Where The Hell Is Ausfahrt Germany?

So there we were, a minivan full of soon to be lost American tourists driving from Ramstein to Amsterdam. Being the mature, worldly travelers that we are, we got cheap laughs from the “fahrts” and “aus” and “dorfs” in the Germany language, so of course I had to point out the exit sign for “Ausfahrt”.

“Lookie, a town called Ass Fart, hardy har har”. Bathroom humor is funnier after you have been on the road for a few hours.

A little while later, “Look, another exit for Ass Fart” yuk yuk."

A longer while later, “Damn, that Ass Fart sure must be a big town”. We were a little confused at how a town could be so big to have so many road exits bit not big enough to see.

Suddenly, the light bulb in my head went off. "Hey, maybe “Ausfahrt” means “Exit”.

Jeez, ya think?

I was telling my dad this story and he confessed to doing the exact same thing the first time in Germany. Obviously, we are not the only foreigners to do this because we later found a t-shirt with “Where The Hell Is Ausfahrt Germany” written across the front and surrounded by little pictures of the “Ausfahrt” road sign.

So my questions are, is this a well known misconception, after all, they did make a t-shirt.

Do foreigners coming to the U.S. mistake “Exit” for the name of a large town? If so, why no t-shirt?

… I thought the same thing, my first couple weeks in Germany…

How long have you been there? If you have a chance, try to get down to the Garmisch area…absolutely breathtaking scenery…

The actor Peter Ustinov tells the story of when he first brought his mother to Britain.As they travelled on the train she could not understand why every town seemed to be called “Bovril”.In fact Bovril is a meat concentrate drink. The advertising placards for this product at the railway stations just had the name of the product and no other writing on them at all.Naturally she thought that was the town name.

My mom did something similar when she went to Germany just after college. Before going out on the town, she and her friends made sure to check the name on the front of the hotel so they could find their way back. Later that night, after much dancing (but no drinking, according to her), mom and her friends piled into a taxi and told the driver “Hotel Eingang, bitte.”

Somehow, they eventually made it back.


On the Autobahn, I think Ausfahrt is just across the road from Eingang!

  • seriously, I believe “Exit” is more or less international. Emergency exits in planes etc.

I think that most people who travel to the US would have at least a basic grasp of English. I’d rather not think about someone unable to read at least some English on the US roads. (OK, “Don’t ride on shoulders” is good for a chuckle.)

“Ausfahrt”, OTOH, well - you either read German or you don’t. Like the French “Sortie”.

Speaking as a furriner who’s just entered the US for the first time, I’ve not yet been whooshed by something like the example in the OP, but give it time…

Oh, and “Einwegstrasse” is German for one-way street.

S. Norman

Stupid everyone gets to go to stupid Germany and I’m stuck in Stupid Chicago with a stupid job…stupid :: kicking dirt ::

Are you taking requests for souvenirs? I’d like something male, about six feet tall, muscular, green eyes, brown hair…wearing black…smoking…angular jaw, nice nose…good singing voice.

I know right where you can find him!


Oh, and “Einwegstrasse” is German for one-way street.

                  S. Norman

Nope. that would be “Einbahnstrasse.”

I live in Germany, and have for 13 years now. Trust me.

Do you you know how the whole joke about ausfahrt goes?

Like this:
Ausfahrt is the biggest town in Germany, and Umleitung is the hardest town to find.

For the lingually impaired, “umleitung” means “detour.” You just keep following the signs towards “Umleitung,” and suddenly there are no more signs, so how in the heck did you go through it without seeing it?

Supposedly, to keep people moving through the menagerie he operated outside his circus, P.T. “a sucker is born every minute” Barnum put up a sign with an arrow that said “This way to the Great Egress!” Well, egress just means exit, but lots of people kept moving in (eventually frustrated) expectation of seeing some fantastic beast.