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Sayings + Expressions 11: Sweet! Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Language, vocabulary

Süß, süß, süß. Such a beautiful German word! It describes a sweet taste, it describes something cute, it lets you know whether somebody is sweet or cute… So naturally, there are Sprichwörter (sayings) and Redewendungen (idioms) related to this great word. Let’s explore two of them.


Rache ist süß

Revenge is sweet

Rache ist süß. After you’ve gone through a bad time, payback can make you feel better. It gives a feeling of vorübergehende Linderung (temporary relief), which is such a süß feeling. So: Rache ist süß!


Pretty straightforward use here. If you can successfully revenge yourself, you could use this Sprichwort. Example:

Nachdem Markus sich ungefragt ein Stück Lisas Pizza genommen hatte, aß sie seinen Nachtisch als er auf Toilette war. Rache ist süß!

After Markus had taken a piece of Lisa’s pizza without asking, she ate his dessert when he was at the restroom. Revenge is sweet!

(In this case, it is literally sweet!)

Image by denAsuncioner at Flickr.com under license CC BY ND 2.0)

Süßholz raspeln

“To grate licorice root” – to ooze charm

Back in the day, Süßholz (licorice root) was either geraspelt (grated) or geschabt  to sweeten Arzneien and Süßspeisen (sweet meals). Because of the other meaning of the word süß, it got the meaning of being sweet to somebody in the Ausdruck (expression).


You can say it if somebody is being sweet. Pretty straightforward as well! Example:

Hans gibt Lana ein Kompliment, weil sie so schöne Augen hat. «Hans raspelt Süßholz!» lächelt sein Freund.

Hans gives Lana a compliment, because she has such beautiful eyes. “Hans is oozing charm!” his friend smiles.

I hope you enjoyed this episode of sayings + expressions! Do you have these in your language as well? Or an equivalent? How would you translate them to your language? What do you think about them in German? Let me know in the comments below!

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About the Author:Sten

Hi! I am Sten, and I am half Dutch and half German. I was on exchange in the United States, and I really enjoyed that year! So in that sense, I kind of have three nationalities... I love all of them!


  1. Allan:

    These are great! There seem to be no end of proverbs in all languages, and it’s fun to discover new ones.

  2. Carmel Grima:

    Now please give us the background to Schadenfreude.