Du kannst mich!! 11 ways to express anger in German Posted by Constanze on Oct 22, 2014 in Language
You ever have one of those days where you just want to tell everyone to go to hell? Let’s do that now – in German. How is this useful, I hear you ask? Well, maybe the next time a co-worker irritates you, you can scream your desired comeback at them in German (since German is such an “”angry”” language, it’s clearly also the perfect language to shout at people in). Then you’ll have practised your German AND told your co-worker where to go – and they won’t even know what you’ve said, so there’s no way you can get into trouble! You win! (Unless they’re German, in which case… maybe don’t do this.)
Seriously, though, everybody loves learning ‘naughty’ things in another language, and swearing just isn’t that big a deal in Germany. So instead, here are some German phrases you can use if you want to let someone know that you’re angry with them. They’re all commonly used phrases.
DU KANNST MICH GERN HABEN!
Is your lazy co-worker asking you to do their work for them? Had enough? Then scream “DU KANNST MICH GERN HABEN!” at them and walk away. This little phrase literally translates to, “You can like me!”, which is a bit of an odd thing to say in anger. But it basically means, “No! Forget it! I am not doing that!” You can also say “Gern kannst mich haben”, which has the same meaning.
DU KANNST MICH!
Literally “You can me!”. A shortened version of “Du kannst mich gern haben“. Its unfinished nature (“You can __ me!”) leaves it open to the imagination!
LECK MICH AM ARSCH!
The German version of “Kiss my ass!”, this insult literally translates to “Lick me on my ass”, and as well as being directed at someone, it can also be used as an expression of shock or disbelief, for example: “Jana ist schonwieder schwanger?! Ja, leck mich am Arsch!” – “Jana is pregnant again?! Well, leck mich am Arsch!”
A shortened version of the above, “Leck mich!” literally translates to “lick me!” and basically means “bugger off”.
HAST (DU) EIN WAHN ODER WAS??
If someone is talking rubbish at you, or suggesting an idea that has absolutely no logical grounding whatsoever, then you can ask them, “Hast (du) ein Wahn oder was?” – “Are you deluded or what?” The word Wahn means ‘delusion’.
Quite simply, “Get lost!”. Interestingly, the word ‘Hau’ comes from the verb hauen: to hit. Nice and aggressive.
Another way of saying “Get lost!”. The word ‘Schleich’ comes from the verb schleichen: to creep.
LASS MICH IN RUH!
The old classic, “Leave me alone!”
ACH DU LIEBER HIMMEL!
Been trying to explain something simple to your thick co-worker for the past 20 minutes and they’re STILL not getting it? This phrase is what you might say to yourself in frustration and despair. It literally means „Oh you beloved heaven!“ .
MIST! / SO EIN MISTHAUFEN!
“Mist” is the German word for manure, and a “Haufen” is a heap or pile of something. Therefore, exclaiming the word “Mist!” is like saying “Crap!” and the phrase “So ein Misthaufen!” means “What a pile of crap!”
If someone is talking absolute nonsense, you can tell them so by saying one little word: Quatsch – which is pronounced ‘Kvatch’.
Please do let me know if you have any to add – or if there’s an English phrase you’d like me to translate for you, so that you can release your German anger to your heart’s content! Language learning doesn’t have to be about the serious stuff all the time: Emotions like anger come from the very core of a person’s heart, so learning how different emotions are expressed in different languages can be a fascinating business!
On that note, I really hope you enjoyed my post. Now hau ab; it’s time for me to make my dinner.
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