Do you have a favourite german idiom? (+ literal english translation maybe )
One? Just one? No, my friend. I cannot do that.
I can, however, do more than twenty, and I can do them in alphabetical order based on the most important keywords involved in them. Not all of them are idioms, some are just things people like to say in certain situations, but all of them are amazing or interesting in their own way. (t. = literal translation, m. = meaning)
abwarten und Tee trinken - t. to wait and drink tea, m. just wait and see
Wo man singt, da lass dich nieder; böse Menschen haben keine Lieder. - t. Where there’s singing, settle down; bad people don’t have songs. m. this is not exactly a typical saying, but an old piece of wisdom my grandmother always quotes.
Ich bin fuchsteufelswild! - t. I am foxdevilwild!, m. I am so goddamn angry right now
Himmel und Hölle in Bewegung setzen - t. to move heaven and hell, m. German equivalent for “to move heaven and earth”, but more badass
das ist ein Katzensprung - t. that is a cat’s jump, m. something is just a tiny distance away, only as far as a cat can jump!
auf den Keks gehen - t. to walk on someone’s cookie, m. to annoy someone, but much sweeter (get it? Okay, sorry.)
da kannst du Gift drauf nehmen - t. you can take poison on that, m. you can bet your life on that, it will definitely happen (how morbid, I love it)
die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt - t. (the) hope dies last
das Leben ist kein Ponyhof - t. life is no pony farm, m. life is tough and no fun, suck it up (a very German saying, also good for anyone that’s not into horses)
es ist noch kein Meister vom Himmel gefallen - t. a master has never fallen from the sky, m. to master something you need to practice
hinterm Mond leben - t. to live behind the moon, m. to be away from reality, lost in dreams, or not up to date with trends
hier spielt die Musik - t. the music plays here, m. usually said to get someone’s attention when they are distracted, often sarcastic or annoyed (or is that just me…)
in einer Nacht-und-Nebel-Aktion - t. in a night-and-fog-action, m. doing something secretly, away from the public, hidden (oooh spooky!)
jetzt haben wir den Salat - t. now we have the salad, m. look at this disaster that we now have
sich freuen wie ein Schneekönig/Honigkuchenpferd - t. to be happy like a snow king/honey cake horse, m. to be very very happy (isn’t this cute?)
nicht alle Tassen im Schrank haben - t. to not have all cups in the cupboard, m. that someone is crazy (obviously, with that many cups missing…)
das kommt mir spanisch vor - t. that seems Spanish to me, m. that something is suspicious or strange, because apparently emperor Karl V. once imported court etiquette from Spain that nobody understood and got confused by, amazing?
Was für ein Teufelskerl! - t. What a devil’s guy! m. a bit old-fashioned, but still cool; describes a really awesome, brave, or otherwise attention-pulling man
viel hilft viel - t. a lot helps a lot
den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht sehen - t. to not see the forest because of all the trees, m. being unable to see the big picture because of distracting details
mit allen Wassern gewaschen sein - t. to be washed with/in all waters, m. someone who knows every trick in the book, is mischievous
Zieh dich warm an! - t. Dress warmly!, m. this is a threat. no, seriously, means that someone should prepare because you’re gonna do something very unpleasant to them soon
es gibt kein schlechtes Wetter, nur falsche Kleidung - t. there is no bad weather, just wrong clothes, m. Germans are used to rain and it’s no reason to not do what you are supposed to be doing
Kommt Zeit, kommt Rat. - t. Comes time, comes advice. m. over time, a solution or advice will be found/appear
Those are all for now. Thank you for the ask, and let me know if you’d like more.