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25 Hungarian Words that every foreigner should learn

25 Hungarian Words that every foreigner should learn

Learning a few Hungarian words can be a great way of making new friends and understanding the culture better. While the younger generations often speak English these days, it’s always appreciated when a foreigner tries to learn Hungarian phrases and words. 

Hungarian is a very complex and descriptive language and there are many words that can’t be translated into a single word in other languages. 

I will also teach you some basic Hungarian words for everyday use, but first, let’s learn some unique words that Hungarians use. 


If you date a Hungarian girl or guy, you’ll probably hope for Szerelem, which means romantic love. There are many words to describe love in the Hungarian language, for example, szeretet, which is used to describe the feeling of love towards something.

The word szerelem is only used for your partner to describe that wonderful romantic love. 


This is one of my favorite words in Hungarian, not only because I love Kolbász (Hungarian sausage), but more so because of the meaning of this word.

It just makes me laugh every time I hear it, and Kolbászolni is used to describe a person who is either standing at one place doing nothing, or someone who’s walking slowly with no specific destination.

The literal meaning of Kolbászolni is what I find most amusing as it basically means “to be sausaging around”.

gyulai kolbasz


Zsír literally means fat but is used as Hungarian slang for expressing that something is cool. 


Someone who’s a Tutyimutyi is a person who has a weak will and fears every action. It’s not something that is labeled in a positive way, and it describes someone who is always scared of making mistakes, and they are often unable to take action.


This is one of the most common Hungarian words that foreigners don’t understand, and you will see it everywhere. So what does Magyar mean? It’s simply the name for Hungarians in the Hungarian language. 

So, everything that is Hungarian will include the word Magyar, for example, The Hungarian language in Hungarian would be Magyar Nyelv and the local name for Hungary is Magyarország, which literally means land of Magyars.


Photo: Zoltan Tarlacz/Shutterstock


Another word that might come in handy if you’re dating a Hungarian, szép means pretty, and szépség can be used to describe someone as a good-looking person in an informal way. 

You will also see this word for beauty saloons as Szépségszalonok, which might be useful to know too. 


If you’re going to a party or dinner with some Hungarians, someone might make a toast or say cheers before you drink. In Hungarian, you would say Egészségedre! and raise your glass.

It means to your health, but can also be used when someone sneezes and you want to say bless you. 

Cheers in Hungarian

Photo: Barb Elkin/Shutterstock


Kérem means please, and it’s a polite thing to say, and can be compared to the German “bitte”. It’s used when you want something. For example, when you want the check at a restaurant, you can say A számlát, kérem, which means “the check, please”. 


When you walk around in Hungarian cities such as Budapest, Debrecen, Miskolc or other bigger cities where people interact often, you’ll likely hear someone saying Szia, puszi, either when greeting each other or when they hang up on the phone. 

Puszi means kiss and szia means hello, but can also be used when saying bye in an informal way to friends and family. It’s pronounced like “See-yaah pussy” which obviously can make English speakers burst into a laugh.

However, in Hungary, it’s common to say this when greeting or saying goodbye to friends in real life or on the phone. We actually have a similar expression in Sweden where we say Puss Puss when hanging up the phone, it basically means kiss kiss. 


If you know the world wanderlust, the Hungarian word Elvágyódás is kind of similar, and it describes that feeling that you want to get away from where you currently are at the moment. 

Hungarian word for wanderlust

Photo: PKpix/Shutterstock


If you easily get offended while traveling around Hungary, someone might say that you’re Nebáncsvirág, which basically is used to describe a person who is easily offended. 


Nos is a filler word in Hungarian, which means something like “well …”. 


This is another Hungarian word that describes a feeling which has no translation in English. Hiányérzet is the feeling that you have forgot something but you can’t really name what you’re missing.

For example, if you pack for a trip and you’re sure that you forgot something while you’re on your way to the airport, then Hiányérzet is appropriate to use to describe what you’re feeling.

something is missing

Photo: Ollyy/Shutterstock


If you’re spending time with Hungarians, you’ll hear them say Baszdmeg from time to time, and while the literal meaning is quite vulgar, it’s more commonly used to express anger and frustration. 

The literal translation of Baszdmeg is f**k you, but it can also mean “damn it”. Baszdmeg is the most common Hungarian curse word. 


The literal translation of Lófaszt is “Horse d*ck” but you can also use it for saying Bullshit! 


Seggfej is the Hungarian translation for A**hole.

Funny Words in Hungarian

There are many Hungarian words that can sound funny to a foreigner. One of the best examples of this is the word Puszi, which is English is either referring to the female vagina or to describe someone as a coward.

In Hungarian however, Puszi means to kiss, and can be used when you part ways with a friend or hang up the phone when talking to a friend. Legjobb is another word that might make you think about some kind of job with your legs, but it simply means that something is the best. 

  • Felpaprikázott = Peppered up
  • Fogpiszkáló = toothpick
  • Puszi! = kiss
  • Ürüfülkürt = Eustachian tube of a mutton
  • Legjobb = Best
Funny words in Hungarian

Photo: Undrey/Shutterstock

Beautiful Hungarian words

  • Szeretlek = I love You
  • Édesség = Sweetie
  • Kedvesem = My dear
  • Aranyom = Honey

Long Hungarian Words

Hungarian words are known for being some of the longest compared to other languages. This is partly because it’s not really a single word, but rather a description of who, what, when, etc put together into one word. 

In English, it’s common to separate words to describe what’s happening or what you’re referring to. But Hungarian words include this by adding parts in the beginning or by the end of the word, which results in more letters per single word. 

  • Megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért = For your continued behavior as if you could not be desecrated
  • Mézeskalácssütés = Baking of Gingerbread
  • Legeslegnagyszerűbb = Most wonderful

Basic words in Hungarian

Now that you have learned some more advanced Hungarian words, it’s time to get back to the basics. These basic words in Hungarian can be used almost every day by tourists and expats. 

Thank youKöszönöm!
You’re welcomeSzívesen!
I’m sorry/Excuse meBocsánat

Translate Hungarian words into English

Translating basic words in Hungarian is usually doable with Google Translate, which can be downloaded to your phone to use offline.

However, it’s not recommended to translate longer sentences because it’ll likely not turn out correct due to the difference in sentence making compared to English. 

How to learn Hungarian words

Duolingo can be downloaded for free if you want to learn some basic Hungarian for your trip.

Another suggestion is to join a Facebook group about Hungary or find a language group with volunteers that want to practice their English in exchange for teaching some Hungarian. 

Learn hungarian words

Photo: David MG/Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions about words in Hungarian

What is the longest word in Hungarian?

Megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért is considered to be the longest Hungarian word, and it has 44 letters. 

How do you greet someone in Hungary?

If you greet a stranger in Hungary, you would either wish them a good day by saying Jó napot kivánok, but you could also say Szervusz or use the more informal Szia. In Hungary, it’s also common to greet each other with a kiss on the cheek, on the left side. 

What is the Hungarian word for cheers?

When you make a toast or want to say cheers in Hungarian, you can say Egészségére! and raise your glass. 

What is the Hungarian word for happiness?

Boldogság is the Hungarian translation for happiness. 

Want to learn more Hungarian words? Leave a comment below!


Tuesday 17th of September 2019

Hi, You left the fakanál (wooden spoon ) out of your list! I think it should be there :) Regards Mike


Saturday 14th of September 2019

I am Hungarian, really liked your perspective on the language. Don't know if you know it, but nebancsvirag is the name of the touch-me-not plant (literally translates to 'don't-hurt-me-flower), but yes, we do use it metaphorically to describe people too. It is based on the nature of the plant as if you touch it, it explodes. :) Also Édesség is more sweets than sweetie. If you refer to a person it is édesem (my sweet ;))