German word of the day: Feuchtfröhlich

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Ana Dilley - [email protected]
German word of the day: Feuchtfröhlich
Photo credit: Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash + Nicolas Raymond / flickr

Use this word when you're enjoying a tipple or two with your Austrian friends.


This word is for those evenings when the wine is flowing and you feel warm and happy inside.

It's a compound German noun, made up of feucht ("wet/moist") and fröhlich ("happy/joyful") so literally translates to something like "wet happy".

But this compound adjective does not imply that you are chuffed because someone has doused you in water or because you are having fun in a swimming pool. Rather, it refers to the happiness people often get after having a drink or five.

There is no perfect equivalent for this word in the English language. A possible translation would perhaps be "drunken revelry," or maybe "merry," but neither of these perfectly encompasses the concept of having a happy evening of drinking the way feuchtfröhlich does.

Perhaps it says something about how the Austrians drink alcohol that they have a specific word to describe happiness when enjoying a tipple.


This should perhaps be a word which, like Zeitgeist or Wanderlust, should be used in the English language because of its wonderfully specific and accurate meaning. However, the pronunciation can be difficult to master for non-German speakers.



Ein feuchtfröhlicher Abend!

A drunken and happy evening!

Wir haben feuchtfröhlich gefeiert.

We celebrated merrily.

Wir waren in feuchtfröhlicher Stimmung.

We were in a high spirits (because we were enjoying drinking).


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