The Bundesliga Dictionary
Not sure if you know your Aufstieg from your Abstieg or your Schwarz-Gelben from your Grün-Weißen?
Rest easy because bundesliga.com is here to help with this handy A-Z of German football terms.
50+1 rule - League Association rules stipulate that members of all German professional clubs must retain at least a 50 per cent plus one share, thus preventing any single entity taking control.
Abseits - offside
Abstaubertor - poacher's goal
Abstieg - relegation
Abstiegszone - relegation zone
Abwehr - defence
Abwehrreihe - back line
Achter - a player who plays the 'no.8' role in midfield, a box-to-box player, adept in both attack and defence
Die Adler - the Eagles: a reference to the majestic bird of prey that adorns the Eintracht Frankfurt shirts
Die Alte Dame - nickname for Hertha Berlin, literally 'the Old Lady'
Angriff - attack
Angstgegner - bogey team
Anpfiff/Anstoß - kick-off
Aufstieg - promotion
Ausputzer - sweeper
Außenstürmer - winger
Außenverteidiger - full-back
auswärts - away from home
Auto City club - nickname sometimes given to VfL Wolfsburg owing to the city's famous car manufacturer and main sponsor, Volkswagen.
Baden-Württemberg derby - A derby game contested by clubs from the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg, such as SC Freiburg, 1899 Hoffenheim or Karlsruher SC (Baden) and VfB Stuttgart or VfR Aalen (Württemberg)
Ballbesitz - possession
Bananenflanke - curler, in-/ outswinger (cross); banana ball
Bank - substitutes' bench
Beinschuss - nutmeg
Betzenberg/Betze - popular name for 1. FC Kaiserslautern's Fritz-Walter-Stadion, so called due to its location on the Betzenberg Hill
Bökelbergstadion - the former home of Borussia Mönchengladbach, until the Foals moved into the BORUSSIA-PARK at the beginning of the 2004/05 season
Die Breisgauer - belonging to the Breisgau region, encompassing part of the Black Forest... SC Freiburg
mit breiter Brust - literally 'with a big chest', meaning: with confidence
Bruchweg Boys - collective nickname given to then-Mainz players Lewis Holtby, Andre Schürrle and Adam Szalai, who celebrated as if they were a rock band when they scored during the 2010/11 season. Bruchweg was the name of Mainz's former stadium.
Bundestrainer - the title given to the coach of the Germany national team, currently Joachim Löw
BVB - abbreviation commonly used to refer to Borussia Dortmund. The initials stand for Ballspiel-Verein Borussia, or Borussia ball-sports club
Cannstatter Kurve - the home fans' main stand at VfB Stuttgart's Mercedes-Benz Arena
Der Club - a succinct alternative for 1. FC Nürnberg (1st Football Club Nuremberg)
Coachingzone - technical area
Dahoam - often used in the phrase 'Finale Dahoam', literally 'home final', which refers to FC Bayern München's ill-fated 2012 UEFA Champions League final on home turf against Chelsea FC
Dauerkarte - season ticket
Dinos - nickname for Hamburger SV - the 'dinosaurs' - referring to the club's status as the only side in Germany to have played exclusively in the Bundesliga since its inception in 1963
Doppelpack - brace
Doppelpass - one-two
Dribbeln - dribble
Dritte Liga - Germany's third division
Drücken Sie die Daumen! - keep your fingers crossed!
Ecke/Eckball - corner kick
Eckfahne - corner flag
Ehrentreffer - literally an 'honour goal', but what we'd know in English as a consolation goal
Eigentor - own goal
Einwurf - throw-in
Elfmeter - penalty
Elfmeterpunkt - penalty spot
Endspiel - final
Endstand - final score
Englische Woche - literally meaning 'English week', referring to a busy period of matches where teams have a midweek fixture, as is the norm in English football
Eröffnungsspiel - the inaugural match of the new Bundesliga season, contested between the reigning champions and one of the other 17 teams and, since the 2002/03 season, played on a Friday evening
Ersatzspieler - substitute
Erzrivale - arch rivals, for example Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München
Fahrstuhlmannschaft - literally an 'elevator side' due to a tendency to move up and down between leagues: a 'yo-yo team'
Fallrückzieher - bicycle kick, overhead kick
Flanke - cross
Die Flingeraner - a tribute to Fortuna Düsseldorf's humble beginnings in the working-class district of Flingern
Die Fohlen - the Foals: a name given to Borussia Mönchengladbach's enterprising young bucks of the 1970s, now the team's recognised nickname
Freistoß - free kick
Freundschaftsspiel - friendly game
Die Fuggerstädter - a quirky option for FC Augsburg: the small city in Bavarian Swabia is commonly referred to as the Fuggerstadt, the Fugger family being a prominent business and banking dynasty when Augsburg blossomed during the Renaissance
Fußballplatz - football pitch
Fußballverein - football club
Gastgeber - hosts
Gegenpressing - A high-pressing style of football to regain possession pioneered by Ralf Rangnick at FC Schalke 04 and Jürgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund in the early years of this decade.
Gegner - opponent
Die Gelbe Wand - Borussia Dortmund's iconic South Stand, literally 'the Yellow Wall'
Gesperrt - suspended
die Grün-Weißen - if it's green and white, it's probably the men from the river Weser: SV Werder Bremen
Gelsenkirchen - the industrial city in North Rhine-Westphalia from which FC Schalke 04 hail
Grätsche - sliding tackle
Hackentrick - back-heel
Halbes Hendl - half a roast chicken - typical Bavarian fare served up at the world-famous Oktoberfest beer festival
Halbfinale - semi-final
Halbzeit - half-time
Heim - home
Herbstmeister - the mid-season leaders, the team leading the Bundesliga table after 17 games when the winter break commences
Hinrunde - the first half of the Bundesliga season, Matchdays 1-17
Hinspiel - the first game of a two-legged tie. Usually used when speaking of knock-out competitions but can also describe league encounters
HSV - abbreviation commonly used to refer to Hamburger SV, standing for Hamburger Sport-Verein, or Hamburg Sports Club
Humba - post-match celebration involving both the players and fans. Traditionally, the key player in a victory will cajole the crowd with a megaphone, while the rest of the team join hands and wave in time with the supporters.
Innenverteidiger - centre-back
Joker - a substitute who comes on and scores
Kader - squad
Karnevalsverein - 1. FSV Mainz 05, a club whose city springs to life during the annual carnival (locally referred to as Fassnacht)
Karte - card or match ticket
Kiezkicker - a nickname for FC St. Pauli, derived from the St. Pauli neighbourhood of Hamburg in which the club is based
Kraichgauer - a nickname for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, derived from the Kraichgau region where the club is based
Der Klassiker - German football's 'classic' between FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund.
Die Kleeblätter - the Clover Leaves: the luckiest of charms and SpVgg Greuther Fürth's logo of choice
Knipser - goal-getter
Kohlenpott - literally 'coal pot' - the industrial Ruhr region, famous for mining, Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 being its most-known representatives
Die Königsblauen - FC Schalke 04, aptly named because of their royal blue shirts
Kopfball - header
Die Knappen - the Miners: a less-commonly used nickname for FC Schalke 04, a fans' club with its roots in the industrial Ruhr district
Die Knappenschmiede - the name given to FC Schalke 04's famed youth academy. The word Schmied means 'forge', with the name itself a pun on Schalke's mining traditions
Latte - crossbar
Länderspiel - international match
Leo - what players say to one another on the pitch if they want a team-mate to let the ball run
Die Lilien - 2015/16 Bundesliga new boys SV Darmstadt 98 are known as 'the Lilies'.
Linienrichter - linesman
Die Löwen - TSV 1860 Munich and Eintracht Braunschweig are nicknamed 'The Lions'.
lupenreiner Hattrick - three goals scored by one player in the same half; often abbreviated to 'Hattrick' and not to be confused with the standard English definition of the term
Lupfer - lob
Manndeckung - man-marking
Mannschaft - team
Mauer - wall
Meisterschale - the Bundesliga shield, lifted by the team which finishes top of the standings after 34 Matchdays
'Mia san mia' - FC Bayern München's club motto as said in local dialect, meaning 'we are who we are'
Mittelkreis - centre circle
Mittellinie - halfway line
Nachspielzeit - additional/stoppage/extra time
Die Nationalmannschaft - the German national football team
Die Nationalelf - the national team, literally 'the National Eleven'
Neuzugang - new signing
Niederlage - defeat
Die Nullfünfer - the 05ers or 1. FSV Mainz 05, founded in 1905
Nord-Süd Duell - literally translated as the north-south duel, this phrase is used as a label for the fixture Bayern München vs. Hamburger SV, traditionally one of German football's biggest matches.
Nordderby - the term used for the derby played between northern giants and rivals SV Werder Bremen and Hamburger SV.
Ordner - steward
Parade - save
Platzverweis - sending-off
Pokal - cup (DFB Pokal - German Cup)
Pott - pot; coll. both for cup and, in abbreviated form (=Ruhrpott) for the Ruhr district
Querpass - square ball
Raumdeckung - zonal marking
Raumdeuter - A term used by Thomas Müller to describe his unique style of play, which translates as 'space invader'.
Regionalliga - the fourth tier of German football, split into 'Bavaria', 'North', 'South West', 'West' and 'North East'
der Rekordmeister - record champions (FC Bayern München)
Remis - draw
Rote Laterne - cellar-dwellers, or those in the bottom-half of the table
Die Roten - generally decked out in a ruby hue... Die Roten or the Reds
Revierderby - the name typically given to the derby between regional neighbours FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund.
Die Rothosen - Hamburger SV, often referred to as the Red Shorts
Rückrunde - the second half of the Bundesliga season, Matchdays 18-34
Rückspiel - the second game of a two-legged tie. Usually used when speaking of knock-out competitons but can also describe league encounters
Rückstand - deficit
Sauerbraten - German pot roast - most often beef, but sometimes venison, lamb, mutton, pork or even horse
Schadenfreude - German word meaning pleasure derived from the misfortune of others
Die Schanzer - Nickname for FC Ingolstadt 04. The nickname itself is rooted in the city’s history. When Ingolstadt became a fort in 1806 it earned the moniker die Schanz, meaning “entrenched” and deriving from the German word verschanzen, "to fortify". This also explains why some people in Ingolstadt still refer to natives as Schanzer.
Schiedsrichter - referee
Schlenzer - rasping long-range shot
Schlusspfiff - final whistle
Die Schwaben - hailing from Swabia in the south west of Germany, VfB Stuttgart tend to be called the Swabians
Die Schwarz-Gelben - named after their striking black and yellow colours, it's Borussia Dortmund
Scorer - not to be confused with 'goalscorer', this term refers to the combined tally of goals and assists
Sechser - a player who plays the 'No6' position in midfield, a defensive role in front of the back four
Sieg - victory
Sonntagsschuss - a lovely strike
Spielfeld - pitch
Spielplan - fixture list/schedule
spitzeln - to toe-poke
Stadtrivale - literally translated as 'city rivals' but can also refer to two rival clubs in neighbouring cities, such as Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04
Stammplatz - regular place in the starting line-up
Standardsituation - dead-ball situation
Stehplätze - terraced
Strafraum - penalty area
Tabellenführer - league leaders
Teamgeist - team spirit
Tor - goal
Torhüter - goalkeeper
Torjäger - goal-getter
Torjägerkanone - the cannon-shaped prize awarded to the Bundesliga's top scorer at the end of a season
Torschützenkönig - Leading scorer at the end of a season
Torwart - goalkeeper
Traditionsverein - a club rich in history and tradition and a long-time participant and/or champion in the Bundesliga, such as 1. FC Nürnberg, Borussia Mönchengladbach, and Hamburger SV
Treffer - goal
Tribüne - stand
Trikot - shirt
Turnier - tournament
tunneln - to nutmeg
Übersteiger - stepover
Umkleidekabine - dressing rooms, changing rooms
Unentschieden - draw
ungedeckt - unmarked, free
Verlängerung - extra-time
Verteidiger - defender
Verwarnung - caution
Vizemeister - runners-up
Vorstopper - centre-back, centre-half
Weitschuss - long-distance shot
Die Werkself - Bayer 04 Leverkusen or the Factory Workers: the factory being Bayer AG, the pharmaceutical company where it all began for the north-west club
Wiesn - Bavarian for Oktoberfest. Wiesn is German dialect for 'meadow', namely the Theresienwiese or 'Therese's Meadow' upon which the world's largest beer festival is held.
Winterpause - the Bundesliga's mid-season winter break, normally lasting from late December to early February.
Die Wölfe - untangle VfL Wolfsburg, and you get the Wolves
Wunderkind - wonderkid
Zehner - a player who plays in the 'No10' position, an attacking midfielder deployed behind the striker(s)
Zuschauer - spectators
zu Hause - at home
Zweikampf - tackle/man-on-man tussle
Zweite Liga - informal for Bundesliga 2, Germany's second division