Having dipped into swearing and such last week, I figured I could continue the theme at least somewhat.
This week’s lesson was prompted by a German type of candy. To be specific, without actually telling you what brand exactly, it was a jelly bean type candy in the shape of little pig heads.
The bags they come in sport the slogan: Hier gibt’s leckere Ferkeleien!
Hier gibt’s leckere = There are tasty [something] here!
Word of importance: Ferkeleien
Ferkel is the German word for piglet.
And here the innuendo starts.
The noun Ferkelei is a word we can use for any things that are naughty or messy in a way. It means “Something a Ferkel does”. A Ferkel is what we call a naughty or messy person, occasionally even as an endearment.
If we’re talking about messes like spilled food or paint or muddy clothes, we’ll be applying the word Ferkel mostly to kids, but it also works on close friends.
The less close to someone you are, the more likely it is that it will be perceived as a belittlement as well. But usually you don’t want to call e.g. a business partner a Ferkel or Schwein, the latter being the German word for Swine or pig.
A step up would be using the word Sau. It translates to sow and that’s what it means. Female pig. The insult Sau can be applied to boys and men as well as to women and girls.
A pig sty in that (and any other) sense is a Schweinestall in Germany.
The other thing Ferkelei is commonly applied to: sexual innuendo. The innuendo part being optional. A naughty picture, thought, phrase or activity is a Ferkelei.
If I leave a room containing two friends and want to say something silly, I might say: Keine Ferkeleien! – No hanky-panky!
If someone turns something I said into a dirty joke, or sees phalluses1 in everything that is higher than wide or, well, if they spill coffee all over the table, I’d call them Ferkel.
And, to end todays German Ferkeleien, I leave you with a final piece of information:
ferkeln is also a verb. It translates to litter when talking about pigs giving birth. You could also apply it to the other meanings you learned about today.
Someone who ferkels might either be spilling tomato sauce down his white shirt. Or being in the process of getting their hands or other things into their partner’s pants.
- phallii? [↩]