German Oktoberfest Words To Help You Enjoy the Fest

Want to fit in at Oktoberfest? Use these German Oktoberfest Words, and you will sound like a local! Sure, you may not be able to manage the Bavarian accent right away. (I think that requires you to drink two or three Maß first…) But you WILL be able to order food and drink, find the bathroom, and basically navigate the Wiesn, without sounding TOO much like a tourist.

I’ve broken the words up by topic or usage. And, like always, I’m sure words will get added… so maybe check back occasionally.

And because German and Bavarian are essentially 2 different languages. I’ve put the Bavarian words and phrases in RED. The German should get you through the day (and the country) but the Bavarian will make you feel at home.

Can’t make it to Oktoberfest in Munich? Here are some German Festivals you can visit in the US and Canada.

German Oktoberfest Words

Getting to the Fest

The Oktoberfest grounds are in the middle of Munich’s Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt district, and easily accessed by train or bicycle. Just follow the crowds….
Muenchen– Munich
Minga– Bavarian Slang for Munich
Theresienwiese– the big open area where the Oktoberfest is held (named for Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen… you are celebrating her wedding anniversary)
Wiesn– Bavarian shorthand for Theresianwiese

where to drink a beer in munich

Helpful words for the Bierzelt

das Bierzelt– the Beer Tent
das Weinzelt- the Wine Tent

die Reservierung– the Reservation  You can make one ahead if you are coming with a large group. Be aware that you will pay for your group in advance.

Ist hier Frei? or Ist dieser Platz Frei? – Is this place taken? Don’t just plunk yourself down without asking the other people at the table. And yes, you WILL be sharing a table, unless you made a Reservierung.
Hock di her da!- You can sit here
Hau di hera, dann samma mehra – sit here! then there will be more of us

Entschuldigung– Excuse Me  Use it frequently when walking through crowds.
Tschuidigung, kannts Ihr denn no a bisserl zsamma rucka, dann kannt i mi a no dazua sitzn- Excuse me, can you please move together so I can sit here too.
Wos sogsd?- What did you say?

Servus– Bavarian greeting
Grüß Gott or Griaßgod- Austrian and Bavarian Greeting
Und, ois klar?- Bavarian for “hello, how are you”

Bitte- Please / Help yourself / I’m sorry I didn’t hear you
Danke– Thank you

Ozapft is! – It is Tapped!  The words that open the Oktoberfest! No one drinks on day 1 until that is said

Prosit– Cheers!  Prepare to hear the tune “Ein Prosit” a few times… traditionally you drink at the end, so make sure there is something in your Maß.
Prost– cheers!  Look the people at your table in the EYE when you say this.
Zum Wohl– to your health

Oans, Zwoa, drei g’suffa! – One two three CHUG.

german oktoberfest words

What to Wear

Lederhosen– Leather shorts
Bundhose– the leather knee pants
Krachlederne- noun meaning full outfit of Lederhose, knee socks and checked shirt.
Dirndl– the Dirndl dress
Charivari -Lederhosen chain
Janka- jacket


Bier– the beer
Maß (mahss)– Liter of Beer
Bierkrug– Beer Stein
Fass–  the Keg
Radler- a mix of beer and lemon soda (a nice way to go if you are pacing yourself)
Wein– the wine
Schnapps– the schnaps
Schnäppschen -diminuative- a shot of alcohol (or Schnapps)
Spetzi- Cola with Lemon soda mix
Noagerl- The dregs at the bottom of the glass
Noagerlzuzla – the guy that drinks the dregs

german oktoberfest words

German Oktoberfest Words to help with Ordering

Here is the thing… your wait person has to work fast and hard. They will be carrying lots of heavy Mass of Beer all day long. And there is an interesting system in the tents. Servers pay the tent, you pay the server. Have your money ready to pay. And a good tip is also in order. (I don’t care if you think tipping isn’t necessary in Germany… tip your Server in the Beer Tent!).

Kellnerin– the Waitress
Kellner– the Waiter
Bitte– please
Bidschee- thank you or please
Dangschee– Thank you

Wieafui?– how much?
Wie viel?- how much?

Ich möchte gern bestellen– I would like to order
Wos mägst? -What would you like?
I hätt gern a Maß!- I would like a Maß    Remember, a Maß  is only held in ONE HAND
Hoibe – Half a Maß
Noch ein Bier Bitte- Another beer please
Ko I bischee no a Bia ham? -Can I have another beer please?
No Oane – another one

and everyone’s favorite phrase to hear-

Ich lade Euch ein! – I’m buying this round

A few words and tips about the Facilities

Figure out your bathroom route ahead of time. LIters of Beer take their toll on your bladder and your sense of direction.  You don’t want to be asking when you are already hopping from one foot to the other.
Besides, I GUARANTEE that there will be a long line. If you THINK you might have to go. GO!
And DO NOT just go pee behind a tent or against a building. It’s disgusting.

Wo ist die Toilette? – Where is the toilet?
Wo is’ns Haisl? – Bavarian for Where is the Toilet
Bieseln- going Pee
Pinkeln- going Pee
Bua- boy
Madl – girl

oktoberfest words

Oktoberfest Food

Don’t forget to eat!
Oktoberfest Beer is strong, and comes in large quantities. You don’t want to end up passed out on the Wiesn Kotzhügel (vomit hill), just another Bierleiche (Beer Corpse).

An Guadn– Enjoy your meal
Guten Appetite-Enjoy your meal

Brezel / Brez’n– the Pretzel
Mogst a Bren´zn? would you like a pretzel?
Wurst– the Sausage
Weisswurst– the white sausage, typically served in broth before noon. Peel the skin and eat with mustard.
Schweinehaxn– that big hunk of pork there…. (roasted pork knuckle)
Semmegneedl- Bread dumpling
Schweinsbratn- pork roast
Gnedl- dumplings or Klöse

So you order this-
I hätt’ gern an Schweinsbratn und zwoa Gnedl – I would like a Pork Roast and two Dumplings

Brathendl- the roast chicken
Lebakaas, Lewakaas = Leberkäse

Semmel – the bread roll
Lebkuchenherz– the Gingerbread heart (you will see these EVERYWHERE… they are a nice gift for a sweetheart)
Obatzda- Cheese spread… to go with your Brezel
Brotzeit Platte- A board full of cheese, cold cuts, etc to eat with your pretzel or bread
Radi- A spiral cut radish

and for the vegetarians
Habs a vegane Schmankerl? Do you have vegetarian food?

And after you finish your meal, if you still have room
I hätt no gern wos Siaß – I would like something sweet (for dessert)

german oktoberfest words


a quick note… you may stand and sway, sing along, and generally move a bit. You can even stand on the benches, lock arms with a neighbor and sway to the music. DO NOT STAND ON THE TABLE. Not of a minute, not for a second, not because the music moved you. You will be escorted from the tent…

Volksmusik– the Folk Music … but this isn’t Peter Paul and Mary,  this is old-school German music.
Schlager– Pop Music
Blaskapelle – Brass Band playing what some might call Oompah music or Polka style

Tanzen- dancing
Dea danzt wia da Lump am Schdägga- He is a good dancer!

german oktoberfest words

Wiesn Gaudi  The Fun ZONE!

Achterbahn- the roller coaster
Karussell- the Carousel
Riesenrad- the Ferris Wheel
Geisterbahn- the Ghost ride
Schaukel- the swing

also fun…

Mogst a Busserl? – would  you like a kiss?


When it’s time to Go

An schenan Doog no- (Bavarian) Have a good day!

Wiedaschaun – good-bye

Auf boid! – see you soon

pfiat eich – (Bavarian) good-bye to everyone!

german oktoberfest words


german oktoberfest words

2 thoughts on “German Oktoberfest Words To Help You Enjoy the Fest

  1. as a born Berliner at the end of wwII we did not celebrate the Oktober Fest as the Bayern Land, but looking at it now and the great Food I wished I was in one of those Beer tents. 60 years in the US, 20 in Berlin and the older I get the more I miss my old Heimat. Thank you for the article

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