In the 2nd-hand washing machine advertisement below, could you tell me what is the full name in writing for the abbreviation "gr."?

Waschmaschine, gr., AEG, 2 J., Programme, VB 150€, Tel. 0123/456789 (ab 18 h)

  • 1
    Please do not post real phone numbers of real people here. I edited you question to change that number. Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 6:54
  • 2
    Thanks, Hubert, for your kind reminder. That tels# shouldn’t be real one bcoz that is an advertisement example stated in my German textbook. Your cautiousness on protecting such pinformation is much appreciated.
    – Canny
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 8:00
  • @bakunin I deleted your comment, because it violates this site's code of conduct. Please make sure to maintain a friendly tone. Using vocabulary such as "ghetto-slang" fails to do so. If you feel you cannot write a friendly comment, it is better to not write a comment at all.
    – Jonathan Herrera
    Commented Aug 5, 2023 at 18:34
  • If this wasn’t literally a text book example, I’d assume there was a typo: gbr. may be used for gebraucht ‘used’.
    – Crissov
    Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 7:35

5 Answers 5


As for the »gr.«, I think it means »grau« (gray) rather than »groß« (large), since household washing machines hardly differ in size.

  • 3
    Could be true. But washing machines do differ in size. See for example here "Gerätedaten". And the size is certainly more important than the color. Commented Aug 2, 2023 at 22:34
  • Thank you all. It seems that this example advertisement given in my German textbook does leave great space for our guess to run. I’m much appreciated for for all possible answers you shared.
    – Canny
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 8:02
  • @KritikerderElche: Wenn jemand eine Waschmaschine in Standardgröße verkauft, würde ich keine Größenangabe erwarten, allenfalls eine Angabe, wenn die Maschine kleiner ist als gewöhnlich.
    – Pollitzer
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 8:27
  • 2
    Aber dann könnte "gr." auch grün (green) sein, oder?
    – jmizv
    Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 9:32
  • @jmizv: Eigentlich ja, habe ich auf dem Markt aber noch nicht gesehen.
    – Pollitzer
    Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 9:40

It is not absolutely clear what "gr." means, but it should be "groß". Normally I would expect a size specification after "gr." ( for example 85 x 60 x 60 cm) and in that case its meaning would be "Größe".

AEG = Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft. It was an icon of the German economy, but it no longer exists as a company. Only the brand name survived.

"18 h" means 18 o'clock. It would be better to write "18 Uhr", but the "h" saves a bit space. Its origin is the Latin "hora" (hour) and it was, and still is, used in academic class timing. For example: 11 h c.t. = 11 horae cum tempore = 11:15.

  • Thank you all. It seems that this example advertisement given in my German textbook does leave great space for our guess to run. I’m much appreciated for for all possible answers you shared.
    – Canny
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 8:03
  • Waschmaschine
    washing machine (for cloths)

  • gr.
    This is unclear. Could be »groß« (big) or »grau« (grey). Maybe even »grün« (green) but I never have seen green washing machines.
    I would guess that it's »groß« (big) because washing machines come in two standard sizes:

    • standard size: 85 cm tall, 60 cm wide and 60 cm deep. (Depth is the distance between front side and the back side.)
    • compact size: only 45 cm deep, other measures are the same.

    I guess the seller meant the standard size, because its bigger than a compact machine.
    Note, that washing machines usually have a door at the front side to put cloths in and out (»front loader«). But there is also a third normed size, where the door is on top of the machine (»top loader«). These machines are 90 cm tall, so they are taller than front loaders, but the footprint is equal to that of compact machines (45x60 cm). But top loaders are very rare.

  • AEG
    This is the brand name of the household appliances manufactured by Daimler-Benz. Founded in 1883, »Deutsche Edison-Gesellschaft für angewandte Elektricität« changed its name in 1888 to »Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft« and later to »Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft«. »AEG« was at first only an unofficial abbreviation for this name and was then used as a brand name.
    However, this company no longer exists. In 1985 it was bought by the German car manufacturer Daimler-Benz and then existed as a subsidiary of Daimler-Benz for a few more years until 1996, when it was finally merged with its owner and ceased to exist. Since then, »AEG« has existed only as a brand name for household appliances manufactured by Daimler-Benz and is no longer officially an abbreviation for anything.

  • 2 J.
    2 Jahre (2 years) - This is probably the age of the machine

  • Programme
    Usually a seller would tell how many different washing programs a washing machines has, so I would expect something like »9 Programme« or »12 Programme«, but to me it seems as if the seller has forgotten to add the number of programs.

  • VB 150€
    Verhandlungsbasis: 150 Euro.
    The word »Verhandlungsbasis« means »negotiation basis« and its abbreviation »VB« is very common in ads for second hand goods. It means, that the seller thinks, that his machine is worth 150 Euro, but they would also sell it for a cheaper price that might be the result of a negotiation.

  • Tel. 0123/456789
    This is the telephone number of the seller.

  • ab 18 h.
    ab 18 Uhr = from 6 pm
    The abbreviation »h.« stands for the Latin word »hora« which means »hour« in English or »Stunde« in German. So, »ab 18 h.« means, that the seller is expecting your phone call after the 18th hour of the day which we speak (and sometimes als write) as »ab 18 Uhr« (from 18 o'clock).
    In German we very often don't use that a.m.-p.m. distinction between hour before and after noon. We very often count hours from 0 to 24 during a day, and so »18 o'clock« becomes »6 pm« in an english translation.
    We also use numbers from 1 to 11 in the afternoon and evening, but we never add something that is equivalent to "am" or "pm". So, these numbers are always ambiguous if there is no context that would make it clear. And so, if you want to be unambiguous, you say and write very often »18 Uhr« or »18 h.« where english native speakers would say »6 pm«.

Reaction to comments

Here is an image of my own washing machine which is a machine in compact format (i.e. a "small" machine):

washing machine in compact format

As you can see, it's not 45 cm wide and 60 cm deep, but 60 cm wide and 45 cm deep.

  • 1
    Hi Hubert, many thanks for your kindness replying on all the abbreviations in this example ad in my textbook. Much appreciated.
    – Canny
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 8:07
  • Just to be perfectly specific: top-loaders are very rare in Germany (and most of the rest of Europe), but they are very common in various other places around the world, particularly the Americas and Antipodes. Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 18:34
  • "compact size: only 45 cm deep" surely you mean wide, not deep?
    – njzk2
    Commented Aug 5, 2023 at 10:26
  • @njzk2: I mean "deep". I have such a washing machine. When you look at the front side of such a machine, i.e the side, where the door is, you don't see any difference between a standard machine and a compact machine. Both are 60 cm wide, and 85 cm tall. But the distance between this front side and the back side is only 45 cm at a compact machine. So, the washer drum has the same diameter as in a standard size machine. But the distance between the door and the back side of the drum is shorter in a compact machine than in a standard sized machine. Commented Aug 6, 2023 at 14:22
  • @HubertSchölnast sounds odd. I've only ever seen standard 60cm and narrow 45cm top-loading. (In which case the drum is still the same diameter, just turned 90 degrees)
    – njzk2
    Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 21:13

I don't think there's an established meaning for "gr." in this context. It could mean "groß", but that's more guessing than anything.

In expressions of time, "h" just denotes the hour. So, "ab 18 h" means that you can call after 6 P.M. There are similar common abbrevations like "m" or "min" for minutes, or "s" or (rarely) "sec" for seconds. Those abbrevations can be used with points in time as well as with time periods:

Bitte rufen Sie ab 18 h an.
Der Läufer erreichte nach 3 h 23 m 37 s die Ziellinie.

  • Thank you all. It seems that this example advertisement given in my German textbook does leave great space for our guess to run. I’m much appreciated for for all possible answers you shared.
    – Canny
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 8:03

Judging from the fact that this is about a used washing machine I'm almost sure it either means "groß" or "gereinigt" (cleaned).

And judging from my experience with second-hand marketplaces I'd say "gereinigt" is the more likely option. If it meant large, it'd rather say "gr. Waschmaschine".

  • Ah, PandaNox, the gereinigt also makes good sense under this scenario! Many thanks for kind sharing and help!
    – Canny
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 8:09
  • 6
    "gr." for "gereinigt" would be an extremely unusual abbreviation. I doubt it. Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 9:39

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