" into German, one is Unterseite and the other is Arsch. I'm pretty sure you don't mean the second one.
    – RDBury
    Commented Jan 23, 2022 at 15:53
  • I am a newbie so I am not familiar with the way of thinking of German people, but I think we can make our combination like other languages as long as it is not an idiom, and means the same. The lower end = das unteren Ende - The bottom of earth = die Unterseite der Erde. Am I right? additionally, I also saw ´der Boden´ which also means bottom but I think it is mostly used for things that have depth like the ocean or deep in the ground. @RDBury Commented Jan 23, 2022 at 18:54
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    @Parsa Alimohammadi: I think you're right about unteren Ende meaning "lower end", and Unterseite literally means "underside". My thinking is Boden is more like "floor", or the lower inside surface of a container. It can also mean "the ground" or, by extension, "soil". There is a lot of overlap in meaning between Boden and "bottom", and you can think of the bottom of the ocean as the ocean's floor. For some reason Boden also means "attic". Basically Boden is one of those words that's impossible to understand without context.
    – RDBury
    Commented Jan 24, 2022 at 1:15
  • @RDBury: I really appreciate your message. I was not sure about `Unterseite´ but you clear my doubt and also taught me new things. I am grateful. Commented Jan 24, 2022 at 5:11

3 Answers 3


Given, that the axis of Earth rotation is slanted against its ecliptic the South pole is not at the bottom exactly (assuming a ball has one, which I doubt). I recommend to use Südpol. Even if it lacks poetry, it compensates by precision.

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    Similarly, I have a hard time seeing "the bottom of the world" as appropriate very often. The double meaning of "bottom" makes the phrase ambiguous, with one of interpretations being rather unfortunate. Australians refer to their country as "The land down under", but I think that's more of a nickname than a geographical description.
    – RDBury
    Commented Jan 23, 2022 at 15:47

My German is not good and I am still a beginner, but I found that the word "das untere Ende = the lower end" can be used to describe the bottom part of the earth. You can find this phrase on the mentioned Website.

Auf einer Weltkarte ist die Antarktis zunächst einmal vor allem ein weißer Streifen am unteren Ende.

I also agree with @planetmaker that using "das Ende" alone does not necessarily refer to the south pole.

I hope you find my answer useful.

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    Please mind, in your example there is the significant part "Auf einer Weltkarte". Thus, on a map of the world the antarctis is at the bottom/lower end. This does not really apply to the world in general (even if it can be argued, it is not common and not being used)
    – Gerda
    Commented Jan 24, 2022 at 11:14
  • @Gerda Thank you so much for your message. Yes, you are right. I was aware it is used for 2D maps but the problem is I am not familiar with the way of thinking of German people so I do not what is common and what is not. I tried different combinations to find the best one and this is the only one which was mentioning this concept and I shared it that it might help others. Again I appreciate your post and I upvote it so others can read it. Commented Jan 24, 2022 at 11:56
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    "das unteren Ende" should be "das untere Ende", although "am unteren Ende" is correct.
    – ecm
    Commented Jan 25, 2022 at 9:55
  • @ecm Thank you so much, I edited it. Commented Jan 25, 2022 at 14:46

Yes. But...!

"Am Ende der Welt" is (from my experience) just as common as "Am Arsch der Welt". The latter is much more vulgar, yet they mean about the same: some place in the middle of nowhere (but not necessarily distant!).

Thus this does not necessarily refer to the South pole, but could - depending on context - also be a hard-to-reach part of your local town (when e.g. talking about reaching it via public transport). I'd be careful and very reluctant to use "am Arsch der Welt" outside spoken context within a small group of peers whom I know well to appreciate or cope with an occasional vulgar expression used in jest.

I don't see a single unambiguous word which describes Südpol (South Pole) or Antarktis (Antarctica) other than those two geographical words.

As a slighly more poetical expression, and quite a bit clearer than just "am Ende der Welt" one can use "am anderen Ende der Welt" or "auf der anderen Seite der Welt" which from a middle European perspective must be somewhere on the Southern hemisphere. Mind, it's broad enough that I've been using that to refer to Australia or New Zealand (depending on context) without second thought.

  • "das Ende der Welt" does have a connotation of being distant to me. It's not "the middle of nowhere/back of beyond" but rather the border to uncharted territory, or even the edge of the world. (And it has a second, temporal meaning)
    – Bergi
    Commented Jan 23, 2022 at 18:10
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    "Auf der anderen Seite der Welt" is commonly used to refer to countries in the far East, like China or Australia (in German speaking countries :-) )
    – Gerda
    Commented Jan 24, 2022 at 12:18
  • @Gerda This should be an official answer.
    – Paul Frost
    Commented Jan 25, 2022 at 17:14

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