There is a common word in German that I found amusing. After I got to know my German key contacts well enough, I finally asked them about it. There are road signs all over that say “Ausfahrt” – it doesn’t seem so bad until you try to pronounce it, then it becomes pretty damn funny.
I finally worked up the courage to ask about that sign at dinner one evening – the other Americans at the table knew which sign I was talking about immediately and started laughing before I could even finish my question. I finally was able to blurt out the name of the sign.
We Americans laughed so hard we started crying. The Germans of course didn’t understand what was so funny about the name of that sign and asked what “fart” meant, which only made me laugh harder. I mean really, a very serious German asking “What is this fart?” is just a little too much to handle with a straight face!
I explained that it was “passing gas”, but they didn’t understand that euphemism. So I finally resorted to making the sound that is understood in every language!
The Germans were familiar with our term “ass”, so once they understood “fart” then of course they understood what we found so funny and they too laughed very hard.
The word actually means a car exit ramp, but I will never be able to see it without getting at least a little smile on my face 😉