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I Liab Di: Bavarian Love Posted by on Aug 24, 2014 in Culture, Language

Let’s face it, nobody thinks that German is a romantic language. I’m sure you’ve seen the cartoons and videos showing the phrase “I love you” in different languages, which suggests that everything sounds angry in German. It goes something like this:

A Herzerl fürs Spatzerl...

A Herzerl fürs Spatzerl… Photo by rubu on Flickr.com under CC BY-ND 2.0

English: I love you
French: Je t’aime
Italian: Ti amo
Spanish: Te quiero
German: ICH LIEBE DICH!!!!!

You have to have a sense of humour with this, so I’ll take it one step further. If we’re talking about German sounding ‘angry’, then I personally think it sounds even harsher with Bavarian in place of the German:

English: I love you
French: Je t’aime
Italian: Ti amo
Spanish: Te quiero
Bavarian: I LIAB DI!!!! (It’s pronounced as it is written, but with the ‘I’ sound pronounced ‘ee’)

As much as I love the language, Bavarian does not sound romantic. But that doesn’t matter – they have some of the loveliest phrases, words and nicknames for the people they love! So should you happen to fall in love with a Bavarian, I thought I’d sort you out with some vocabulary and phrases to woo them with (or, if a Bavarian should fall in love with you, then here are some phrases they might say to you!).

Without further ado, here are my Bavarian terms of endearment, with the Bavarian first, followed by the Hochdeutsch (standard German), followed by the English. Enjoy.

D’LiabDie Liebe – Love

A Bussi/A BusslEin Kuss – A kiss

Kammafensddaln‘ein Mädchen durchs Fenster besuchen’ – to visit a woman by climbing through her bedroom window.

Mei Oidemeine Frau (‚meine Alte‘) – My wife (Literally ‚my old woman ‘)

Mei Oidamein Mann (‚mein Alter‘) – My husband (Literally ‚my old man’)

Schatzi Schatz – There is no direct translation of this word. A Schatzi (Schatz in Hochdeutsch) is someone you love very much. The word comes from the German verb schätzen, which means to appreciate, value, or treasure something. I suppose you could translate it as ‘my treasure’, if anyone says that anymore…?

I hab di liab
Ich habe dich lieb – I care a lot about you

I gib di fei nimma herIch gebe dich nicht mehr her – I will never let you go

Bei dir hob I Schmetterlinge im BauchBei dir habe ich Schmetterlinge im Bauch – I get butterflies in my stomach when I’m with you

Sie hat Hoiz vo da Hüttn!Sie hat Holz vor der Hütte! – This literally translates to “She has wood in front of the hut“. In other words: She has big boobs.

I mog diIch mag dich – I like you

I mog di - Photo by Constanze Arnold

I mog di – Photo by Constanze Arnold

I mog di narrisch gern Ich mag dich narrisch gern – I am crazy about you

I liab di Ich liebe dich – I love you


Bavarians often call each other animal-like names to express their love. Here are a handful of them:

Mausi Maus – An affectionate name a guy gives a girl, similar to ‘sweetheart’ or ‘baby’. Literally means ‘mouse’, but has nothing to do with being mousy!

Spatz/Spatzerl/Spatzl/Spatzi – A Spatz is a sparrow. Like Mausi, Spatzerl (there are different spelling variations) is another way of saying ‘sweetheart’ or ‘baby’.
Spatzerl bleib wiast bistSpatzerl, bleib wie du bist – Baby, stay as you are.

HasiHase – Rabbit. Calling someone Hasi is similar to calling them a bunny. This word is often used with children.

Bärli Bär – Bear. Affectionate term for a man.

One place you will see Bavarian expressions of love is on the Lebkuchen Herze (gingerbread hearts) in München. They look something like this:

A Herzerl fürs Herzerl

A Herzerl fürs Herzerl – Photo by caseyhugelfink on Flickr.com under CC BY-SA 2.0

Perhaps now, when you see one, you’ll be able to tell what it says on it!

Now, please feel free to leave me some of your own Bavarian love notes in the comments. 😉

Bussl! x

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About the Author:Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze. I'm half English and half German. I write here because I'm passionate about my languages and my roots. I also work as a translator & group fitness instructor.


  1. Karen Brees:

    Mein Gott!

  2. Allan Mahnke:

    Many thanks! I am fascinated by these dialects. They so often seem completely incomprehensible. My grandparents (Mecklenburgers), while perfectly able to speak standard German, switched to Platt Deutsch when there was something I was not supposed to understand. While I had no trouble when they spoke standard German, Platt Deutsch could as easily have been Urdu, but that was the point. Give us more of this! It’s great fun.


    • Constanze:

      @Allan Mahnke Really glad that you liked my post, Allan, and thank you for sharing! I didn’t know that you use the word ‘Buss’ in American English – really interesting! Thanks. I have great fun writing these Bairisch posts so there’ll definitely be more to come! 🙂

  3. Allan Mahnke:

    Oops! I forgot one thing. Regarding “a Bussl”: In American English “to buss” is a somewhat archaic, but still understood term for kissing.


  4. Larissa:

    Such a cute post! Right in time for anyone going to Octoberfest

  5. Alison:

    Thanks for this post, I love Bavarian too, ever since I did my exchange year in Munich about a decade ago. It amuses me greatly to spring Bavarian phrases on my German friends when they are least expecting it 🙂

    • Constanze:

      @Alison You’re welcome, Alison! 🙂

  6. John:

    Schatz does have a good English translation: treasure. We just don’t commonly use it to describe people in North America.
    Otherwise – thanks! I love the Bavarian dialect. It gets such a bad rap from the rest of Germany though.

    • Constanze:

      @John Thanks for the comment, John! I did mention “my treasure” but, like you said, no one really uses that. That’d be the best translation, though. And, oh God! Tell me about it! I always come across snobby comments from Germans about the Bavarian dialect. It was the dialect I grew up with, and I love it. I’m glad you do, too! 🙂

      • Constanze:

        @Constanze I mean I come across snobby comments on other places on the web – not on this blog! Just to clarify! 😉

  7. RunningGirl:

    I bought a running shirt in Munich (it was during Oktoberfest). I belive is Bavarian, but I’m having problems translating it. Can you tell me what it means? The front says “S bressiad wia’d Sau’. And the back has “Servus Spatzl”. Thank you! 🙂