“Liquid through-flow quantities,” in other words “flow.”

(FLOOSS ig kite s DOO rsh flooss meng en.)


To gape, to be ajar, to yawn. What a loose sphincter does, or a budget shortfall.

(CLOFF en.)

voll investiert

To be “fully invested,” which is why you don’t have cash available at the the moment.

(FOAL invest EAR t.)


“Money blessing.” A financial godsend.

(GELD zay gun.)


“Money rain.” Pennies from heaven. A bonanza, windfall.

(GELD ray gun.)

nach der Wahl ist vor der Wahl

“After the election is before the election.” Pun on a famous soccer quote from Sepp Herberger, the German Yogi Berra.

(NOCK der vall isst fore der vall.)


“Close to the folks.” Down-to-earth, has the common touch, popular, man of the people.

(FOKES nah.)

in der Menge baden

“To bathe in the quantity.” To surge into the crowd shaking hands, if you’re a politician, or surf the fans, if you’re a rock star.

(In der MENG ah BOD en.)

populistisches Getöse

Populist bluster, noisiness, roar, hullabaloo.

(POP oo LIST ish ess geh TUHZ ah.)


“Narrow-foreheaded.” Petty, picayune, mean-minded. Possibly also stubborn.

(ENG shtir nick.)


“Small-spirited.” Narrow-minded, tending not to get beyond the details. Possibly also ungenerous.

(CLYNE guy stick.)


“Word picker,” “word sorter.” A quibbler.

(VORT kl ow! ber.)


“Caraway seed splitter,” cymini sectores. Someone who lacks the big picture.

(COO mell shpol ter.)


“Pen foxer,” a quilldriver, a cunning pencil pusher.

(FAY der FOOKS er.)


“Hair splitter.” Pettifogger, caviller.

(HAR shpol ter.)


Having the soul of a person (a Krämer) who ran a traditional Kram store, a junk shop. Someone who constantly measures everything to find any tiny advantage for themselves.

(CRAYMER zay la.)

drangsalieren, schurigeln, kujonieren

To bother, bedevil, bully, harrass, molest, torment, make life difficult.

(DRONG zol ear en, shoo REE gell n, coo yo NEAR en.)


“Lips avowal,” “lips confession.” Lip service. Only talking the walk.

(LIP pen bah KEN t niss.)


“Holding-off tactic,” to stall or delay someone, string them along. What the Assads are doing in the Syrian peace talks.

(HINN holt ah TOCK TICK.)

antifaschistische Schutzmauer

The “antifaschist protection wall.” What the East German government called the Berlin Wall.

(Auntie fash ISS tish ah SHOOTS mao er.)

die Zone

“The Zone.” What West Germans used to call East Germany.

(Dee TSOH na.)

stalinistischer Zuckerbäckerstil

“Stalinist ‘sugar baker’ style.” Stalinist wedding cake architecture. Monumental buildings with strange ornamentation.

(Shtol een ISS tish er TSOOK er beck er shteel.)


To amuse, disport, regale, gloat, delectate.

(Er GUH t zen.)


Mealtime!” A greeting among factory workers.

(MOLL ts eye t.)


“Party evening!” A greeting among factory workers at the end of the shift. Let the celebrations begin.

(FIE er AH bend.)


Jaunty, breezy, perky, snappy, zippy, debonaire.



A woman or girl who is fun-loving, lively, a live wire, extroverted, full of energy.

(QVEER ligg ah.)


Curlicues and flourishes.

(SHNER kell n.)


To lounge, loll, sprawl, roll around ostentatiously. What models do.

(RAKE ell n.)


“To get all pretzeled up” means to put on your fine clothes, pile up your hair, dial it up to 11 for going out.

(OW f bray t sell n.)

Blog at WordPress.com.