German Language Blog

Halloween Vocabulary in German Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in Culture, Holidays, Traditions

Halloween is just round the corner where everyone gets to dress up and eat their weight in candy. Although Halloween originates from a celtic festival (which is now where Ireland is), Halloween is celebrated all around the world – even in Germany! Here are some keywords to help you get into the Halloween spirit in German.

Trick or Treat
Trick or treat may not be as popular in Germany as it is in America, but there some towns or areas that still take part! In German you would say “Süßes oder Saures” to say “trick or treat”, this literally translates into “sweet or sour”. If you do get a treat then you would get Süßigkeiten or Bonbons (sweets), Lutscher (lollipops), or Schokolade (chocolate).

Carving a pumpkin
Originally the Celts actually carved turnips, but when they went to America they could only find pumpkins so carved them instead! I don’t think I’ve ever actually carved a pumpkin myself (I enjoy eating them too much) but in German a pumpkin is called der Kürbis or plural die Kürbisse. To say that you are carving a pumpkin you would say “Ich schnitze einen Kürbis“.

die Kürbisse. Photo by Hanna Horwarth on Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Halloween Costumes
Here’s a list of costumes translated into German incase you don’t know what to be this year:
das Gespenst/der Geist                                        the ghost (two different words but they both mean ghost)
die Hexe                                                                 the witch
der Vampir                                                           the vampire
die Mumie                                                             the mummy
das Skelett                                                            the skeleton
der Teufel                                                              the devil

And if you don’t want to be too scary here are some other options…

das Einhorn                                                      the unicorn
die Prinzessin/der Prinz                      the princess/the prince
die Fee                                                                the fairy
die Katze                                                             the cat
die Maus                                                            the mouse
Don’t forget to use Schminke (makeup) to complete your look!

Here are a few other keywords that all relate to Halloween:
gruselig                                                    spooky
erschreckend/furchterregend              scary
die Dunkelheit                                      the darkness
die Kerzen                                                the candles
der Besen                                                 the broom
die Dekoration                                   the decoration
die Spinnen                                            the spiders
die Fledermaus/Fledermäuse             the bat/bats
die Nacht                                                  the night
das Kostüm                                            the costume

What are you doing for Halloween this year? If you’re dressing up, tell me in German what you’ll be in the comments below! If you want to know more about Halloween in Germany, check out this post here.

Happy Halloween!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Keep learning German with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Larissa

Hello I'm Larissa. I live in Germany and I am half German and half English. I love sharing my passion for Germany with you through my posts! Apart from writing posts I teach fitness classes in Munich.


  1. Allan Mahnke:

    Thanks! This is great. It may help some folks to know that Lutscher comes from a verb that means “suck.” Sometimes we in the US refer to lollipops as suckers.

    This gives us a chance to learn a new noun and a verb!

    • Larissa:

      @Allan Mahnke Thanks Allan for your comment! I didn’t know in America you can also call a lollipop a sucker, so I’ve learnt something new too 🙂

  2. Laurence:

    Great.. Thanks..Leaving Yorkshire tomorrow for a weeks exchange in Hattingen.. My wife and I don’t speak much German but this will be handy !

    • Larissa:

      @Laurence I hope you had a nice time Laurence, glad my post could help!