The many ways of talking about eating in German

If there’s one thing Germans love more than food it is the act of eating it. Appropriately, there are many colorful words to describe this type of activity, depending both on the nature of the meal and the way in which it’s consumed. Here are some of our favorites:

(Note: Some translations are necessarily approximate)

“essen” – “to eat”
“aufessen” – “to eat everything/to finish one’s food”
“fressen” – “to eat like an animal”
“verschlingen” – “to devour”
“schlemmen” – “to gorge”
“mampfen” – “to munch”
“(sich) vollstopfen” – “to stuff (oneself)”
“runterschlingen” – “to gobble up”
“futtern” – “to nosh”
“naschen/knabbern” – “to nibble/to snack”
“runterschlucken” – “to swallow (up)”
“speisen” – “to dine”
“verdrücken/verputzen” – “to polish off”
“verzehren” – “to consume”
“schlemmen/spachteln” – “to feast”
“nagen” – “to gnaw”
“mästen” – “to fatten”
“runterwürgen” – “to choke down”
“reinbaggern” – “to dig in”

Guten Appetit!

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