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Du kannst mich!! 11 ways to express anger in German Posted by 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.)

ANGER!

Photo by amymctigue on Flickr.com under CC BY-ND 2.0

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!”

LECK MICH!
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’.

HAU AB!
Quite simply, “Get lost!”. Interestingly, the word ‘Hau’ comes from the verb hauen: to hit. Nice and aggressive.

SCHLEICH DICH!
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!”

QUATSCH!
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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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.


Comments:

  1. doris:

    there are better ones in Bavarian language

    • Constanze:

      @doris I guess I’ll have to do a Bavarian version of this post! Fantastic idea!

  2. jai vee:

    Good info..Got lots of German friends that don’t tell me “Mist”

  3. Pasi:

    “Sorgen Sie fuer Ihre eigene Angelegenheiten”

    A phrase that I heard in TV-series “der Alte” years ago. Always makes me feel good when shouted out loud.

    • Constanze:

      @Pasi I LOVE this one! I could definitely shout that all day long!! 😀

  4. Mari:

    Hej, I learned something new.
    Hast du ein Wahn oder was ????
    Maybe people from Saxonia say it. Definitely not Bavarian.

    • Constanze:

      @Mari Hello Mari! I have mentioned doing a Bavarian version of this post, but this is not it! This post is about expressing anger in German (Hochdeutsch). However, I’d like to add that my family are Bavarian (from Niederbayern) and say “Hast ein Wahn oder was?” a LOT 😉 Crazy family, obviously.

  5. Efrutik:

    Really good stuff here! Thanks, and some will be used for sure by me. How about “Du Opfer”? I think it’s a nice one to add as well.

    • Constanze:

      @Efrutik Glad you like it! I’ve never heard of “Du Opfer”. In what context is it used? 🙂

  6. Sprachmafia:

    Sehr gut! Danke!

  7. Efrutik:

    Hi Constanze, friends in Berlin used it a bit. Some were from near Hamburg perhaps that’s another reason… Usually, it was used when someone complained in a bit of a sarcastic tone I believe 🙂

  8. darcons:

    I would add to that one more expression: “Spinnst du oder ‘was?” or shorter version: “Spinnst du?” Mostly used when someone does or says something extremely stupid.

    • Constanze:

      @darcons Can’t believe I forgot this one – my aunt says it ALL the time!
      Thanks for adding it!

  9. Werner:

    Hast einen Wahn- is not correct
    Should say- Bist du wahnsinnig ! and we don’t say Saxonia,
    but say Saxony !

    • Constanze:

      @Werner “Hast ein Wahn?” is quite commonly used where my family comes from… though obviously “Bist du wahnsinning” is also correct! I think, in retrospect, that may have been a bit of the Bairisch influence sneaking in without me realising it…
      I’m not sure what you mean by the Saxonia/Saxony comment?!
      🙂

  10. Carmen:

    Du gehst mir auf den Keks! (/ die Nerven). Love this one, it’s so funny 😀

  11. Tina:

    “Verpiss dich!” in addition ^^

  12. Raul Benjamin Belderol:

    Ich weiss nur, ein bisschen Deutsch. When I get pissed I just say, “HEY SCHEISSE KOPF!!!!”

  13. The Andyman:

    Firstly: “Schleich Dich!” is exclusively Bavarian or Austrian. Nobody outside of these regions uses it. “Hast ein Wahn?” is probably Bavarian as well. Outside of Bavaria – and this actually is where Germany is located 😉 – people would say “Bist Du wahnsinnig?” or “Bist Du irre?” or “Hast Du einen an der Waffel?” – All meaning basically “Are you crazy/nuts/bonkers?” Secondly: What about “Verzieh Dich!” – Also meaning just “bugger off or get lost….

    • Constanze:

      @The Andyman Thanks for the additions, Andyman! Guess I’m more Bavarian than I thought, as all of those expressions are normal for me, haha! Not sure what you mean by “Outside of Bavaria – and this actually is where Germany is located”, though.

  14. Rachael Clugston:

    Also – bist du bekloppt? Hast du nicht mehr alle Tassen im Schrank? And compound nouns are fantastic too – Mistfee, Drecksau etc

    • Constanze:

      @Rachael Clugston I love ‘Hast du nicht mehr alle Tassen im Schrank?’ that’s a good one, and yes, I LOVE the word Drecksau!!! Thanks for the giggle 😀 xx

  15. Martin:

    I’m learning German & I love it so much. Just used the phrase Du Kannst Mich Gern Haben! on my blog. Feels good… Thanks

    • Constanze:

      @Martin Glad I could help you express your anger in German. 😉 Love that! Thanks, Martin!

  16. Erich:

    “Wurdest du von der Henne gepickt”? Literally ” did a hen pick at you” implying that you’re crazy / nuts. From outside of Bremerhaven way up north on the coast.

    • Constanze:

      @Erich Haha, I like this one! Thanks, Erich !

  17. Zack Arteaga:

    Awesome blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any recommendations? Thank you!

  18. shannon:

    How would you write exasperation/annoyance in German, say in an email? In English I might write *sigh* or *fffftttt* (like a raspberry sound) or *ugh!*. Of course emoticons might work but I think writing word can convey more sometimes.