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73 votes

How come that “stimmt so” means “keep the change”?

The verb "stimmen" means "to be correct". "Stimmt so" is short for "es stimmt so" or "der Betrag stimmt so", which means "it's correct like that" or "the amount is correct like that", or more ...
Uwe's user avatar
  • 10.7k
46 votes

"Technically," I'm not supposed to . .

In short, I would use one of these normalerweise genau genommen streng genommen
mtwde's user avatar
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40 votes

Is there a German equivalent for "self defeating"?

A possibility to express "leading away from agoal instead of towards it" would be kontraproduktiv "Self defeating" literally translated is "selbstzerstörerisch", but this would not express the ...
IQV's user avatar
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40 votes

What is the equivalent of "if you say so" in German?

Short answer: Wenn du meinst. or Wie du meinst.
mtwde's user avatar
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35 votes

Is there a German equivalent for "self defeating"?

We also have the idioms ein Eigentor schießen (colloquial) sich ins [eigene] Knie schießen (colloquial) der Schuss geht nach hinten los (colloquial) sich ins eigene Fleisch schneiden (...
Pollitzer's user avatar
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33 votes
Accepted

What does “Behinderter Lehrer ever” mean?

You are right with all your assumptions. The word ever is the English word; so the insult was formed by mixing German and English – which is not too unusual and probably seemed more “cool” to the ...
Just an answer's user avatar
31 votes

What is the German idiom or expression for when someone is being hypocritical against their own teachings?

Practice what you preach is expressed as a deadpan statement in German: (Jaja,) Wasser predigen, aber Wein trinken. You should read your own book could be translated as Halt dich doch (selbst ...
Janka's user avatar
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31 votes

What is the German idiom or expression for when someone is being hypocritical against their own teachings?

There's a related touch-your-own-nose idiom sich an die eigene Nase fassen saying that someone should first clean up their own behavior before criticizing others. Fass dir mal an die eigene ...
Pollitzer's user avatar
  • 16k
30 votes
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Is "Schmeckt es Sie?" correct?

The only correct form is Schmeckt es Ihnen? Another example: Das Brötchen (Subj.) schmeckt dem Kind (Dat. Obj) Schmeckt das Brötchen dem Kind (not das Kind)? “Schmeckt es Sie” is ...
Thorsten Dittmar's user avatar
30 votes
Accepted

Is there a German equivalent to the saying "to be in love with the sound of one's own voice"?

There is the standard phrase ... sich selbst gerne reden hören (literally meaning to like to listen to oneself talking) which is quite close. Your sentence then would read Er hört sich selbst gerne ...
guidot's user avatar
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29 votes
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Meaning of 'ran' in German?

It's short for heran. Same as raus, rein, rauf, runter, rüber. Nun (gehen wir) mal (he)ran an die Arbeit. (Geh) (he)ran an den Speck! These use an implicit gehen as another complication. Geh nicht ...
Janka's user avatar
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28 votes

Saying that embodies "When you find one mistake, the second is not far"

Try ein Fehler kommt selten allein (Note the saying is actually with "Unglück", which could be used as well if you don't mind a more unspecific translation)
tofro's user avatar
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27 votes

Is there a German equivalent for "self defeating"?

A similar established phrase is sich selbst im Weg stehen which means: oneself being an obstacle on the way to the target. It does not imply that you made the situation worse yourself, however. I'...
guidot's user avatar
  • 28.6k
25 votes

German equivalent to "going down the rabbit hole"

Für das von dir beschriebene Abschweifen/Abkommen vom eigentlichen Thema gibt es die Redewendung vom Hundertsten ins Tausendste kommen
Pollitzer's user avatar
  • 16k
24 votes

What is the equivalent of "if you say so" in German?

Not much difference from the english phrasing. Wenn Du das (so) sagst (meinst)? Probably a slight difference with the tone telling so.
πάντα ῥεῖ's user avatar
23 votes

What's a short rhyme meaning, e.g. for Christmas, I only want an empty box?

A traditional local (SW German) answer to the "what do I get for Christmas?" question would be A Nixle em a Bixle in Hochdeutsch somewhat like ein Nichtslein in einem Büchslein ...
tofro's user avatar
  • 65k
23 votes
Accepted

Odd use(s) of "bauen"

"Mist bauen" and "einen Unfall bauen" are youth slang (Jugendsprache) of the 1960s. Cool kids decided to use "bauen" in the sense of creating or causing something really ...
HalvarF's user avatar
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22 votes
Accepted

How to say "my bad"

The appropriate translation depends on the context. A literal translation would be: Mein Fehler. Meine Schuld. Mea culpa. If the phrase is used to acknowledge responsibility: Das geht auf meine ...
David Vogt's user avatar
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21 votes
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What is the logic behind the sentence "Sieh es dir an"

There is a slight difference between etwas ansehen and sich etwas ansehen. The difference is that the reflexive version (sich etwas ansehen) is used to emphasize on the activeness of the looking. ...
kscherrer's user avatar
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21 votes

What is the German idiom or expression for when someone is being hypocritical against their own teachings?

I also suggest the word Doppelmoral. You have two different sets of morals, one for yourself and one for everyone else. If one tells others to always lay out clear rationals in arguments and to stay ...
infinitezero's user avatar
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21 votes
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German equivalent to "going down the rabbit hole"

Going down the rabbit hole in dem Sinn, wie es in der Frage vorgestellt wurde, nämlich als thematische Verzettelung, lässt sich im Deutschen ausdrücken als vom Hölzchen aufs Stöckchen kommen Diese ...
Christian Geiselmann's user avatar
21 votes

Saying that embodies "When you find one mistake, the second is not far"

Das ist wahrscheinlich nur die Spitze des Eisbergs: The visible part indicates the presence of a larger, not yet discovered part.
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

What's the idiomatic equivalent of "at the top of one's lungs", if there is one?

You seem to be needing some anatomy details: How about Sie schrie aus vollem Hals Not quite the lungs, but close. And a common idiom in German.
tofro's user avatar
  • 65k
19 votes

What is the German idiom or expression for when someone is being hypocritical against their own teachings?

Here is one more German proverb: Wer im Glashaus sitzt, soll nicht mit Steinen werfen. Who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw stones. It means that nobody should criticise shortcomings or ...
Paul Frost's user avatar
  • 10.7k
19 votes

Construction I need help clarifying in Otfried Preußler's "Krabat"

It's not ihr es, but ihrs / ihres (theirs). I think, today you would rather say something like: Sie dachten sich ihren Teil dabei. They had their own thoughts on the matter. But as you see: der Teil ...
Olafant's user avatar
  • 8,911
18 votes
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Setz dich auf deine vier Buchstaben – welche Buchstaben?

Ich kenne es aus meiner Kindergartenzeit, und da war der Popo gemeint, also die kindersprachliche Variante von Podex. Zur Etymologie (aus dem DWDS): Podex m. ‘Gesäß, Hintern’, Entlehnung (um 1600) ...
Björn Friedrich's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

German idiom for "in so.'s infinite wisdom"

In seiner unendlichen Weisheit is correct and idiomatic, i.e., it is actually used by native speakers. However, there are two other idiomatic alternatives you might want to consider: In seiner nicht ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
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17 votes
Accepted

Ein Restaurant verlassen, ohne die Rechnung zu begleichen

Wenn man ohne zu bezahlen aus dem Restaurant geht, so spricht man von die Zeche prellen Die Redewendung "mit Franzosen" dagegen wäre sich (auf) französisch verabschieden / empfehlen Dies ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 24.1k
17 votes

German equivalent to "going down the rabbit hole"

Given that the expression is from Alice in Wonderland, where Alice gets lost in this parallel reality, I would opt for sich in etwas verlieren: Eigentlich wollte ich nur etwas über Domains ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Is there a German colloquialism to define a person working mainly with papers and documents?

Jonathan Scholbach has given two good examples already Let me add a third: Bürohengst, which compared to Sesselfurzer carries more connotations of pedantry rather than laziness. It can refer to ...
xyldke's user avatar
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