How to say "get lost" in German

“How do you say ‘get lost’ in German?” is a frequent question often asked by those who want to know some swearwords. But there is a little more to “get lost”. So, this blog post comes in three parts.

Part one covers phrases to use when you are lost.
Part two has lots of phrases and idioms which can be a mild or rude way to tell somebody to get lost, depending on the tone.
Part three contains a few vulgar swearwords. So, if you don’t like reading them – no matter in which language – please stop reading before you get to part three.

How to say ‘to get lost’

  • sich verlaufen – to get lost while walking
  • sich verfahren – to get lost while driving
  • sich verirren
    These are mainly used in the past tense, when we realise that we’re lost. ‘Ich habe mich verlaufen/ verfahren/ verirrt
  • in der Menge verloren gehen – get lost in the crowds
  • sich in etwas verlieren – to get lost in something
  • sich in Einzelheiten verlieren – to get lost in details
  • vom Hölzchen aufs Stöckchen kommen – to go off topic/ get lost in details

How to tell somebody – politely – to get lost

If you feel like telling somebody to get lost, but don’t wish to be impolite, you might use of of the following options (which imply more like ‘please go away’):

  • ‘Gehen Sie bitte’ or ‘Bitte gehen Sie (formal you)/ Geh bitte (informal you singular)/ Geht bitte (informal you plural) – Please go!
  • Gehen Sie weg! (formal you)/ Geh weg! (informal singular)/ Geht weg! (informal plural) – Go away!

The following idioms or colloquial sayings are still relatively harmless to use, especially when said with a smiling face. But please note that they all use the informal you (the 1st sentence is for singular you, the 2nd for plural) and should not be used when you’re using the formal you. Also bear in mind, that the effect of all these phrases depends on the tone. Said with a smiling  face it’s the ‘I enjoy your company but could do with you going now’ meaning. Said with an angry face, these phrases tell the other person that you are really fed up and want them to get lost without resorting to a vulgar phrase.

  • Zieh’ ab! Zieht ab!
  • Hau ab! Haut ab!
  • Fort mit dir! Fort mit euch!
  • Verzieh dich! Verzieht euch!
  • Zieh Leine! Zieht Leine!
  • Mach ‘ne Fliege! Macht ‘ne Fliege!
  • Geh mir aus der Sonne! Geht mir aus der Sonne!
  • Geh mir aus den Augen! Geht mir aus den Augen!
  • Mach dich vom Acker! Macht euch vom Acker!
  • Sieh zu, dass du Land gewinnst! Seht zu, dass ihr Land gewinnt!
  • Mach ‘nen Abgang! Macht ‘nen Abgang!
  • Schwirr ab! Schwirrt ab!
  • Verschwinde! Verschwindet!
  • Scher dich fort! Schert euch fort!

How to tell people to get lost, when you don’t care anymore whether you’re polite or not (please stop reading here if swearwords offend you) Again only for the infomal you (singular and plural)

  • Rutsch mir den Buckel runter! – Nuts to you!
  • Leck mich am Arsch!
  • Verpiss dich! Verpisst euch!

Unlike other posts I won’t challenge you to use one of these in the coming week. But you’ll never know when they might come in useful …

 

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