A Scrabble game.

When you’re living in Germany, you’ve surely come across them: abbreviations in German. They can be complicated, and they can be tricky – and even one German abbreviation can make you wonder all day whether you’ve understood everything correctly. So if you want to become fluent in the German language and communicate freely with native German speakers, it’s important that you master at least the basic German abbreviations.

So here’s a little dictionary of the most common German acronyms and abbreviations that you might come across in your daily life. Some are rather self-explanatory, and some can be very confusing if you don’t know the meaning. Check them out and boost your German vocabulary.

Time-Related Abbreviations

A clock with flowers around it.
  • Sek. – Sekunde
  • Min. – Minute
  • Std. – Stunde
  • tägl. – täglich
  • mtl. monatlich
  • inzw. – inzwischen
    in between
  • abds. – abends
    in the evening
  • Jh. Jahrhundert
  • z.Zt. – zur Zeit
    now/these days/at … time
  • i.J.  im Jahre
    in the year


  • Fr.  Frau
    Mrs. – Note that any German woman age 18 or above is addressed as Frau, whether she is married or not.
  • Frl.  Fraulein
  • Hr. – Herr
  • Dr. med.  Doktor der Medizin
    M.D., medical doctor


A German flag.
  • BRD — Bundesrepublik Deutschland
    Former West Germany
  • DDR — Deutsche Demokratische Republik
    Former East Germany

Real Estate

  • Whg. – Wohnung
    apartment / flat
  • Bj – Baujahr
    year of construction
  • NB – Neubau
    new building
  • AB – Altbau
    old building
  • Zi – Zimmer
  • KDB – Küche Dusche Bad
    kitchen, shower, bathroom
  • P – Parkplatz
    parking spot
  • TG – Tiefgarage
    underground car park
  • ET/EG – Erdgeschoss
  • ETG – Etage
    floor / story
  • EBK – Einbauküche
    built-in kitchen
  • HK – Heizkosten
    heating costs
  • WM – Warmmiete
    warm rent (net cold rent + operating costs and heating costs)
  • KM – Kaltmiete
    net rent (rent exclusive of other costs e.g. heating)
  • NK – Nebenkosten
    utilities / service charges
  • KT – Kaution
    rental bond / (security) deposit
  • VB – Verhandlungsbasis
    price negotiable
  • FP – Festpreis
    fixed price
  • NR – Nichtraucher
  • Wfl – Wohnfläche
    living space


  • mm – Millimeter
  • cm – Zentimeter
  • – Meter
  • km – Kilometer
  • ccm – Kubikzentimeter
    cubic centimeter
  • kg – Kilogramm
  • kW – Kilowatt
  • Mio. – Million

German Acronyms And Abbreviations For Mobility

A road with mountains ahead.
  • PKW – Personenkraftwagen
    ‘personal’ car (a normal car)
  • LKW – Lastkraftwagen
    truck, lorry
  • S-Bahn – Stadtbahn
    suburban train / city train
  • U-Bahn – Untergrundbahn
    metro / subway / tube / underground railway
  • Bhf. – Bahnhof
  • Hbf. – Hauptbahnhof
    main station
  • TÜV – Technische Überwachungsverein
    German UL lab, MOT (Br.) – an organization responsible for product safety. All German motorists must submit their cars to a TÜV inspection,

German Acronyms In The Context Of Law

  • GG – Grundgesetz
    constitution / basic law
  • BG – Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch
    German Civil Code
  • BGH – Bundesgerichtshof
    Federal Court of Justice (of Germany)
  • KfzPflVV – Kraftfahrzeug-Pflichtversicherungsverordnung (Verordnung über den Versicherungsschutz in der Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung)
    insurance regulations for a car
  • v.R.w. – von Rechts wegen
    by law

Marital Status

  • geb. – geboren
    born, née
    You will find this after a woman’s married name and after her maiden name.
  • verh. / vh. – verhairatet
  • unverh. – unverheiratet
    unmarried, single
  • led. – ledig
    unmarried, single
  • Wwe/Wwer – Witwe/Witwer

More German Abbreviations You Might Come Across

  • Abb. – Abbildung
  • Abk. – Abkürzung
  • Aufl. – Auflage
  • beisp. – beispielweise
    for example
  • z. B. – zum Beispiel
  • bzw. – beziehungsweise
    respectively, or
  • ca. – circa
    approximately, about
  • d.h. – das heißt
    i.e, that is
  • dazw. – dazwischen
  • desgl. – desgleichen
    likewise, same
  • dt. – deutsch
  • ehem. – ehemals, ehemalig
    former, formerly
  • eigtl. – eigentlich
    really, actually
  • einschl. – einschließlich
    inclusive, including
  • entspr. – entsprechend
    accordingly, corresponding
  • etw. – etwas
  • evtl. – eventuell
    perhaps, maybe
  • ggf. – gegebenenfalls
    possibly, if applicable
  • ggü. – gegenüber
    opposite, across from, towards
  • inkl. – inklusive
    inclusive of, including
  • i.A. – im Auftrag
    by order of
  • MfG – it freundlichen Grüßen
    with best regards
  • n.Chr. – nach Christus
    AD, anno domini
  • o.ä. – oder ähnliche(s)
    and the like
  • Pkt. – Punkt
    point, dot
  • St. – Stück
  • s.a. – siehe auch
    see also
  • s.o. – siehe oben
    see above
  • i.H. – im Hause
    in-house, on the premises
  • usw. – und so weiter
    and so on
  • u.a. – und andere
    and others
  • u.a. – unter anderen
    among other things
  • u.ä. – und ähnlich
    and similarly
  • u.v.a.(m) – und vieles andere (mehr)
    and many others
  • vgl. – vergleiche
  • v.Chr. – vor Christus
    BC, before Christ
  • Wdh. – Wiederholung
  • z.B. – zum Beispiel
    for example
  • z.T. – zum Teil
    partly, in part
  • zzgl. – zuzüglich
    plus, in addition

Learning The Meanings of Abbreviations in the German Language

Some of the words that the abbreviations refer to might already be known to you, and others might be rather unfamiliar. Just like in English, German abbreviations are very commonly used in daily life, and you will come across them often – whether in a foreign office, in a cafe, or at your friend’s house.

Because of that, when learning German, it’s important to pay special attention to abbreviations and learn as many of them as possible. Every time you encounter a new German abbreviation, write it down – this will help you remember it better in the future.

The Best Way to Learn German Abbreviations

A Scrabble game.

In English, not have to learn the abbreviations, you don’t necessarily need to learn them specifically.

You can search through a number of letters in many languages or check out the paperwork in an office, and you will surely find those official abbreviations. Other words such as “sie,” “ich,” “Deutsche,” (which stands for “she/her,” “I/me,” and “German”) can be mastered by using them in your everyday life or practicing more.

If you haven’t tried out the Readle App yet, we recommend you do so. There, any learner will find interesting stories in German at their level, from A1 to C1. You can find the translation of each and every word by clicking on it, and listen to the corresponding audio. This language learning app makes the process of learning German much more enjoyable and fun – and motivates you to practice a little more every day.