German word of the day: Die Spaßbremse

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Kathrin Thams - [email protected]
German word of the day: Die Spaßbremse
Photo credit: Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash + Nicolas Raymond / flickr

German is know for its literal meaning in compound words. This word of the day perfectly demonstrates that.


What does it mean?

“Spaßbremse” is a compound word made up of “Spaß” and “Bremse”.

“Der Spaß” is a noun and translates to fun, enjoyment or a joke.

A typical conversation could look like: "Hattest du Spaß beim Geburtstag?" "Ja,  der hat voll Spaß gemacht!”

("Did you have fun at the birthday?" "Yes, it was a lot of fun!")

  You could also ask a friend, unsure if they were just kidding about something or not, "War das ein   Spaß?" or "Was that a joke?"

The second part of the word is “die Bremse”, which can mean a horsefly or, in this case, a brake.

“Ich habe die Fahrradbremse heute kaputt gemacht.” (I broke the bicycle brake today.)

Put together the word translates to party pooper, spoilsport or bore.


How is it used? 

“Spaßbremse” is used humorously and in an inoffensive manner. It implies that someone should participate in the activity that they wish to avoid, and not prevent something which the other person deems to be fun from happening.


“Wieso bist du heute eigentlich so eine Spaßbremse?”

"Why are you being such a spoilsport today?"

“Sei keine Spaßbremse. Komm doch heute Abend mit uns mit.”

"Don’t be a party pooper. Come with us tonight."


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