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Guten Tag! We’re back with another untranslatable words post! In this series, we look at the quirkiest, most interesting words the German language has to offer – words which, often, point at a very specific feeling or situation, and don’t have a perfect translation in English. Today’s untranslatable word is die Scheißfreundlichkeit.
Scheißfreundlichkeit is used to describe fake friendliness in people. One example of this is when someone is extremely nice to your face, but you know they secretly dislike you. You would say those people are being scheißfreundlich. Another example of Scheißfreundlichkeit is in the overly-friendly (not genuine) nature of some sales assistants.
It is made up of the words der Scheiß/die Scheiße (shit) and die Freundlichkeit (friendliness), so it’s literally ‘shit friendliness’.
Using it as an adjective, you simply say someone ‘is’ scheißfreundlich, in the same way that you’d say someone is freundlich (friendly):
Julia ist so scheißfreundlich – Julia is so shit-friendly.
Warum muss sie immer so scheißfreundlich sein? – Why does she always have to be so shit-friendly?
The closest I can think of is ‘fake’ or ‘two-faced’, when someone acts one way but is another. Then there’s the more colloquial word ‘frenemy’ – a mixture of friend and enemy. But none really capture the essence (and bluntness!) of Scheißfreundlichkeit. Can you think of any?
In the German language, you can add the word Scheiß to the front of any word to emphasise what you are saying. For example, to say it’s cold you’d say Es ist kalt. However, if it’s really cold, and you want to express annoyance at that, you can say Es ist scheißkalt! (‘It’s bloody cold!’). This works for nouns as well as adjectives: If a particular object is annoying you, for example, you can express this annoyance by saying Diese Scheißlampe! (This shitty lamp!) or Dieser Scheißkühlschrank! (This shitty fridge!)
Please note that using Scheiß in this way is strictly informal – don’t use it around your German boss or anything. 😉
I hope you’ve found this interesting. As always, leave any further suggestions in the comments!
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