German idioms are an important part of everyday German. They come up all the time in both written and spoken German. Because idioms don’t always make sense literally, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the meaning and usage of each idiom. That may seem like a lot of work, but learning idioms is fun, especially when you compare German idioms to the idioms in your own language.
Sich freuen wie ein Schneekönig
Literally: to be as merry as a snow king
English equivalent: to be head over heels happy about something
Zu viele Köche verderben den Brei
Literally: too many cooks spoil the broth
English equivalent: if too many people are involved in a task or activity, it will not be done well
Nicht alle Tassen im Schrank haben
Literally: not to have all cups in the cupboard
English equivalent: to be crazy
Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof
Literally: Life is not a pony farm.
English equivalent: Life isn’t fair.
Die Nase voll haben
Literally: to have a nose full of something
English equivalent: to be fed up with a particular situation
Hopfen und Malz ist verloren
Literally: hop and malt is lost
English equivalent: to give up hope
Es ist mir Wurst
Literally: It’s sausage to me.
English equivalent: It doesn’t matter to me.
Lügen haben kurze Beine
Literally: Lies have short legs.
English equivalent: Stretching the truth might work in the short term, but it won’t last.