German interjections

When talking German there some little words and phrases that it’s useful to know to make your German sound fluent and native-like. These include words you can use in place of words you can’t remember, like thing and whatchumacalit in English, and also when you can’t think of what to say next or want to express your feelings without going into detail. These expressions are best used with people you know well and shouldn’t be used with strangers or in formal contexts.

Words to use express annoyance or frustration include Verdammt nochmal! (Damn!),  Mann! (Man!), Mist! (Dung!) or Schriebenkleister! (Window paste!) – a mild expletive like Sugar!

If you want to attract a friend’s attention when they’re deliberately ignoring you, you could say Hallo! Jemand zu Hause? (Hello! Anyone home?) while knocking on their head.

Aha! indicates that you’ve just understood something, Hä? that you don’t understand, Oh! or Iihh! that you’re surprised by something, and Nein! indicates disbelieve. If you can’t think of what to say, Hmm! shows that you’re thinking, and Also can also be used in the same way.

The equivalent of Phew!, as in “Phew, that was close!” (when you’ve just had a narrow escape from an uncomfortable or dangerous situation) is Puhh!, and if you see someone heading into such a situation and want to warn them, you could say He! (Watch out!) or Holla! (Be careful!)

To show your appreciation of something, especially food, you could say Lecker! (Delicious!), but if it doesn’t agree with you, the thing to say is Igitt! (Yuck!).

If someone is being slow and you want to hurry them up, you can say Dalli, dalli!