What does "noch mal" mean in the following sentence?

Warum er sich, Scheiße noch mal, erhängt hat?

Context: A teenager is talking with his therapist about his father that has hanged himself a few months ago.

Obviously, the father has only hanged himself only once, so "noch mal" cannot mean "once again". This is the only meaning I see in https://www.wordreference.com/deen/nochmal (AFAIK there is no difference in meaning between "nochmal" and "noch mal").

I considered the possibility that "noch mal" refers to the act of being told why the father has killed himself), but that doesn't make sense either because it's clear from the episode context that nobody has ever explained to the son why his father has committed suicide.

Maybe it's just a figure of speech that emphasizes how much the teenager wants an answer?

Source: Dark TV series, 1st season, 1st episode, 9:24 minutes

3 Answers 3


"Scheiße nochmal" instead of "Scheiße" alone is colloquial and has nothing to do with something literally happening once again. It has no separate meaning and is purely emphasizing or reinforcing. A comparable figure in English would be to use "god-damn" instead of "damn".

The "noch einmal" addresses the "Scheiße". Instead of repeating the word itself for emphasis the speaker states that it is meant to be repeated. Think of the whole construct as a parenthetical interjection without a formal grammatical place in the sentence, similar to i.e.

That was - damn! - something to behold.

  • 1
    Why is "Scheiße nochmal" more colloquial than "Scheiße"?
    – tofro
    Mar 4, 2022 at 10:28
  • @tofro That is not being said in the answer. It just claims that adding nochmal is colloquial. instead does not mean as opposed to.
    – Jonathan Herrera
    Mar 4, 2022 at 10:38
  • 1
    @jonathan.scholbach instead means "statt" - So the answer translates to '"Scheiße nochmal" statt "Scheiße" alleine ist umgangssprachlich...' - I still stand my claim. This is highly questionable.
    – tofro
    Mar 4, 2022 at 11:45
  • @tofro: what i said was that using "Scheiße nochmal" instead of "Scheiße" alone - without the added "nochmal" - is colloquial. It is a phrase where you can't just translate word for word. Where you get the comparative "more colloquial" from eludes me because i haven't said anything about using "Scheiße" without the added "nochmal", neither comparatively nor anyhow else. jonathan.scholbach has gotten it correct.
    – bakunin
    Mar 14, 2022 at 9:41
  • So, you're saying "Scheiße" is not colloquial?
    – tofro
    Mar 14, 2022 at 11:04

It is colloquial and "nochmal" can be used to emphasize the previous word or construct and to underline exasperation or urgency. In this meaning it is often used in a swear-word context, tendentially keeping it more civil than you feel like:

Scheiße / verdammt / zur Hölle / Himmel / verflixt / verflucht ... nochmal!

But it is also used to express urgency in questions like

Was stand da in der Zeitung? Da war was mit 'nem Unfall. Sag doch gleich nochmal!

Wann kam nochmal der Schornsteinfeger?

  • 1
    In Wann kam nochmal der Schornsteinfeger I would rather understand that the speaker has been told before but has forgotten and is asking to get the information again.
    – Jonathan Herrera
    Mar 4, 2022 at 10:37

I assume you try to interpret the phrase too literal; some other thoughts:

  • instead of noch mal the phrase noch eins is also frequently used. I conclude from that, that the meaning does not contribute to the statement, but just increases the number of syllables to load with emotion.
  • Even if we assume, that the meaning again is intended, the object it relates to remains hidden. My guess is, that the son asked himself the question all over again and failed to come up with a satisfying answer.
  • again may also relate to a sequence of mis-happenings encountered before this conversation.
  • +1 especially for "increases the number of syllables to load with emotion." Also: "Scheiße nochmal" is strangely overused in dubbed US movies and TV shows. Maybe it's me, but the sentence "... warum er sich Scheiße nochmal erhängt hat" has a distinct dubbing language smell.
    – HalvarF
    Mar 6, 2022 at 9:45

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