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German Thanksgiving Glossary

Annotated English-German Glossary

Thanksgiving in Germany > Glossary > Vocabulary Quiz

Thanksgiving Vocabulary

Wortschatz rund um Erntedankfest!

Also see our German-English
Menu and Dining Guide

  Noun genders are indicated by: r (der, masc.), e (die, fem.), s (das, neu.)
  Abbreviations: adj. (adjective), Br. (British), n. (noun), pl. (plural), v. (verb)


America  (das) Amerika
   Central America  Mittelamerika
   North America  Nordamerika
   South America  Südamerika

The Pilgrims came to a place called “America” because of German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller (1470-1520), who named the continent after explorer Amerigo Vespucci when he created the first world map to bear the name America (1507).


bishop  r Bischof (Bischöfe)

blessing  r Segen
   to count your blessings  dankbar sein für das, was einem beschert ist; sich glücklich schätzen

bread  s Brot


carve (the turkey)  (den Truthahn) schneiden, vorschneiden

church  e Kirche (-n)
   in church  in der Kirche
   to church  in die Kirche, zur Kirche

corn, maize, Indian corn  r Mais

Do not confuse the German word das Korn with the similar English word. Das Korn refers to grain in general.

cornucopia, horn of plenty   s Füllhorn, (fig.) e Fülle (plenty, abundance)

cranberry  e Cranberry (-s), e Preiselbeere (-n)
   cranberries (pl.)  Cranberrys

cranberry sauce  s Cranberrymus

NOTE: Cranberries are somewhat smaller than Preiselbeeren. German uses the English word for cranberries, but forms the plural with -ys rather than -ies.

Also see:
Thanksgiving Word Search (online)
English-German Christmas Glossary
More English-German glossaries


dine, eat (v.)  essen

dinner  s Abendbrot, s Abendessen

dressing (salad)  s Dressing, e Salatsoße
dressing (stuffing)  e Füllung


eat, dine (v.)  essen


fall, autumn  r Herbst
   in the fall  im Herbst

family  e Familie

food   s Essen

fork  e Gabel


goose  e Gans
   geese  e Gänse

Goose is a traditional holiday dish in Europe. The goose is also a symbol of St. Martin because of the legend associated with him. Martin is said to have hidden in a stall to avoid the ceremony appointing him Bishop of Tours. Gabbling geese gave him away.

gourd die Kürbisflasche (-n)

grateful, thankful (adj.)  dankbar

gravy  e Soße, e Sauce (more formal)

Eine Soße can also be a salad dressing. The basic meaning is "sauce" and to make it clear, one may say Bratensoße or Fleischsoße for gravy; Salatsoße or das Dressing for salad dressing.

gravy bowl/boat  e Soßenschüssel

Also see our German-English
Menu and Dining Guide


harvest (n.)   e Ernte
harvest (v.)   ernten

horn of plenty, cornucopia   s Füllhorn


Indian, native American  r Indianer

Unlike English, German makes a distinction between an American Indian (Indianer) and someone from India (Inder). The German term for "native Americans" is amerikanische Ureinwohner (pl.).


lunch  s Mittagessen


Related Exercises, Games

Thanksgiving Customs Quiz
A Thanksgiving customs quiz in German.

Thanksgiving Vocabulary Quiz
A Thanksgiving word quiz in German.

Thanksgiving Word Search 1
A printable Thanksgiving word search in German.

Thanksgiving Word Search 2
Play this Thanksgiving word search for German online.

Thanksgiving Hangman Game
An online hangman game for Erntedankfest.

Related Pages

Thanksgiving in Germany
Our lesson about Erntedankfest traditions and vocabulary.

Menu and Dining Guide
An annotated German-English guide to dining and food vocabulary.

More Thanksgiving Exercises
Links for Thanksgiving exercises and quizzes in German.

German for Beginners
Our free online course is available all the time, any time.

A German Christmas
Our feature on Weihnachten vocabulary and traditions.

Christmas - The German Way
The Christmas page at The German Way site offers information, pictures, and links concerning Weihnachten.

All of the English-German glossaries on this site, from your Guide.

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