Sich einen schlanken Fuss machen

“To make a slender foot,” cut a graceful figure & do something just for show, use an easy solution for a complex problem, praise when you should criticize.

(Zick eye nen shlonk en fooss mack en.)


“Cure shadow.” A close friend you make during your stay at the health resort. May lead to marriage.

(Koor SHOT ten.)


1) a cure, 2) a political election or 3) a stay at a health resort lasting from one to several weeks.



“Hunger hatchet.” A woman who has starved herself too much. Often looks like her bony shoulders are a hanger and her body is the clothes.

(HOONG er HOCK ah.)

FDH, Friss-die-Hälfte-Diät

The most successful German weight loss program, the “EH,” “Eat Half,” diet.


eiserne Disziplin

Iron discipline.

(EYE zer nah DEESS zee pleen.)


Time taken for cerebral or spiritual pursuits.

(GUY st ts eye t.)


Damage caused by celebrations and festivities.

(FREUD enn SHOD den.)

Blau machen

“Making blue,” i.e. drinking. Also playing hooky. In the Middle Ages, making blue dye required lots of urine, hence the term.

(Bl OW! mack en.)


If you yell this during today’s carnaval parade in Cologne, costumed people will throw gifts at you that include chocolates, long-stemmed roses, shrink-wrapped blood sausage, and soap samples.


Saufen wie die Stiere

Drinking like bulls.

(ZOW fen vee dee SHTEER ah.)

Saufen wie ein Loch

Drinking like a hole in the ground.

(ZOW fen vee eye n LOCK.)



(ZOW fen.)


The Thursday before Ash Wed. when women cut off men’s ties at work and on the street. People start drinking at noon. Normal life will resume in Lent.

(OLT vibe er FOST nockt.)


To pull with a smile. “She smiled herself up a husband.”

(ON loch en.)


The “heroes of the Greek islands” who have been taking care of the special needs of blonde female tourists since the 1960’s.

(Komma kee yah.)


Turning yourself into a dwarf.

(ZELBS t fair tsfair g oong.)

Kinder und Besoffene sagen die Wahrheit

“Children and drunk people speak the truth.”

(Kinder oont bahZOFF en ah zog en dee VAR height.)


“Ripe for storming.” To bombard a target until it is so “softened up” that you can attack with ground troops. 30 years ago, Bashar al-Assad’s father shot the Sunni town of Hama sturmreif, then marched in. 20,000 to 30,000 people were killed.

(SHTOORM rife.)


To make a cat’s arched back; to kowtow, to fawn. “First Lady of Syria Asma al-Assad’s personality appears to have changed after her marriage, perhaps due to all the Katzbuckeln around her.”

(COTS book eln.)


Sheepish. “Sitting sheepishly like Tom Brady after the Superbowl.”

(beh DRÖ pelt.)

Wenn es dem Esel zu wohl wird, geht er aufs Eis tanzen

“When life gets too good for the donkey, he goes dancing on the ice.”

(Venn ess dame AY zel tsoo vole veered, gate er owfs ICE tant sen.)

Die Kuh ist noch auf dem Eis

“The cow is still on the ice,” i.e., a cow accidentally wandered onto thin ice and is in danger of drowning.

(Dee COO isst nock owf dame ICE.)

klirrende Kälte

So cold, things jingle, clatter, clank. Onomatopoetically cold. Also a cocktail at Bolschoi, a bar in Marburg, Germany.

(CLEAR end ah KALE tah.)


“Financial polka”; a song by the band Icke & Er about living from paycheck to paycheck.

(Fee NONTS polllka.)


Coxcomb, dandy, fop, swell, popinjay, rake, philanderer, man-about-town.

(Sh tents.)


Entertaining, loud, cheeky man. Irresponsible, charming, interested in wine, women and song. Not serious. Adventurer. Rogue. Party boy.

(Hall OH dree.)


An older man, usually over 50, who is unmarried out of conviction.

(HOGGA shtolts.)


“Fried potatoes relationship”; two people living in sin more for the cookery than for the sex.

(BROT car toffle fur hailed niss.)

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