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German idioms in times of crises

Dagmar Breitenbach
January 11, 2023

From keeping your ears stiff to the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, Germans use vivid idioms of encouragement when the going gets tough.

Hare sitting on a field.
Image: M. van Duijn/blickwinkel/AGAMI/picture-alliance

The German language is rich in expressive, to-the-point idioms that involve numbers, tools, clothing, colors, food and much more.

Cheer up and good luck: In these difficult times, heavily overshadowed by war, economic uncertainty and climate issues that have adversely affected many, encouraging and sometimes optimistic phrases are called for.

While bleibt gesund, or "stay healthy," remains a common farewell these days, people are being encouraged to keep their chin up otherwise too. Click on the picture gallery above to find out what else Germans say when talking on the phone, speaking to friends or neighbors across the street, or in emails.

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This text is an updated version of an article originally published in March 2020.