The Germans’ 230 Favorite Words: A Comprehensive List

The Germans' 230 Favorite Words: A Comprehensive List

When you ask Germans what their favorite words are, the same ones are always mentioned. Here are the 230 most beautiful and popular words in the German language.

To find out which words Germans truly love, I looked around in forums, on websites, and social media channels, and processed numerous articles in magazines and books. Some words were mentioned repeatedly, others only occasionally, resulting in a list. You know them almost all if German is your mother tongue.

Schöne Wörter Bücher Eine Bibliothek der schönen Wörter … Ja, es gibt sie noch, die schönen Wörter. Begriffe mit dem besonderen Klang. Wörter, die Sehnsüchte und Erinnerungen in uns hervorrufen. Die Welt von damals, sie ist noch vorhanden. Erinnerungen an Altes und längst Vergessenes. Was verloren ging, ging nie ganz, die Sprache bewahrt es für uns. Hier ist eine wunderfrohe Blütenlese in Buchform mit den schönsten Wörtern der deutschen Sprache. Jetzt ansehen

I have collected these words over time and published them in several posts, now everything comes together. It is also somewhat of an essence of this website. Because here it is about beautiful words… everything is essentially contained here.

Most of these special words have been used and understood for over a hundred years or more – but not all. Some are of more recent origin and come from the 20th century. Our best words speak of longings, desires, and a harsh reality that has been romanticized and slightly embellished. Words preserve memories of childhood and tell of our dreams.

These words are the key to understanding the Germans or, put another way, if you want to understand the Germans, you should know their most beautiful words. Who the Germans are and once were can be learned from their language. The journey into the world of the most beautiful words is also a journey to our roots and ultimately to ourselves. The original post in german is called: Die Lieblingswörter der Deutschen

List of the most beautiful words in the German language

I like to call them feel-good words. Here in alphabetically order.

  1. ABENDBROT (traditional, cold evening meal whose main component is bread)
  2. ANMUTIG (adj.) (charming, delightful, of great beauty and elegance)
  3. ANSCHMIEGSAM (adj.) (snuggling close to something or gently pressing, cuddly; related to supple)
  4. ANTLITZ (formal expression for a person’s face)
  5. AUGENBLICK (short period of time, fleeting moment)
  6. AUGENSCHMAUS (pleasing, appetizing sight, similar to AUGENWEIDE. The feast is a meal, so this is a thought-out meal for the eyes)
  7. AUGENSTERN (term of endearment; actually referring to the sparkling reflection of light in the pupil)
  8. AUGENWEIDE (beautiful, pleasing sight, very similar to AUGENSCHMAUS, the meadow where livestock is kept also stands for food)
  9. BACKFISCH (outdated for a young girl in puberty, nowadays you would say teenager if you want to be understood. The origin of the term in this context is unclear)
  10. BACKPFEIFE (slap in the face)
  11. BAUCHGEFÜHL (intuition, hunch; a feeling one doesn’t know through reason, but seems to come from the body – a modern word)
  12. BAUCHGRIMMEN (stomach ache; “Grimmen” was a stronger word in the past, it meant to rage or be furious, today it’s just a minor pain)
  13. BAUCHPINSELN (to flatter, to compliment; with the fine, soft brush one strokes, in this way one endears oneself to someone)
  14. BEHAGLICH (adj.) (cozy, to have a satisfied, warm, pleasant feeling)
  15. BEHAGLICHKEIT (comfort)
  16. BEHUTSAM (adj.) (careful, attentive, diligent, mindful)
  17. BEHUTSAMKEIT (carefulness, precision, conscientiousness)
  18. BESCHAULICH (adj.) (describes something that is calm and contemplative)
  19. BESCHAULICHKEIT (refers to a calm, contemplative, and often enjoyable observation or atmosphere)
  20. BESENKAMMER (A room where brooms and other household tools are stored)
  21. BLICKFANG (something or someone that catches one’s eye; eyecatcher)
  22. BLUMENFRAU (Flower seller, who in the past also went through establishments to sell her goods)
  23. BLUMENWIESE (Flower meadow)
  24. BLÜMERANT (adj.) (feeling faint or lightheaded, having a slightly queasy feeling)
  25. BLÜTENBLATT (Petal)
  26. BLÜTENZAUBER (Blossom enchantment)
  27. BRIMBORIUM (unnecessary fuss, superfluous extras)
  28. BROSAME (breadcrumb, is mostly used in plural, has nothing to do with seeds)
  29. BUDENZAUBER (illuminated stalls at the annual or Christmas market or a party when parents are out)
  30. BUTTERWEICH (adj.) (soft as butter)
  31. DÄMMERLICHT (Light conditions similar to twilight)
  32. DANKBARKEIT (Gratitude)
  33. DONNERWETTER (Reprimand, reproof; also used as an exclamation of astonishment or annoyance, as a curse, or as a dramatic weather description)
  34. DREIKÄSEHOCH (Scamp, rascal, for a cheeky little child)
  35. EICHHÖRNCHEN (Furry, small rodent that climbs excellently and feeds on nuts)
  36. EINFALTSPINSEL (Fool, dunce)
  37. ENGELSGEDULD (Infinite, enduring patience)
  38. ESELSBRÜCKE (Mnemonic, memory aid)
  39. FARBENFROH (adj.)
  40. FEIERABEND (End of work, end of service, closing time)
  41. FERNWEH (Longing for distant countries)
  42. FINGERSPITZENGEFÜHL (Fine intuition for the situation at hand)
  43. FIRLEFANZ (Nonsense, trinkets, foolish stuff)
  44. FISIMATENTEN (Unnecessary, obstructive difficulties or troubles; silly nonsense)
  45. FLAUSE (Whimsical idea, funny nonsense)
  46. FLITTERKRAM (Glitter, trinkets, tinsel)
  47. FLÜGELSCHLAG (Wingbeat)
  48. FREIHEITSDRANG (The urge not to be confined in one’s actions)
  49. FREUDENTRÄNEN (Tears of joy)
  50. FREUDENTAUMEL (Euphoria or Joyous ecstasy)
  51. FROHLOCKEN (To burst with joy, to rejoice)
  52. FRÜHLINGSERWACHEN (Beginning of spring)
  53. GÄNSEBLÜMCHEN (Daisy)
  54. GÄNSEFÜßCHEN (Quotation marks)
  55. GÄNSEMARSCH (Several people walking one after the other, just as geese do)
  56. GAUMENKITZEL (Palate tickler or Culinary delight.)
  57. GEBORGENHEIT (The feeling of being safe and well taken care of in a closely connected environment)
  58. GEDANKENKARUSSELL (Thought carousel or Racing thoughts)
  59. GEDANKENVERSUNKEN (adj.) (Pensive or Deep in thought)
  60. GEDANKENWELT (World of thoughts or Mindset)
  61. GELASSENHEIT (Serenity or Composure)
  62. GEMÜTLICHKEIT (Coziness or Comfortability)
  63. GESCHMEIDE (Precious jewelry)
  64. GLÜCKSKIND (Lucky child)
  65. GRILLENGESANG (Cricket song)
  66. HABENICHTS (Have-not) (Someone without possessions)
  67. HABSELIGKEITEN (Belongings) (Of little value, mostly used in plural)
  68. HALBSCHATTEN (Penumbra)
  69. HANEBÜCHEN (Spectacularly incredible)
  70. HEIMELIGKEIT (Coziness) (Comfortable, familiar warmth)
  71. HERZALLERLIEBST (Most adorable)
  72. HERZELEID (Heartache) (Strong emotional pain, sorrow, deep suffering)
  73. HERZENSLUST (Heart’s desire)
  74. HERZENSWUNSCH (Heart’s deepest wish)
  75. HERZSCHMERZ (Heartbreak) (Love sickness)
  76. HIMMELSBLAU (Sky blue) (Also sky blue)
  77. HIMMELSPFORTE (Pearly gates)
  78. HIMMELSSTÜRMER (Dreamer) (Someone trying to achieve the impossible)
  79. HIMMELSZELT (Firmament) (The sky above us)
  80. HOFFNUNGSSCHIMMER (Ray of hope)
  81. HONIGKUCHENPFERD (Gingerbread horse) (A gingerbread in the shape of a horse)
  82. INSGEHEIM (Secretly) (In secret, covertly)
  83. JAHRMARKT (Fair) (Parish fair, funfair, carnival, fairground)
  84. JUGENDLIEBE (Youthful love)
  85. KAFFEEKRÄNZCHEN (Coffee get-together)
  86. KAMINFEUER (Fireplace fire)
  87. KÄNNCHEN (Little pot) (Small tea or coffee pot)
  88. KATZENGESCHMEIDIGKEIT (Feline agility)
  89. KINKERLITZCHEN (Trifles) (Nonsenses, frivolities)
  90. KIRSCHBLÜTE (Cherry blossom)
  91. KLEINOD (Gem) (Treasure, not something small – plural “Kleinodien”)
  92. KNALLTÜTE (Dud)
  93. KNUSPERHÄUSCHEN (Gingerbread house) (Witch’s house made of gingerbread)
  94. KOKOLORES (Nonsense) (Twaddle, humbug)
  95. KOPFKINO (Head cinema)
  96. KOSTBARKEIT (Preciousness)
  97. KRIMSKRAMS (Trinkets) (Stuff, more or less useless and simple things)
  98. KUMMERSPECK (Comfort weight) (Fat accumulated due to grief and worries)
  99. KURSCHATTEN (Spa romance) (Person with whom one has a relationship during a spa stay)
  100. LABSAL (Refreshment) (Blessing)
  101. LACHFALTEN (Laugh lines)
  102. LAMPENFIEBER (Stage fright) (Nervous excitement, fear of public performance)
  103. LAUSBÜBISCH (Mischievous) (Cheeky, inclined to play pranks)
  104. LEBENSLUST (Joy of life)
  105. LEIDENSCHAFT (Passion)
  106. LIBELLE (Dragonfly) and LIBELLENFLÜGEL (Dragonfly wing)
  107. LICHTBLICK (Ray of hope) (Pleasant prospect of improvement)
  108. LICHTSPIELHAUS (Cinema) (Outdated for cinema, also abbreviated as “Lichtspiele”)
  109. LIEBESZAUBER (Love magic)
  110. LIEBKOSEN (Caress) (To be tender)
  111. LIEBLINGSMENSCH (Favorite person)
  112. LOBHUDELEI (Flattery) (Excessive praise in an exaggerated, flattering way)
  113. LUFTIKUS (Airhead) (Frivolous, not serious person)
  114. LUFTSCHLANGE (Streamer) (Rolled up paper strip that unfolds by blowing or throwing)
  115. LUFTSCHLOSS (Castle in the air) (Dream, pipe dream, which seems far away)
  116. MÄRCHENHAFT (Fairy-tale-like) (Enchanting and beautiful like in a fairy tale)
  117. MÄTZCHEN (Whims) (Silly nonsense)
  118. MAUERBLÜMCHEN (Wallflower) (An inconspicuous female person, whose merits are not immediately recognizable)
  119. MEERESRAUSCHEN (Sound of the sea)
  120. MITBRINGSEL (Souvenir)
  121. MITGEFÜHL (Compassion)
  122. MONDSCHEINGANG (Moonlight walk) (Walk by moonlight)
  123. MONDSCHEINPRINZESSIN (Snowflake) (Over-sensitive girl)
  124. MORGENMUFFEL (Morning grouch) (Someone who dislikes mornings and is therefore grumpy and reticent)
  125. MORGENROT (Dawn)
  126. MORGENSONNENSCHEIN (Morning sunshine)
  127. MORGENTAU (Morning dew) (Also called early dew)
  128. MUCKSMÄUSCHENSTILL (Dead silent) (Silent as a mouse, no sound)
  129. MUMMENSCHANZ (Masquerade) (Masking, disguise)
  130. MUMPITZ (Nonsense)
  131. MUNDRAUB (Petty theft of food) (Theft of food in small quantity and value for immediate consumption)
  132. MÜßIGGANG (Idleness)
  133. MUTTERSEELENALLEIN (Utterly alone) (Completely and utterly alone)
  134. NARRENFREIHEIT (Carte blanche) (Having the freedom to do things that are forbidden to others)
  135. NASCHKATZE (Sweet tooth) (Lover of all kinds of sweets and sugary treats)
  136. NASEWEIS (Smarty-pants) (Know-it-all)
  137. NESTHÄKCHEN (Baby of the family) (Youngest child of a family, often pampered)
  138. NESTWÄRME (Familial warmth) (Warm atmosphere of familial security)
  139. NOTNAGEL (Last resort) (One who serves as a replacement or substitute when another desired option is unavailable)
  140. OBERSTÜBCHEN (Noggin) (Brain, intellect)
  141. OFENWARM (Fresh from the oven)
  142. OHRENSCHMAUS (Feast for the ears) (Melodious sound)
  143. OHRWURM (Earworm, catchy song)
  144. PFENNIGFUCHSER (Penny pincher) (Miser)
  145. PLAUDERTASCHE, PLAUDERTÄSCHCHEN (Chatterbox)
  146. PURZELBAUM (Somersault) (Forward roll in gymnastics)
  147. PUSTEBLUME (Dandelion)
  148. PUSTEKUCHEN (Literally “blow cake”, colloquially meaning “nonsense” or “no way!”)
  149. REGENBOGEN (Rainbow)
  150. RHABARBERMARMELADE (Rhubarb jam)
  151. RUMPELKAMMER (Storage room for clutter)
  152. SAHNEHÄUBCHEN (Cherry on top) (The icing on the cake, what was missing; or whipped cream on coffee or dessert)
  153. SAMMELSURIUM (Hodgepodge) (Jumbled collection, mishmash)
  154. SANDKASTENLIEBE (Childhood crush)
  155. SANFTMUT (Gentleness) (Calm and peaceful nature)
  156. SAUMSELIGKEIT (Procrastination)
  157. SAUSESCHRITT (Brisk pace)
  158. SCHABERNACK (Mischief)
  159. SCHADENFREUDE (Pleasure derived from someone else’s misfortune)
  160. SCHÄFCHENWOLKE (Fluffy cloud)
  161. SCHÄFERSTÜNDCHEN, SCHÄFERSTÜNDLEIN (Rendezvous) (Literally “shepherd’s hour”, referring to a romantic or intimate encounter)
  162. SCHATTENSPIEL (Play of light and shadow)
  163. SCHIEßBUDENFIGUR (Laughing stock) (Originally a figure at a shooting gallery at a fair, but colloquially meaning a figure of ridicule or a laughable person)
  164. SCHLAFITTCHEN (Lapel) (Jacket or coat lapel)
  165. SCHLARAFFENLAND (Land of plenty) (A mythical place where one lives a life of luxury without having to work)
  166. SCHLENDRIAN (Lackadaisical attitude) (Negligent work behavior where many necessities are overlooked)
  167. SCHLUCKSPECHT (Boozer) (Someone who drinks a lot of alcohol, alcoholic)
  168. SCHLUMMERTRUNK (Nightcap) (Last drink of the day, drink that makes you sleepy)
  169. SCHMETTERLING (Butterfly)
  170. SCHMOLLMUND (Pouty lips) (A mouth with sensuously full lips)
  171. SCHMUDDELWETTER (Miserable weather) (Cold, rainy weather)
  172. SCHNAPSIDEE (Crazy idea)
  173. SCHNEEGESTÖBER (Snow flurry)
  174. SCHWERELOS (Weightless) (Carefree, without effort)
  175. SCHWERMUT (Melancholy) (Sadness, despondency)
  176. SEELENFRIEDEN (Inner peace)
  177. SEIFENBLASE (Soap bubble)
  178. SEKTLAUNE (Champagne mood) (Elated mood caused by drinking champagne. In this state, one can easily be carried away.)
  179. SIEBENSACHEN (Belongings)
  180. SOCKENSCHUSS (Screw loose) (A bit crazy)
  181. SOMMERFRISCHE (Summer retreat) (Summer vacation in a place with a pleasant climate)
  182. SOMMERGLÜCK (Summer joy)
  183. SOMMERLIEBE (Summer romance)
  184. SOMMERNACHTSTRAUM (Midsummer night’s dream)
  185. SOMMERSONNENTAG (Sunny summer day)
  186. SOMMERSPROSSEN (Freckles) (Numerous tiny spots on the skin)
  187. SONNENBAD (Sunbathing)
  188. SONNENSCHEIN (Sunshine)
  189. SONNENUNTERGANG (Sunset)
  190. SPEISEKAMMER (Pantry) (Windowless room for storing food)
  191. SPERENZCHEN (Nuisances) (Annoying difficulties, unnecessary hindrance of a project, costly things)
  192. SPITZBÜBISCH (Mischievous) (Sly, roguish, thieving, deceptive)
  193. SPRINGINSFELD (Lively boy)
  194. STECKENPFERD (Hobby) (After-work activity, pastime, passion)
  195. STEHAUFMÄNNCHEN (Weeble) (Old toy, also in the figurative sense: Someone who always gets up, whatever happens to him.)
  196. STELLDICHEIN (Rendezvous) (Date)
  197. STERNSCHNUPPE (Shooting star)
  198. STERNSTUNDE (Defining moment) (Highlight, hour of destiny)
  199. STREICHELEINHEIT (Caress) (Friendly attention in the form of praise, tenderness, touch)
  200. STREUSELKUCHEN (Crumb cake) (Sheet cake topped with crumbs)
  201. STUBENHOCKER (Homebody) (Someone who prefers to stay at home and is reluctant to go outside, also called “Drinni”)
  202. TAGTRAUM (Daydream)
  203. TAUSENDSCHÖN (Daisy) (A flowering plant)
  204. TAUTROPFEN (Dewdrop)
  205. TOLLPATSCH (Clumsy person) (Dunce, klutz)
  206. TORSCHLUSSPANIK (Last-minute panic) (The fear of not being able to achieve something anymore or too late, or of missing out)
  207. TRAUMPRINZ, TRAUMPRINZESSIN (Dream prince, Dream princess)
  208. TRÄUMEREI (Daydreaming)
  209. TRAUMTÄNZER (Dreamer) (Visionary, enthusiast or romantic)
  210. TROSTPFLASTER (Consolation) (Friendly, small compensation for a loss, suffered disadvantage or failure)
  211. TROTZKOPF (Stubborn person) (A defiant, opposing person)
  212. TUNICHTGUT (Good-for-nothing) (Layabout, ne’er-do-well)
  213. ÜBERBLEIBSEL (Remnant) (Leftover, residue)
  214. ÜBERMUT (High spirits) (Exuberance, insolent cheerfulness and lightheartedness)
  215. VERGISSMEINNICHT (Forget-me-not) (Flowering plant)
  216. VOGELGEZWITSCHER (Birdsong)
  217. VOLLMOND (Full moon)
  218. VOLLMONDZAUBER (Full moon magic)
  219. VORFREUDE (Anticipation)
  220. WALDEINSAMKEIT (Forest solitude) (A positive feeling of peace and silence experienced in the forest)
  221. WANDERLUST (Wanderlust) (Desire to hike. The word was also adopted into English.)
  222. WELTENBUMMLER (Globetrotter) (Frequent traveler)
  223. WELTSCHMERZ (World-weariness)
  224. WETTERLEUCHTEN (Heat lightning) (Reflection of a storm in the clouds on the horizon without hearing thunder)
  225. WOHLGEMUT (Cheerful) (Good-humored and optimistic)
  226. WOLKENKUCKUCKSHEIM (Cloud cuckoo land)
  227. WOLKENWEIß (Cloud white)
  228. WONNEPROPPEN (Chubby baby) (Well-nourished baby or toddler, meant positively)
  229. WONNEVOLL (Blissful) (Full of bliss, pleasurable)
  230. WUNDERKAMMER (Cabinet of curiosities) (Cabinet of rarities or curiosities)
  231. WUNDERTÜTE (Grab bag) (Surprise bag for children)
  232. WUNSCHTRAUM (Pipe dream) (Fantasy)
  233. ZÄRTLICHKEIT (Tenderness)
  234. ZEITGEIST (Spirit of the age) (A characteristic attitude or mindset of a specific time)
  235. ZEITVERGESSEN (Time-forgetful) (A focused state beyond clocks, appointments, necessities, and constraints)
  236. ZWEISAMKEIT (Togetherness)

Workshop Report

The featured image was generated by the AI Stable Diffusion via Nightcafé Studio; the depicted items do not exist in the real world. The Fonts used are Anton (Google) and Alegreya Sans (Adobe). Translation mostly by ChatGPT.