J is for Jumble (It was an honest mistake)

‘I’ was for I’m sorry, I was unconscious yesterday.

The steriods and constant flow of albuterol have done their magic and I’m feeling somewhat better.  I’m not up and walking around my house or anything crazy like that but I’m breathing a bit easier and breathing is awesome.

The other night at dinner, my 76 year old German mother-in-law said something in German but for a second, it didn’t sound like German, it sounded like she was saying in English, “I want some dick.”   Quite an announcement at the dinner table.  I almost choked to death in a laugh-cough frenzy.  She didn’t think it was funny.  She had just asked for a thin piece of pork.  That’s almost the same.

This reminded me of something that happened while I was working in Germany several years back.  I didn’t speak more than ten words of German.  As everyone knows, one of the first things you do when you make friends with people in a foreign land is teach each other curse words in your native tongue.  It’s the first rule of diplomacy.  Ask Hillary.  One night, after going through the list of regulars, I asked about an old favorite of mine, “How would I say ‘pencil dick’?”   I was told that the correct translation was “Pimmel Stift” and I locked that gem away.  The next day at work, in front of a room full of Germans, while holding up a pencil, I announced the following.

Me:  Last night, I learned a new word!  Pimmel.

Shocked German colleague:  What?  No.

Me:  Yes. Pimmel. (waving the pencil around like a maniac)  Pimmel!

Still shocked German:  What are you trying to say?

Me:  I’m telling you that this is a pimmel.   It’s not?  Pimmel.  Pim-mel.  I’m pretty sure I’m saying it right.

Everyone is just staring at me like I’ve lost my mind and finally it dawns on me…

Me:  Ooooh.  Stift.  This is a stift.  Yeah.  I see the problem.  Umm, sorry.  I actually learned two new words.

It was a logical choice.  Wouldn’t you have thought that ‘pimmel’ was pencil and ‘stift’ was dick?  No?  Just me?  Yeah, well I know that now.


American German – language lesson #40

Toilettenkopf (toilet-en-copf)  Toilet head – I screamed this Julie original at some guy skiing a bit too close to my kid.  He almost fell over.   Take that, Pimmel Stift!


  1. OMG! That was hilarious! And I’m glad you’re feeling better 🙂
    Julianne Snow (@CdnZmbiRytr) recently posted…J is for Juan of the DeadMy Profile

    • julieyoujest says:

      Thanks Julianne! I’m so ready to be done with this lung bronchial crap – UGH! But I’m doing better – yesterday, I couldn’t walk to the bathroom without getting dizzy. Progress. Yay!

  2. ahahahahaaha I can imagine the faces of your German colleagues! Pimmel stift – wow I learned a new insult in German. Is it sad that I am losing my German?
    Poke The Rock recently posted…It is K!My Profile

    • julieyoujest says:

      They all just froze and stared with their mouths wide open. Oops. Glad I could help with new insults. I’m constantly making up German words and shocking my mother-in-law.

      No Germans in Dublin to chat with?

  3. Glad you’re feeling better 🙂

    My dad was station in Germany and the first German words he learned were all swear words…which he was kind enough to share with me when I was a kid, much to my mother’s annoyance lol
    Maple Syrup Land recently posted…K is for killjoyMy Profile

    • julieyoujest says:

      I think swear words should always be the first words you learn in a new language. It would keep students engaged. How was I never an educator?


  1. […] (ma-ger-shvanz) skinny cock.  Not to be confused with Pimmelstift (pim-mel-stift) pencil dick.  Pimmel is NOT the German word for pencil.  I learned that the hard […]

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