21: More German idioms

Idioms are probably one of my favorite things about foreign languages.

This is a series I’ve carried through a number of years of NaBloPoMo and many people have told me over the years that the posts about German idioms are one of their favorites, so I’ll, once again, try to find some good German sayings for you (along with their sometimes hilarious literal translations).

I’ve always enjoyed learning English idioms and also really enjoy teaching German idioms to my non-native German-speaking husband. He’s successfully dropped one or the other German idiom in conversation with me in the past and it’s always a bit of a fist-pump-kinda-moment. Hehe.

Make sure you check out the other round-ups of idioms herehereherehere, and here, and here.

Hast du Tomaten auf den Augen?  (Do you have tomatoes on your eyes?) To be ignorant or oblivious to what is going on around you.

Zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen. (To kill two flies with one swat.)  To kill two birds with one stone. (I prefer to kill flies, don’t you? ;))

Man soll den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben. (Don’t praise the day before the evening.) Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

Unter einer Decke stecken. (To be under the blankets with someone.) This is not what you think, ha! It means that you’re in cahoots with someone.

Jemanden Löcher in den Bauch fragen. (To ask someone holes in the belly.) To bombard someone with questions.

Die Kuh vom Eis holen. (To get the cow off the ice.) To save the situation.

Auf der faulen Haut liegen.  (To lie on the lazy skin.) This means to be a lazy blob.

Wir sitzen ganz schön in der Tinte. (We’re beautifully sitting in the ink.) We’re in deep trouble.

Die Kacke ist am dampfen. (The poop is steaming.) Shit hit the fan.

Teach me an idiom! Or ask me for the translation of an English idiom into German!

  1. Hahahaha, you know how much I love these!

  2. One I love these so much!! I feel as though it proves Germans really DO have a good sense of humor :) I’ve never heard of any of these. There was an episode of Conan where he hangs out with a German actor (can’t remember his name, but he’s hilarious), and he says “du hasst nicht alle tassen in schrank!” My mom used to say this to me and it always made me giggle!

  3. Always fun. When a friend left for NYC way back we did an entire book for I’m. My all time favorite is: I make me me nothing you nothing out of the dust.

  4. Ha!! These are so fun to read! It’s hard to think of idioms in your own language – I’d have to really really think to come up with some!

  5. I always love these posts! It’s neat to see which ones have a similar idiom in English versus ones that are totally unlike anything we have.

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