6

How do I say 'For God's sakes' in German?

  1. Um Gottes willen, warum bist du hingegangen?

Are there other alternatives for it?

  • 3
    When asking for translation, it's important to provide context because expressions don't map 1:1 from one language to the other. – Lumi Dec 12 '13 at 18:49
12

Um Gottes willen

is the correct translation. There are alternatives that can be used for the same, some very close, some not so close to the original meaning, like

Um Himmels willen!

(For Heaven's sake!)

Himmelherrgott!

(God in Heaven! coll.)

Herrgott nochmal!

(coll.)

Himmel, Arsch und Zwirn!

(rude and not very close)

Heiligsblechle!

(example for a regional version, used mainly in the southwest of Germany)

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  • 1
    @DerPolyglott33: Note, however, that while the first two are indeed the literal translations, they are far less common in this context than the English phrase. In comparison, they have a rather milder "flavour" and don't really pack the amount of exasperation and sometimes even disgust a hearty "oh for god's sake!" can convey. Also, if you're interested in regional variants, in Bavaria we often say "Herrschaftszeiten", which usually sounds very exasperated indeed. :) – Mac Dec 12 '13 at 9:26
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    Warum in Gottes Namen bist du dahin gegangen.... geht auch noch – Emanuel Dec 12 '13 at 10:43
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    Note that in ‘um … willen’ the word willen is not a noun, but a preposition (with genitive). Therefore, it is written with a small initial letter. – Faded Giant Feb 17 '15 at 12:55
  • A preposition is always pre- ("before") its noun. "Um....willen" is a circumposition. – fdb Aug 7 '17 at 17:17
  • @Mac: I would go a step farther and argue that the first two cannot be used to translate "oh for god's sake!" at all. – O. R. Mapper Aug 9 '17 at 8:14
4

One that was missing:

Meine Güte!

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4

Also missing:

Zum Himmel [nochmal]

It's mostly used in questions

Warum, zum Himmel, bist du da hingegangen?

or

Zum Himmel nochmal, warum bist du da hingegangen?

There are also slight differences in the connotation: zum Himmel is more angry, um Gottes willen is more scared.

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2

Verdammt nochmal!

Ist auch sehr beliebt, auch wenn das nicht die genaue Übersetzung ist.

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