A detailed guide to the vocabulary of Halloween in German

Halloween is a celebration that takes place every year on 31 October. It’s a time to dress up, collect sweets and have fun. But if you speak German, it’s also a great opportunity to expand your vocabulary.

In this article, you will find a comprehensive guide to Halloween vocabulary in German. We will talk about the most important terms and phrases you should know to participate in Halloween.

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What is Halloween about?

Halloween has its origins in a Celtic festival called Samhain, which marked the beginning of winter. On this day, the Celts believed that the boundaries between the world of the living and the world of the dead were blurred. So, in order to protect themselves from evil spirits, people dressed up as animals or ghosts and placed pumpkins with lanterns outside their doors.

Halloween vocabulary in German: Basic vocabulary

  • der Abend vor Allerheiligen: All Hallow Eve
  • Allerheiligen: All Saints Days
  • eine Fledermaus: a bat
  • eine schwarze Katze: a black cat
  • Blut: blood
  • blutig: bloody
  • das Schreckgespenst: the boogeyman
  • der Butzemann: bugadoo
  • Kerze: candle
  • Süßigkeit: candy
  • Kessel: cauldron
  • Friedhof: cemetery
  • Sarg: coffin
  • Gänsehaut bekommen: to get goose bumps
  • Leiche: corpse
  • unheimlich: creepy
  • Krähe: crow
  • Fluch: curse
  • tot: dead
  • Dämon: demon
  • Teufel: devil
  • düster: dismal, dark
  • verdammt: doomed
  • Graf Dracula: Dracula (fictional character)
  • schaurig: eerie
  • böse: evil
  • schickes Kleid: fancy dress
  • Angst: fear
  • Festival: festival
  • furchteinflößend: frightening
  • Grab: grave
  • Gespenst: ghost, wraith
  • Goblin: goblin
  • Sensenmann: grim reaper
  • grässlich: grisly
  • ernten: to harvest
  • heimgesucht: haunted
  • Geisterhaus: haunted house
  • Horror: horror
  • heulen: howl
  • Halloween-Kürbis: Jack O’Lantern
  • Laterne: lantern
  • Kobold: leprechaun
  • Magie: magic
  • magician: Magier: magician
  • Maske: mask
  • Monster: monster
  • Mond: moon
  • Mumie: mummy
  • Nacht: night
  • Albtraum: nightmare
  • Eule: owl
  • Feier: party
  • Fee: pixie, fairy
  • Trank: potion
  • Streich: prank
  • Beute: prey
  • Kürbis: pumpkin
  • Sense: scythe
  • gruselig: scary
  • Schatten: shadow
  • Zittern: shiver
  • Schrei: scream
  • Skelett: skeleton
  • Schädel: skull
  • Zauberspruch: spell
  • Spinne: spider
  • Geist: spirit, ghost
  • gespenstisch: spooky
  • Vogelscheuche: scarecrow
  • süß: sweet
  • verängstigen: to scare sb.
  • Kröte: toad
  • kandierter Apfel: toffee apple
  • Angst haben vor: to be afraid of
  • verkleidet sein als: to be disguised as
  • sich verkleiden als: to dess up as
  • (jemandem) einen Streich spielen: to play a trick (on someone)
  • etwas verzaubern: to put a spell on
  • Grabstein: tombstone
  • Süßes oder Saures: Trick or Treat
  • Vampir: vampire
  • Zauberstab: wand
  • Werwolf: werewolf
  • boshaft: wicked
  • Hexe: witch
  • Zauberer: wizard
  • Hexenwerk: witchcraft
  • Zombie: zombie

That was a brief overview of the basic vocabulary. Let’s move on to the idioms.

Halloween idioms in German

  • jemandem das Blut (in den Adern) gefrieren lassen: to make somebody’s blood run cold
  • (sich) sein eigenes Grab schaufeln: to dig one’s own grave
  • des Teufels Advokat spielen: to play the devil‘s advocate
  • jemanden in den Rücken stechen: to stab somebody in the back
  • Hexenjagd: witch-hunt
  • wie ein geölter Blitz: like a bat out of hell
  • nicht den Hauch einer Chance haben: to not have a snowball’s chance in hell
  • leichenblass sein: to be as white as a ghost
  • jemanden zu Tode erschrecken: to scare the hell out of somebody
  • Du siehst aus, als hättest du einen Geist gesehen: you look like you’ve seen a ghost
  • sich im Grab umdrehen: to turn in one’s grave
  • jemanden zur Weißglut bringen: to make somone’s blood boil
  • aus Angst, dass: for fear of
  • Keine Angst!: Fear not!

That’s it, now you know a little about the vocabulary and idioms associated with the famous Halloween celebration. All you have to do is memorise it before you leave for a place that will leave you trembling in frear. You can also read our article on the different destinations to celebrate Halloween anytime.

Halloween in the US, England and Germany

Halloween is a celebration that is enjoyed in many countries around the world, but it is celebrated differently in the US, England and Germany.

In the US, Halloween is a popular celebration. Children go from house to house collecting candy, while adults wear costumes and have parties. It is also common to carve pumpkins and decorate them with lanterns.

In England, Halloween is less common than in the US, but it is becoming more popular. Children go from house to house collecting sweets, and there are also some Halloween parties.

In Germany, Halloween is even less common than in England. However, there are some Halloween parties and events, especially in big cities.

Here are some differences between the three countries:

  • In the US, Halloween is a family celebration, with children and adults joining in. In England and Germany, it is more of a celebration for children.
  • In the US, it is common to dress up as monsters or ghosts for Halloween. In England and Germany, it is also common to dress up as other characters, such as superheroes or Disney characters.
  • In the US, it is common to carve pumpkins and decorate them with lanterns. In England and Germany, this is rather uncommon.
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