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10 essential phrases to complain about the weather like a German

The German language is especially creative when it comes to complaining about the cold. We break down how native speakers moan about frosty temperatures - and how you can join along.

10 essential phrases to complain about the weather like a German
Matt Hancock would probably enjoy complaining about the weather like Germans do. Photo DPA

Germans love to complain about the weather

The German language has several compound nouns that describe bad weather by adding an adjective or noun to the word weather. Here’s how you can verbally prepare yourself, auf Deutsch, as the temperatures drop. 

READ ALSO: ‘The first snow is in sight’: Germany to see sub-zero temperatures


One of the most common ways to complain about the weather in German is by using the word “Scheißwetter” (shit weather), which means horrible weather. Even though the word is used colloquially, it is still listed in the German dictionary Duden, and defined as “very unpleasant weather”.

“Was für ein Scheißwetter heute.”

“What shitty weather today.”


A very colloquial way to refer to rainy weather is by using the compound word “Pisswetter”. The word is put together by “Piss”, literally meaning piss or figuratively rainy, and Wetter (weather). It is not actually considered a (dictionary) word but it is still frequently used.

“Bei dem Pisswetter brauchen wir definitiv einen Regenschirm.”

“In this rainy weather we definitely need an umbrella.”

Rainy weather and umbrellas in Hesse. Photo DPA


This word adds “Hunde” (dog) to weather and creates a word which often describes rainy or very lousy, beastly weather.

The prefix “Hunde” is often added to words to give a negative connotation and to convey a sense of misery, such as in the word “Hundeelend” which means to feel very lousy, miserable or wretched.

“Heute ist so richtiges Hundewetter bei dem man nicht vor die Tür gehen mag.”

“It is such lousy weather today, where no one wants to go out the door.


Here, “Drecks” (dirt) adds the sense of filthiness to the weather. This word describes the worst of weather, where no one wants to set a foot outside.

“Bei diesem Dreckswetter würde ich lieber nicht das Auto nehmen.”

“I would not take the car out in this filthy weather.”


When adding “Sau” (swine, pig) to a word as a prefix it often refers to something dirty or serves as a intensifiers such as the word very. Here, it is defined as especially terrible and cold weather.

“Muss ich bei dem Sauwetter wirklich zum Training gehen?.”

“Do I really have to go to the training today in this terrible weather?”

There are also several adjective, compound nouns, and verbs that are commonly used to describe bad weather.

Stormy weather in Hamburg, Photo DPA


In its literal meaning, “oll” means old or rundown, but when referring to the weather it means nasty.

“Es ist so oll draußen. Wollen wir heute lieber einen kurzen Spaziergang machen mit dem Hund?”

“It is so nasty outside. Do you want to go for a shorter walk with the dog today?”

READ ALSO: Readers’ tips: Your guide to getting through the German winter


This word defines as scabious or mangy. In this case though, it takes on the colloquial meaning and refers to mangy weather.

“Warum ist das wetter so räudig im Sommer?”

“Why is the weather so nasty in summer time?


This word offers a nicer way to say that the weather is not very pleasant. It means that it is uncomfortable and disquieting.

“Bei diesem ungemütlichen Wetter ist Tee das Beste.”

“In this uncomfortable weather tea is the best.”

Zum Kotzen

If you really want to complain about the nasty weather, then you can say: “Das Wetter ist zum Kotzen!”, which roughly translates to “the weather sucks!”


The colloquial adjective “arschkalt” (ass cold) means freezing cold. If you prefer a less vulgar way to refer to cold weather you would say “eiskalt” (ice cold).

“Es ist arschkalt draußen. Du musst dich wärmer anziehen!”

(It is freezing cold outside. You have to dress warmer!)

“Dieses eiskalte Wetter tut meinen Gelenken weh.”

“This ice cold weather is hurting my joints.”

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The best podcasts for learning and perfecting your German

Once you've learned the basics of German, listening to podcasts is one of the best ways of increasing vocabulary and speeding up comprehension. Here are some of the best podcasts out there for German learners.

The best podcasts for learning and perfecting your German


Coffee Break German

Coffee Break German aims to take you through the basics of German in a casual lesson-like format. It is extremely easy to listen to. Each 20-minute episode acts as a mini-lesson, where German native Thomas teaches Mark Pendleton, the founder and CEO of Coffee Break Languages, the basics.

All phrases are broken down into individual words. After new phrases are introduced the listeners are encouraged to repeat them back to practise pronunciation.

The advantage of listening to this podcast is that the learner, Mark, begins at the same level as you. He is also a former high school French and Spanish teacher. He often asks for clarification of certain phrases, and it can feel as if he is asking the very questions you want answered.

You can also stream the podcast directly from the provider’s website, where they sell a supplementary package from the Coffee Break German Academy, which offers additional audio content, video flashcards and comprehensive lesson notes

German Pod 101

German Pod 101 aims to teach you all about the German language, from the basics in conversations and comprehension to the intricacies of German culture. German Pod 101 offers various levels for your German learning and starts with Absolute Beginner.

The hosts are made up of one German native and one American expat living in Germany, in order to provide you with true authentic language, but also explanations about the comparisons and contrasts with English. This podcast will, hopefully, get you speaking German from day one.

Their website offers more information and the option to create an account to access more learning materials.

Learn German by Podcast

This is a great podcast if you don’t have any previous knowledge of German. The hosts guide you through a series of scenarios in each episode and introduce you to new vocabulary based on the role-plays. Within just a few episodes, you will learn how to talk about your family, order something in a restaurant and discuss evening plans. Each phrase is uttered clearly and repeated several times, along with translations.


Learn German by Podcast provides the podcasts for free but any accompanying lesson guides must be purchased from their website. These guides include episode transcripts and some grammar tips. 


Easy German

This podcast takes the form of a casual conversation between hosts Manuel and Cari, who chat in a fairly free-form manner about aspects of their daily lives. Sometimes they invite guests onto the podcast, and they often talk about issues particularly interesting to expats, such as: “How do Germans see themselves?”. Targeted at young adults, the podcasters bring out a new episode very three or four days.

News in Slow German

This is a fantastic podcast to improve your German listening skills. What’s more, it helps you stay informed about the news in several different levels of fluency.

The speakers are extremely clear and aim to make the podcast enjoyable to listen to. For the first part of each episode the hosts talk about a current big news story, then the second part usually features a socially relevant topic. 

A new episode comes out once a week and subscriptions are available which unlock new learning tools.

SBS German

This podcast is somewhat interesting as it is run by an Australian broadcaster for the German-speaking community down under. Perhaps because ethnic Germans in Australia have become somewhat rusty in their mother tongue, the language is relatively simple but still has a completely natural feel.

There is a lot of news here, with regular pieces on German current affairs but also quite a bit of content looking at what ties Germany and Australia together. This lies somewhere between intermediate and advanced.

A woman puts on headphones in Gadebusch, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Photo: dpa | Jens Büttner


Auf Deutsche gesagt

This is another great podcast for people who have a high level of German. The host, Robin Meinert, talks in a completely natural way but still manages to keep it clear and comprehensible.

This podcast also explores a whole range of topics that are interesting to internationals in Germany, such as a recent episode on whether the band Rammstein are xenophobic. In other words, the podcast doesn’t just help you learn the language, it also gives you really good insights into what Germans think about a wide range of topics.


Bayern 2 present their podcast Sozusagen! for all those who are interested in the German language. This isn’t specifically directed at language learners and is likely to be just as interesting to Germans and foreigners because it talks about changes in the language like the debate over gender-sensitive nouns. Each episode explores a different linguistic question, from a discussion on German dialects to an analysis of political linguistics in Germany.