Why Do Germans Have Worms in Their Ears?

by Expath Language School

Ever had a song stuck in your head? You‘re already halfway to understanding!


Ohrwurm = Ear worm.

You guessed it! This German word literally translates to“ear worm” and describes a tune or piece of music that is stuck in one’s head.

Oh nein, ich bekomme den Ohrwurm ‘That’s the way, aha aha, I like it’ nicht aus dem Kopf!!

Oh no, I can’t get ‘That’s the way, aha aha, I like it’ out of my head!

Growing Popularity

Gross as it may be (or perhaps because of it’s grossness), the concept of “ear worm” has become an English loan word in recent years. However, although it’s featured in the title of a 2010 episode of SpongeBob, with just under one million hits on Google it’s still about as common as the word “matricide” and, surprisingly, less popular than “fratricide”.

Perhaps it’s better this way.

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