Du hast einen Vogel

For my German readers it is obvious what is meant by the expression “Du hast einen Vogel!”, but to an English person this does not make sense when directly translated into “You have a bird!”. In England they really would think you were crazy if you said that.

Here are the names of the birds I referred to in my blog “All things Bright and Beautiful” – just to prove how difficult it is to remember the German names. Maybe you can do better than me.

  • die Meise – tits
    • die Blaumeise – blue tit; die Kohlmeise – great tit;
  • der Buchfink – chaffinch
  • das Rotkehlchen (trying saying that as a native English speaker!) – robin
  • der Gartenrotschwanz – redstart
  • die Bachstelze – pied wagtail
  • der Zilpzalp – chiffchaff
  • die Amsel – blackbird
  • der Eichelhäher – jay
  • der Specht – woodpecker (green, great spotted and lesser spotted)
  • die Taube – pigeon

Just to name a few!


I would really appreciate a tip on how to learn what gender the birds are. Why is it die Amsel, der Specht und das Rotkehlchen? You can’t imagine how difficult it is for us non Germans to decide if a noun is DER, DIE or DAS!!

It’s enough to “drive you round the bend”.

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