Do you know what a “Laibchen” is?

How would you translate “bread rolls” into German? I thought everybody called them “Brötchen”, but I’ve just read on the Deutsche Welle website that other names are used, too – including “Schrippe”, “Wecken” und “Semmel”.

Read the text to find out what people call that crusty dry end of a loaf of bread. And find out the names of seven more German foods.

Are you a fidget?

According to the Deutsche Welle, “Die Geschichte vom Zappelphilipp” (The Story of Fidgety Philip) was written in 1845 by the German psychiatrist and writer, Heinrich Hoffmann. It’s about a boy who just couldn’t sit still. I think that every German child knows the story.

If someone calls a child a “Zappelphilipp”, whether a girl or a boy, s/he means that it’s a fidgety child.

In English, you’d say to a child, “You’re a fidget. Can you please sit still?”

A little bit of “Kummerspeck”?

“Kummerspeck” is one of those German words that is quite difficult or even impossible to translate. According to the Deutsche Welle, it refers to the extra weight you might put on after a bout of emotional eating.

So one might say something like, “My sister has been worrying a great deal about her new job. This has caused her to eat more than she normally does, which has lead her to put on a lot of weight.”

Now that’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it?

Playing and eating domino “stones”

Playing and eating domino “stones”

One of my favourite games as a child was playing dominos. It’s a game with small rectangular tiles, each with a line dividing its face into two square ends. Each end is marked with a number of spots or is blank. We played it a lot at Christmas.

Here in Germany, we have “Dominosteine” (domino bricks or stones) which are filled with gingerbread and coated in chocolate and often eaten at Christmas. I don’t like them much, but I know a lot of people do.