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German word of the day: Reisefieber

Although you might feel these too, Reisefieber is a distinct feeling from either Wanderlust or Fernweh.

German word of the day: Reisefieber
Photo credit: Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash + Nicolas Raymond / flickr

What does it mean?

Reisefieber, which sounds like this, is literally translated as “travel fever.” But that’s a bit misleading. At first glance, something like “travel fever” in English might seem akin to Wanderlust – which is a desire for travel, or even to Fernweh, a longing for distance places. But Reisefieber is actually associated with the anxiety of travelling.

READ ALSO: Six German expressions to entice your Wanderlust

How do you use it or where might you see it?

Reisefieber is a neutral noun, so you use the article das with it. It can describe any situation where you feel anxious about an upcoming trip. You might be nervous that you forgot your passport.

Maybe you’re constantly weighing and re-weighing your bags because you’re worried about having to pay the airline extra baggage fees. Perhaps you have a friend or relative who insists on arriving at the airport extra early. All these are good examples of Reisefieber.

While Wanderlust and Fernweh might come up at the same time as Reisefieber, they don’t necessarily need to. Reisefieber can show up either on a trip you’re looking forward to or one you’re dreading.

READ ALSO: German Word of the Day: Das Fernweh

Habe ich mein Reisepass vergessen? Nein? Was kann man gegen Reisefieber tun? – Did I forget my passport? No? What can I do against travel fever?

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German phrase of the day: Die Butter vom Brot nehmen

If you're looking for a German phrase that describes one of the most heinous and anti-social crimes imaginable, look no further than this one.

German phrase of the day: Die Butter vom Brot nehmen

Why do I need to know this phrase?

Die Butter vom Brot nehmen (pronounced like this) is another classic example of Germans using food to describe almost any situation in life – and in this case, you can use it to call out people who always seem to be trying to get the better of you. 

What does it mean?

While normally there’s a fairly accurate equivalent to German sayings in English, in this case it’s a little harder to find a direct translation.

As you may realise, die Butter vom Brot nehmen quite literally means: “taking the butter from the bread”. It’s used to describe situations where someone takes something important from someone else, behaves a bit cheekily or tries to get one over on another person in some way. For instance, if there’s one dog at the park that always steals your dog’s ball, that would be a key example of a canine butter-thief. 

You may wonder why this scenario is so emotive for the Germans. Aren’t there worse things to take from someone than a bit of butter? 

Well, one reason could be that butter is viewed as a key component of any Abendbrot ritual: it’s the salty, fatty bit of deliciousness that can perfectly complement your salami and Sauergurke (pickled gherkins) when you’re tucking into a few slices of rye as a light evening meal. And if you find you don’t have at least an inch of butter on both sides of your belegtes Brötchen (filled bread roll), as a German you may well ask for your money back.

READ ALSO: German phrase of the day: Erste Sahne

What else should I know?

If you’d like to start using this fun expression, it’s important to note that you’ll need to use the dative case with it, as in jemandem die Butter vom Brot nehmen. This often applies when something is being given or taken, and means you’ll use dative pronouns such as dir, mir, ihr and ihm to talk about the person losing out rather than their accusative forms of dich, mich, sie and ihn.

Use it like this: 

Willst du mir jetzt auch noch die Butter vom Brot nehmen?

Now you also want to get the better of me?

Er ist ein Typ, der sich die Butter vom Brot nicht nehmen lässt. 

He’s a guy that doesn’t take any nonsense from anybody.