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German Words That Describe EXACTLY How You’re Feeling

The German language is beautifully descriptive, and there are many words that do not have direct English counterparts. Sometimes, a sentiment that takes an entire sentence to express in English can be communicated with one word in German. This list is inspired by the infamous scene in How I Met Your Mother, when Klaus gives this advice to Ted: “There is a word in German, Lebenslangerschicksalsschatz. And the closest translation would be lifelong treasure of destiny. And Victoria is wunderbar, but she is not my lebenslangerschicksalsschatz. She is my beinaheleidenschaftsgegenstand. You know? It means the thing that is almost the thing that you want, but it is not quite. Lebenslangerschicksalsschatz is not something that develops over time. It’s something that happens instantaneously. It causes swirling like the water of a river after a storm, filling you and emptying you all at once. You feel it throughout your body, in your hands, in your heart, in your stomach, in your skin. Have you ever felt this way about someone?" This piece of dialogue really resonated with me, and although the German words are made up for the show, I was inspired to search for real German words that encompass entire emotions in a few syllables.


1. Kummerspeck=weight gained after an emotional food binge AKA grief bacon


2. Backpfeifengesicht= a face that desperately needs to get punched


3. Kuddelmuddel= the chaos of having a messy house


4. Kalverliefde= the euphoria of falling in love for the first time


5. Fremdschämen= the shame you experience from watching another person’s humiliation


6. Torschlusspanik= “Gate shut panic” or the fear of time running out and opportunities disappearing forever


7. Drachenfutter= a gift given to someone extremely angry at you, as a way to say sorry. The literal translation is “dragon food” and by giving this gift, you are feeding the dragon to placate their rage!


8. Schwellenangst= the fear of starting something


9. Geborgenheit= to exist and feel intensely in a single moment, such as returning home after a long time or hugging a loved one


10. Verschlimmbesserung= making things worse than they already are; trying to repair damage but actually digging a deeper hole for yourself



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