Denglish 86: My German Wife Warns Me About the Mythological Beast in Our Bathtub

Has your spouse ever shrieked about a spider running across the living room floor? Has he or she called to you for help because a big, disgusting moth came in the window? What about larger problems, like birds or bats trapped in the house? And heaven forbid a true monster ever claws its way into your precious domicile; something which absolutely cannot be subdued with a wad of squeamishly-handled tissue paper or a phone book wielded with a grossly unnecessary amount of killing power.

No, a real beast would make anyone freak right the hell out, so imagine the terror I experienced when my German wife entered our bathroom and cried out to me:

THE WIFE: “There is a thousand-feet worm in the bathtub!”*

*It was a centipede, or “Tausendfüßler.”

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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28 thoughts

      1. yes reminds me of a Au-pair story in England about 20 years ago. My time in England started off working as an Au-pair there. And another Au-pair friend told me this hillarious story. The guest mother told her to clean the front door with Mr. Sheen. The poor girl must have waited for about an hour to see Mr. Sheen appear, to help her cleaning the front door but he never arrived. Finally asking the guest mother about it when Mr. Sheen would arrive she was then been told that Mr. Sheen is the cleaning solution haha….here in Germany we call it Mr. Propper…..:-)


  1. Reminds me if my parents calling those bugs “Thousand Leggers.” They being from Europe and reading your wife’s name for them makes me think its a European term of sorts. Thanks for the great story; you made me giggle and it brought back memories. 😄


  2. love it! what a monster! but well, a centipede has only 900 feet less.
    centi = 100 in latin, like centimeter ( 1/100 of a meter) or century (100 years)
    pedes = feet in latin


  3. I’m with your Teutonic half on this one. A millipede is tiny and just icky If help is near, call in the troops. If not, you bite the bullet, grab a tissue and squeeze.. A centipede, on the the other hand, is ferocious and warrants backup, preferably a flame-thrower toting backup.

    My Lowlander husband gets bug duty. I’m the frog and bird specialist:


  4. Okay now, THIS was hilarious. I still got one question: When you heard your wife scream: Did you know immediately what she was talking about – or did you have to take a look at the terrible monster to know what she meant? ;-)


  5. Haha, thousand feet worm! Excellent description.

    We had a house centipede in our kitchen once – probably because we live so close to the Pfalz. Those things are TERRIFYING!


      1. Why thank you for noticing, Artisticaudrey! I try to speak with everyone who takes time out of their day to read our posts. They’re really the best people. :)

        Have a fantastic Monday! (If there is such a thing.) :)


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