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German Words to Avoid - S

Inappropriate, Offensive, or Vulgar Words

A Special Slang Dictionary

An annotated German-English Glossary
of “bad” Words and Expressions

ALSO SEE > Confusing Words | False Friends

ACHTUNG! WARNING! Some people may find the words and expressions in this German glossary objectionable. This is a special glossary of slang words and other expressions in German that need to be used with caution—or simply avoided.


der Sack (Säcke)  bag, sac, sack; scrotum, balls (testicles); bastard, bugger, sod
   ein fauler Sack  a lazy bum, lazy bastard/bugger (degree of harshness depends on circumstances/tone of voice)
   eine faule Socke  a lazy bum (less harsh than "fauler Sack")
   Es/Er geht mir auf den Sack. It's/He's a pain in the ass.

der Sadomaso  S&M, sadomasochism

der Samen  sperm, semen

der Samenerguss  cum, ejaculation, seminal discharge

die Samenflüssigkeit  cum, ejaculation, seminal discharge

die Sau  sow, bitch, bastard
   alte Landsau  stupid old bitch, dumb bastard (lit., old country sow)
   Also see "Schwein" below!

Sau- prefix  bloody, damn, lousy
   die Sauarbeit  damned/bloody/lousy work
   das Sauwetter  damned/bloody/lousy weather

saugen  to suck; to vacuum
   The German word is here only because English-speakers tend to think—erroneously—it can be used for "that sucks." To say something "sucks" (is bad), see "Scheiße" below.

die Scham  shame; private parts, genitals, vulva (fem.)
   das Schamhaar  pubic hair
   die Schamlippen  labia, lips of the vulva

scharf  hot, horny, sexually aroused
   Ich bin scharf auf ihn.  I have the hots for him.

die Scheide (-n)  vagina
   The Rammstein song lyric "bis der Tod der Scheide" is a play on this word and the phrase "bis der Tod euch scheidet" (till death you do part) in their song "Du hast." See full lyrics.

der Scheiß / die Scheiße  sh--, crap, damn, bloody (Br.)
   It is important to know that the German and English versions of the s-word are not always equal. The English subtitles of German movies often mistranslate the German expletive Scheiße! Its use in German is frequently closer to English "Damn!" or "Dammit!" To say "This town really sucks," you could say: Diese Stadt ist echt Scheiße. Although it sometimes isn't as strong a curse word as English "Sh--!" that doesn't mean you should casually use Scheiße! in German. An expression such as Dieses Scheißauto! could mean "This f-ing car!" or "This damned car!" - depending on how it is said and by whom. There is nothing more pathetic than an English-speaker using "bad" German words he/she really doesn't understand.

Scheiß- prefix  lousy, sh--ty, bloody (Br.), crappy, damned (thing)
   This prefix, like its cousin above, often should be translated as "damned" (thing), or something more mild than you might think. For instance, when a German says So ein Scheißwetter!, it only means that the weather is really bad: "Such awful weather!" By the same token, Diese Scheißpolitiker! means "These damned politicians!" (a universal complaint). Also see "Sau-".

scheißegal adj. of no damned importance
   Das ist mir (doch) scheißegal! I don't (really) give a damn/f---/sh-- (about that)!

scheißen  to sh--, crap
   Du scheißt mich an! You're sh---in' me!/You're a pain in the ass!
   Ich scheiß' d'rauf! I don't give a damn/f---/sh-- (about that)!

der Scheißkerl  bastard, son-of-a-bitch, motherf---er

das Schlitzauge (-n)  chink, gook, slant-eye

schwanger  pregnant

der Schwanz  cock, prick, dick; tail (end) (lit. "tail" of animal)
der Schwanzlutscher  c---sucker

der Schwarze (-n)  black person, negro
   eine Schwarze  a black person, a negress (f.)
   ein Schwarzer  a black person, a negro (m.)

das Schwein  pig, bastard, son of a bitch, swine
   This is one of the worst words in German! NEVER use it (or its compounds) unless you know what you're doing, and probably not even then! Ironically, Schwein haben means to be lucky: Wir haben Schwein gehabt. = We were lucky. (We came out smelling like a rose.)

Schweine-/Schweins-  (prefix) dirty, lousy (something/someone)

der Schweinehund/der Schweinekerl  bastard, swine

die Schweinerei (-en)  mess, scandal; dirty trick; indecent act, dirt, filth
   So eine Schweinerei! How disgusting!/What a dirty trick!

schwul (adj.)  gay, homosexual (see note below)
der Schwule (-n)  gay man, male homosexual
ein Schwuler  a gay man, a male homosexual
   NOTE: Do not confuse schwul (gay) with schwül (humid, muggy). The umlaut over the u is important. - Also see: Lesbe and kesser Vater.

NOTE: Words such as schwul or Schwule are not generally considered "objectionable"—especially in Germany—but are included here because there are times when talking about someone's sexual orientation might be considered inappropriate.

die Selbstbefriedigung  masturbation

der Sex  sex
sexaktiv  sexually active
der Sexist  sexist
der Sexismus  sexism
die Sexualität  sexuality
sexuell  sexual

die Soße  come/cum (normally, sauce, gravy)

das Sperma  sperm

das Spermizid  spermicide

der Ständer  hard-on
   einen Ständer bekommen / haben  to get / have a hard-on
NOTE: This word also has the non-slang meaning of 'stand' or 'rack' in an office or home setting. The German title for the "Austin Powers" spy spoof Goldmember (2002) was "Goldständer."

der Strich  prostitution; red-light district
   auf den Strich gehen  to be a prostitute, ply her / his wares

der Stricher  male prostitute, rent boy
   der Bubistrich  male prostitution; male red-light district

die Stricherin  female prostitute, hooker, tart

der Strichjunge  male prostitute, rent boy

das Strichmädchen  female prostitute, hooker, tart


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GLOSSARY: German Words to Avoid
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