Learners of German are often slightly horrified when they catch sight of some of the longer words in the German language. The Germans do this wonderful compound word thing you see, where instead of just having a phrase made up of a series of words they jam them all together into one big, long word that looks horrendously complicated but is actually just missing spaces.
Mark Twain once remarked that “Some German words are so long that they have perspective.” With this in mind read on for 9 ridiculously long German words and their meanings.
A word that sort of means boyfriend/girlfriend or partner, Lebensabschnittgefährter literally translates as ‘the person I am with today’ giving whole new meaning to ‘it’s complicated’.
Meaning vaguely ‘demonstrations of friendship’, Freundschaftsbezeighungen has no real equivalent in English and having never had a German friend I’m not totally sure as to what it refers to. Hugs?
Although insanely long and seemingly impossible to pronounce, you can’t really blame the Germans for the existence of Siebentausendzweihundertvierundfünfzig as it is the written form of the number 7,254 and so, a shorter, easier version does exist.
This word means simply, food intolerance, which bit is which I have no idea.
As we fall ever farther down the linguistic rabbit hole we reach Handschuhschneeballwerfer, a word that expressed the fairly complex phenomenon of a person who wears gloves to throw snowballs.
The most beautiful long words in German are the most bureaucratic.
Imagine trying to read this one a sign? While breaking the speed limit because you can’t read the sign.
At least you’re not going to use this very often.
Recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest German word in, sort-of, every day use, Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften is the winner of the most ridiculously long German word competition.