@ivanafterall „Arschgeige“ would also be very suitable in this case.

It literally means Ass-Violin


I like your version more


It's both! One can indeed be a "Backpfeifengesicht" and an "Arschgeige".

CrankyCritter avatar

I don't understand this insult but I love it all the same. Thanks for this new weapon in my comeback arsenal.


German is so underappreciated when it comes to insults. But there are some really great ones


Backpfeife is more of a slap than a punch but I appreciate the sentiment 💕


good example.

teflocarbon, avatar

Those pesky Germans have a word for everything don’t they. We need to start waking up over here in the English language. They even have a word for when there’s no wind and no solar for when renewables are basically reliant on battery.. or fossil fuels.



jeebus avatar

Narcissistic prick.

ArugulaZ avatar

The Germans really do have a word for everything, don't they?


Yes, it's alles 😁


They don't.. it's just the way that german words are constructed. In English we'd call it a phrase, but in german they don't need the spaces, so everyone just calls it a 'word'. When these kinds of things used to be posted on TIL all the time before we banned them, at least half of them would get a flood of germans all chiming in to say 'While it is grammatically correct, no one ever uses that word'.


While this is true, Backpfeifengesicht is actually a commonly used term, if a bit on the archaic/regional side.


Its great that even as German native I still learn new terms here.


Yes once in awhile real ones were posted to TIL as well, but since the vast majority of them were nonsense, that's why they were banned. No one on the mod team was a native german speaker and it just wasn't worth the trouble of figuring out which, if any, were legitimate words. It ended up leading to the rule against translations/definitions/word origins.


Compound words are for the most parts just regular words. This is actually an example of a well known word which has a (slightly) different meaning than the individual words.

Same as many English compound words, e.g. grandparents, airport...

It is not just a quirk in the German language as you can see, although it probably originates from there. While it is possible to construct words, most used compound words are well agreed on (same as in English) and not as made up, as you make it seem.


These are not compound words. These are noun phrases. Noun phrases in german have no spaces like they do in english. These aren't remotely like grandparent or airport.


It is actually the same case as airport. "Backpfeifengesicht" consists of just two nouns like "airport" does. Not that the classification really matters here as far as I can tell.

You cannot say the words separately and assume it still makes sense in either case. It is losing its meaning, the words on its own have a different meaning than the compound word. That's what I am saying. Without this specific word you would have to say it in a similar fashion as in English.


Noun phrases are things like "of the red tree": Whole phrases that can be referred to by "this", "it", etc. Backpfeifengesicht ist very much a compound noun, "punchable face" is not, "schlagbares Gesicht" neither, both are noun phrases. "cuffearface" is a compound noun, no matter how many spaces and hyphens you add to it.


In English there is a clear difference between a compound word and a noun phrase. A compound word is a word that has two other words making up its parts which has a slightly, or completely different meaning from its parts. A noun phrase is a collection of words that make up an item, like 'I found the owner of the dog' 'the owner of the dog' is a noun phrase. In German it is, likely, expressed as a single unbroken string. It doesn't exactly mean that the Germans have a word for 'the owner of the dog' it's just the way they write noun phrases.

barsoap, (edited )

There's also a clear distinction in German.

A noun phrase is a collection of words that make up an item, like ‘I found the owner of the dog’ ‘the owner of the dog’ is a noun phrase. In German it is, likely, expressed as a single unbroken string.

You can say "Ich fand [den Besitzer des Hundes]" or Ich fand [den Hundebesitzer]". In both cases the bracket part is the noun phrase. "Besitzer" and "Hund" are nouns, "Hundebesitzer" is a compound noun.

It's the difference between "I found [the owner of the dog]" and "I found [the dog owner]": "dog owner" very much, very much is a compound noun, and again brackets are noun phrases.

This kind of thing is a universal feature of Germanic languages and English, believe it or not, despite getting hit over the head by the French and pilfering vocabulary from all over the world, is still a Germanic language.

German may tend towards compound nouns more than English, but, at least in colloquial speech, not by much I'd say. Where it really goes all-in is in bureaucratic and technical registers.

Oh, for the record: "noun phrase" is a compound noun. So is "compound noun".


Yes, "the owner of the dog" is one word in German (Hundebesitzer), but Backpfeifengesicht is very much a compound word, not a noun phrase.


"The owner of the dog" is properly translated as "der Besitzer des Hundes", not Hundebesitzer which means dog owner.

ivanafterall avatar

I admit I just wanted an excuse to point out how uniquely punchable Steve Huffman's face is.

anselmschueler avatar

It actually means “slap-to-the-cheek face”


You could also translate it to "bake-pipes face"

I'll see myself out ;)

Tsinc, avatar

tête à claques,

zakazana gęba


Word was invented for Max Verstappen

wheeljack, avatar

I thought that was Bad Luck Brian at first.

Sucks for Brian.


Animals As Leaders introduced this word to me.

also fuck spez

agentshags, avatar

Fuck u/spez

Fuck u/spez-ceo


Watschengesicht in the South.


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