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Eight ways to talk about the heat like a true Austrian

The Local Austria
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Eight ways to talk about the heat like a true Austrian
Sergey Zotin of Russia jumps from a 27 metre high ramp into the Wolfgang Lake near St. Gilgen in Austria 17 July 2005 during the annual summer cliff diving event.Photo by MARKUS LEODOLTER / AFP)

With another heat wave just around the corner, here are some of the German phrases that will help you express yourself in the hot weather.


1. Mir ist heiß

Firstly, it’s worth pointing out how to correctly express the fact that you’re hot in German.

In German, you say mir ist heiß using the dative form of the personal pronoun ich.

Be careful not to directly translate the English sentence “I am hot” into ich bin heiß as most German speakers will understand this to mean that you are hot in a more sensual sense of the word.


Mir ist heiß, so furchtbar heiß.
I am hot, so terribly hot.

Mir ist es hier zu heiß.
It’s too hot for me here.


2. Was für eine Affenhitze!

The word Affenhitze is a colloquial term used for very high temperatures and literally means “monkey heat”. It’s widely believed that the term first appeared at the end of the 18th century in Berlin.

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At that time, the monkey house in the Berlin Zoological Garden was known for being extremely hot, so people started to speak about “heat like in the monkey house”. Over time, the phrase became shortened into the phrase widely used today.


Morgen herrscht wieder eine Affenhitze.
Tomorrow will be another scorcher.


3. Das Kaiserwetter

Literally meaning “emperor weather,” Das Kaiserwetter more colloquially refers to those days of glorious sunshine, blue skies, and comfortable temperatures.

In other words, it’s the weather perfect for an emperor.

It is believed that the term has its origins in Austria as Austrian Kaiser Franz Josef’s birthday, the August 18th, was often bright and cloudless.

4. Es ist brütend heiß!

The adjective brütend comes from the verb brüten, meaning to breed or to incubate. It is likely, therefore, that it made its way into common parlance about the weather, from the fact that raising younglings involves keeping them nice and warm.

Hier drin ist brütend heiß!
It’s sweltering hot in here!

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5. Es ist sauheiß!

Similar to the Affenhitze, this one means "it is sow hot" or "pig hot". Perfect for those unbearable heat days.

6. Ich schmore in diese Hitze

More commonly used in the cooking lexicon, the verb schmoren meaning ‘to stew’, or ‘to sizzle’ is often used to express the feeling of being exposed to high temperatures. A comparable English phrase would be, “I am sizzling in this heat”.


7. die Sonne knallt!

One popular expression to do with the heat focuses on the source of the problem itself. The verb knallen means “to bang” or “to slam”.


Die Sonne knallt auch wenn es bewölkt ist!
The sun is blazing even when it’s cloudy!

8. "Es is ur haaß"

If you want to keep it simple, but still extremely Austrian, you can't go wrong with just saying "it is super hot" using a very typical Austrian expression.

The High German would be "es ist sehr heiß", but in Austrian dialect it's common to shorten some words (turning ist to is) and use 'ur' in lieu of "sehr" (meaning very, much, super, or uber). The Haaß is a good way to imitate heiß in the local dialect.


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