Abbreviations are considered to be one of the most important keys to being fluent in any language. There are several German-language levels where these abbreviations are used. In this post, we will guide you about the most commonly used German abbreviations.

It is a common observation that German speakers and English speakers do not shorten the same words. Learning German slang is not difficult, you are just required to learn it by heart.

Why is it important to learn German abbreviations

These abbreviations are an important part of German written communication.  While reading or writing anything in German you are required to know the meaning of these abbreviations so that you can hold a conversation effectively.

There are several German-language abbreviations such as German SMS abbreviation, German month’s abbreviation, German instrument abbreviation, and German knitting abbreviation, etc.

All these abbreviations are used in daily conversations. They are an important part of everyday speech. No matter what kind of conversation you are having. Whether you are talking to your friend or writing a letter for a job interview, you will be requiring German abbreviations in your communication channels.

Most importantly, these abbreviations enrich your vocabulary. They just take you one more step closer to being fluent in the German language. So without any further delay let’s get started with the most common yet most important German-language abbreviations.

Some Top German Abbreviations

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Following is a list of some of the highly used German abbreviations. We have divided them in terms of their subjects. Learning them on the basis of their subjects will help you memorize them easily. When you try to recall what a particular abbreviation means, you can associate it with a similar word.

German cases abbreviations

  • Nom. — nominativ (nominative)
  • Akk. — akkusativ (accusative)
  • Dat. — dativ (dative)
  • Gen. — genitiv (genitive)

Der Akk., Dat., und Gen. sind nur drei von den vier deutschen Fällen. The accusative, dative, and genitive are only three of the four German cases.

German titles abbreviations

  • Fr. — Frau (Mrs.)
  • Frl. — Fraulein (Miss)
  • Hr. — Herr (Mister)
  • Guten Tag, Hr. Rosenhund! (Good day, Mr. Rosenhund!)
  • Fr. Helga, darf ich gehen? (Mrs. Helga, may I go?)
  • geb. — geboren (born/née; this abbreviation would go after a woman’s married name and before her maiden name)
  • verh. — verheiratet (married)
  • Wwe/Wwer — Witwe/Witwer (widow/widower)

For example,

  • “Liebe Wwer,” schreibt er. (“Dear widower,” he wrote.)
  • “Sie sind verh!” sagt er frohlich. (“They are married!” he says happily.)

German measurement abbreviations

  • cal. — Kalorie (calorie)
  • cbm — Kubikmeter (cubic meter)
  • ccm — Kubikzentimeter (cubic centimeter)
  • kg. — Kilogramm (kilogram)
  • km. — Kilometer (kilometer)
  • kW — Kilowatt (kilowatt)
  • m — Meter (meter)
  • mm — Millimeter (millimeter)

For example,

  • Die Strecke ist ein hundert km. (The distance is 100 kilometers.)

German time abbreviations

  • abds. — abends (in the evening)
  • d.M. — Dieses Monats (of this month)
  • inzw. — inzwischen (in the meantime)
  • Jh. — Jahrhundert (century)
  • sek. — Sekunde (second)
  • Std. — Stunde (hour)
  • tägl. — täglich (daily)

For example,

  • Mein Treffen heute dauert eine Std. (My meeting today is for one hour.)
  • Der Planer sagt, “Trainieren Sie tägl.” (The planner says, “Train daily.”)

German transportation abbreviations

  • Bhf. — Bahnhof (station)
  • LKW — Lastkraftwagen (SUV)
  • PKW — Personenkraftwagen (car)
  • S-Bahn — Schnellbahn/Stadtbahn (urban railway)

For example,

  • Sehen Sie ein Zeichen für die S-Bahn? (Do you see a sign for the urban railway?).
  • Fahren Sie einen LKW oder einen PKW? (Do you drive an SUV or a car?).

German accommodations abbreviations

  • App. — Apartment/Wohnung (apartment)
  • Bek/BK — Bad/Bäder (bathroom)
  • EFH — Einfamilienhaus (single-family home)
  • KDB — Küche Dusche Bad (kitchen, shower, bathroom)
  • NK — Nebenkosten (utilities)
  • SZ — Schlafzimmer (bedroom)

For example,

  • Die Raumaufteilung enthaltet nur eines SZ. (The floor plan includes only one bedroom.)
  • Wollen Sie eines EFH kaufen? Oder etwas gröβer? (Do you want to buy a single-family home? Or something bigger?).

German legal abbreviations

  • GG — Grundgesetz (basic law)
  • BG — Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (civil code)
  • BGH — Bundesgerichtshof (Federal High Court)
  • KfzPflVV — Kraftfahrzeug-Pflichtversicherungsverordnung (insurance regulations for a car)

For example,

  • Man muss das GG respektieren. (One must respect the basic law.)
  • Wissen Sie etwas über das BG? (Do you know anything about the civil code?).

Associations and Groups

  • DFB — Deutsche Fuβballbund (German Football Association)
  • GmbH — Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (limited liability company; LLC)
  • IRK — International Rotes Kreuz (International Red Cross)
  • Der IRK hilft die, die arm sind. (The International Red Cross helps those who are poor.)
  • Der DFB ist sehr stark im Deutschland. (The German Football Association is very strong in Germany.)


  • Abk. — Abkürzung (abbreviation)
  • beisp. — beispielsweise (for example)
  • desgl. — desgleichen (ditto/likewise)
  • d.h. — das heiβt (that is/i.e.)
  • do. — dito (ditto)
  • etw. — etwas (something)
  • m.a.W. — mit anderen Worten (in other words)
  • z.B. — zum Beispiel (for example)
  • b.w. — bitte wenden (please turn over)
  • bzw. — beziehungsweise (and/or/respectively)
  • dazw. — dazwischen (between)
  • f./ff. — folgende Seite(n) (following page(s))
  • i.D. — im Durchschnitt (on average)
  •  kompl. — komplett (complete)
  • m.E. — meines Erachtens (in my opinion)
  • MFG — mit freundlichen Grüβen (yours sincerely)
  • m.M./m.M.n. — meiner Meinung/meiner Meinung nach (in my opinion)
  • m.W. — meines Wissens (as far as I know)
  • Pkt. — Punkt (point)
  • St. — Stück (piece)
  • Tel. — Telefon (telephone)
  • u. — und (and)
  • übl./üblw. — üblich/üblicherweise (usual)
  • usw. — und so weiter (and so on)
  • — und zwar (namely)
  • w.o. — wie oben (as above)
  • z.T. — zum Teil (in part)

For example,

  • Ein St. kostest mir vier Euros. (One piece costs me four Euros.)
  • Lesen Sie die f. bitte. (Read the following pages, please.)
  • Sie wissen jetzt viele Abk., oder? (You know a lot of abbreviations now, right?)
  • Meine Schwester schickt mir eine SMS: “Bringt etw. bitte!” (My sister texted me: “Bring something, please!”)

Internet Slang and Text Abbreviations

  • Denglisch — combination of Deutsch (German) and Englisch (English)
  • FG — freches/fettes Grinsen (wide grin)
  • HDF — Halt die/deine Fresse (shut up)
  • RL — richtiges Leben (real life)
  • LG — Liebe Grüβe (loving regards)

For example,

  • Vokuhila — vorne kurz hinten lang (short in the front and long in the back; mullet)
  • “HDF!” schrie ich. (“Shut up!” I cried.)

German knitting abbreviations

  • Beret – Barett
  • Bind off (BO), cast off (CO) – Abketten
  • Block, blocking – Spannen
  • Button – Knopf (Knöpfe)
  • Buttonhole – Knopfloch
  • Cable – Zopf

Days of week abbreviation in German

  • Montag (mohn-tahk) – Monday
  • Dienstag (deens-tahk) – Tuesday
  • Mittwoch (mit-vock) – Wednesday
  • Donnerstag (don-ers-tahk) – Thursday
  • Freitag (fry-tahk) – Friday
  • Samstag (or less often, Sonnabend) (zahms-tahk) – Saturday
  • Sonntag (zon-tahk) – Sunday

Months in German abbreviation

  • Januar (yah-noo-ahr) – January
  • Februar (fay-broo-ahr) – February
  • März (mehrtz) – March
  • April (ah-pril) – April
  • Mai (my) – May
  • Juni (yoo-nee) – June
  • Juli (yoo-lee) – July
  • August (ow-goost) – August
  • September (zehp-tehm-ber) – September
  • Oktober (ok-toh-ber) – October
  • November (no-vehm-ber) – November
  • Dezember (de-tsem-ber) – December

German medical abbreviations

  • CVA (Cerebrovascular Accident) – Otolaryngology, Cardiology, Surgery
  • LKP (Leiter der Klinischen Prüfung) – Medical Research, Clinical Trials
  • PP (Private Practice) – Hospital, Dentistry, Health
  • BGA (Bundesgesundheitsamt) – Medical Research, Government

How to remember the German abbreviations?  

The only way to remember German abbreviations is to use them on daily basis. Memorizing these abbreviations take a lot of practice and consistency. Try to use these abbreviations in your writings. The interesting fact about the German language is that you can use these to teach your dog, German dog commands. Sounds strange, right? Let us explain this.

Most dog breeds have their origin in German culture. To train your dog you will be requiring these abbreviations at some point.

Learning German abbreviations will help you undertake all the professional as well as personal conversations better. You may be thinking it would be difficult to memorize all of them. That is the reason we have divided them based on their subjects. In this way, you can organize the abbreviations and learn them systematically.

If you learn the German language professionally, you can take the German language sessions from online German tutors. These tutors will help you write and read the German abbreviations easily. Such training can also be helpful for you to understand the German language slang.

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Learning these abbreviations requires you to be consistent with your approach. Write down and generate notes for yourself carrying all the important German-language abbreviations. Keep them in front of you and read them on daily basis. Try to use these abbreviations in your writing pieces often.