Do people actually use "ehrfürchtig!" to say awesome or is it old in usage?

If not, then what would be more in common usage? I've heard mostly toll, super, prima but what else is possible?

  • It comes up when you search "awesome" on Leo.org but I've never heard it said. I've made the mistake of learning a word thinking it meant what the dictionary said only to be told you'd never hear that in real life.
    – user5105
    Jan 15 '14 at 8:52
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    Do not use dict.leo. I only take it as a fallback when I'm not satisfied with the results taken from prior research. I suggest using Collins and Pons. They both categorize the words and translations are spot on – most times. Further more, you should think of looking results up in a monolingual dictionary (Pons, Wiktionary) and do a back-translation and look what's the result.
    – Em1
    Jan 15 '14 at 9:39
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    What Em1 said. Do not use dict.leo. Their translations are often wrong, or just awful.
    – RQ'
    Jan 15 '14 at 12:29
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    leo.org is still one of the better online dictionaries, and their community, in particular, is invaluable. If there's one dictionary you shouldn't use, it's dict.cc.
    – Ingmar
    Sep 25 '14 at 3:44
  • "ehrfürchtig" is never used in the sense of first-class etc. The adjectives are: toll, prima, Spitze, Klasse, super, and geil. The last word has a sexual meaning, too.
    – rogermue
    Sep 25 '14 at 5:58

Well first of all to me as a native German there is a clear difference between "ehrfürchtig" and awesome. I would rather translate ehrfürchtig with something like reverent or awestruck.

In my opinion you would rather use the following as a equivalent to awesome.

super, toll as you pointed out correctly but also "unglaublich" (unbelievable) and "wunderbar" (wonderful). Now as you notice both of them already have a translation. Still, in such cases though it heavily depends on the context, you can use words like "unglaublich" to describe something really awesome.

Lets say you are seeing an awesome landscape.

Das ist wirklich eine unglaubliche Landschaft.

Or some friend found a job after searching for quite a while: (Its so awesome you finally found a job!)

Es ist wirklich wunderbar, dass du endlich einen Job gefunden hast.

Well and last but not least lets not forget the colloquial ones:

"Hammer!", "Geil!", "Krass!" for example.

You wont hear those from everyone but they still exist.

Hope that helps :)

  • 7
    Großartig is another valid translation for awesome. Jan 15 '14 at 5:34
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    "unglaublich" kann auch mit "incredible" übersetzt werden. Dazu gibt es sogar einen Disney-Film ;) Mein persönlicher Liebling ist aber immer noch "atemberaubend".
    – Vogel612
    Jan 15 '14 at 7:25
  • What is awesome then? I am using it for a role playing game (Nationstates: The Great Awesome Prussia is my nation :)) but I am using the words that are being told not to be used. Now, most of this is being used as filler for the post requirements.
    – user9603
    Sep 24 '14 at 22:22
  • "Geil" und "Krass" können noch mit dem Prefix "End-" gesteigert werden :)
    – Harald
    Sep 25 '14 at 9:33
  • @Snbdf awesome is quite generic I think, and also not something one would use for a real country. Großartig would be most fitting but is redundant because of Great=Groß (Das Große Großartige Preußen... meh!) So what kind of subtext are you looking for? Threatening? Godlike? Strong? over the top silly? :)
    – Harald
    Sep 25 '14 at 9:45

To chime in with the others and add another aspect:

Note that "ehrfürchtig" never means "awesome". It describes the reaction to something that is awesome, NOT the fact that it is awesome. Leo and any other dictionaries that say otherwise are plain wrong.

The correct German equivalent (in a purely lexical sense) would be "ehrfurchtgebietend" (i.e. "demanding/causing awe"). Usage-wise, however, this is absolutely not equivalent to the casual "awesome" in English.


ehrfürchtig wouldn't be used as an exclamation, and I've actually never read it in that context, even in old literature.

The exclamation Awesome! would usually be translated as Großartig! or Erstaunlich!, while the latter is rather used in the context of Amazing!.


Ich finde, am besten passt "fantastisch".;)

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