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10 traditional types of German jokes

March 7, 2018

When you get a country's humor, you're a step further in understanding its culture. Some of these 10 different types of German jokes may get lost in cultural translation — but Germans actually do have a sense of humor.

Image: picture-alliance/dpa/

According to the cliché, Germans have no sense of humor. The belief has often been spread by English-speaking observers, but perhaps the jokes were simply lost somewhere in cultural translation. Once you have to explain a gag, it obviously loses its comedic power. 

The German word for joke is "Witz." The term was derived from Old High German, "wizzi," which means "to know." The term "Witz" is also close to the English word as "wit" —  one's ability to quickly perceive and express clever and amusing ideas.

Something that's funny is "witzig," but we can't guarantee these 10 classic types of German jokes are witty enough for you. Click through the gallery above to find out.

Keep in mind that these were the most translatable ones. Your next step will be to understand "Witze" directly in German...

If you want to understand more about German culture through humor, check out the series of cartoons "That's so German."

DW Euromaxx Comics von Fernandez "That´s so german" Ehrlicher Humor

You'll also find more from Meet the Germans on YouTube or at dw.com/MeettheGermans



Portrait of a young woman with red hair and glasses
Elizabeth Grenier Editor and reporter for DW Culture