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21:34 Feb 9, 2001
English to German translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: bull
The name for a bull in german
Denis Crovo

Summary of answers provided
nader BulleSilvaine Zimmermann
naHaussier or HaussespekulantUschi (Ursula) Walke
naBulle or StierDan McCrosky
naBulleUlrike Lieder
Alexander Schleber
Mats Wiman



4 mins

der Bulle, plur. die Bullen
der Stier, plur. die Stiere

    13 years in Germany
Mats Wiman
Local time: 07:07
Native speaker of: Native in SwedishSwedish
PRO pts in pair: 711
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2 hrs

A bull (the animal) is a Bulle (der Bulle) in German (plural: die Bullen)
a steer is a Stier (der Stier) in German (plural: die Stiere). Same distinctions (intact vs. neutered) as in English.

Bull in the US slang sense would be Unsinn (and much stronger German words...)

You might note, too, that the German word "Bulle" is a slang term for cop (pig in US slang).

Now that we have done the animal farm thing, I hope this helps...

Ulrike Lieder
Local time: 22:07
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in pair: 1505
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3 hrs

"Stier" is better, because "Bulle" is what policemen are called in slangy German. Both terms are correct though.

Alexander Schleber
Local time: 07:07
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1425
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6 hrs
Bulle or Stier

"bull" = "Bulle" (masculine, der Bulle, plural die Bullen) is right and the least confusing, but Stier (masculine = der Stier, plural die Stiere) is also right.

According to Duden/Oxford – Großwörterbuch and Langenscheidt's Großwörterbuch, "Stier" = "bull" not "steer". According to Duden's Deutsches Universalwörterbuch, a "Stier" is a "geschlechtsreifes männliches Rind", in other words, a young bull, in other words, not castrated.

The use of "steer" (mostly American English) = "bullock" (mostly British English) to mean a castrated male bovine animal is a case of something going wrong in the transition from German to English hundreds of years ago. It is just one example from thousands. The right German word for "steer" = "bullock" is "Ochse" (also masculine perversely enough, der Ochse, plural die Ochsen)

The English word "ox" is usually, but not always, used in the same sense as "Ochse" in German, that is, castrated. In English though, "ox" is usually used to mean a draft (AE) draught (BE) animal, maybe castrated, maybe not, whereas in German the term "Ochse" was used that way long ago but is usually reserved today for high-quality male beef cattle. The castration makes the meat tenderer; the eunuchs don't have so many other things to think about so they just stand around getting fatter and tenderer.

One more point for uel and words:

Where I grew up in Missouri, we also often called the police "bulls". It was considered less insulting than "pigs".

A very confusing subject, but the subject "horses" is worse where "stud" can mean "stallion" but comes from "Stute" which means "mare"????????

HTH - Dan

Dan McCrosky
Local time: 07:07
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 390
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14 hrs

Bulle if it is a male animal (elephant or cattle), or if it is "a lot of bull" then it is Quatsch.

Local time: 06:07
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2 days17 hrs
der Bulle

also der Stier, either is correct in agrarian sense; der Bulle is used in more colloquial environment

    Collins: English-German,
    Pons: Deutsch-Englisch
Silvaine Zimmermann
Local time: 22:07
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3 days59 mins
Haussier or Haussespekulant

incase this bull is involved with the Stock Market.

Uschi (Ursula) Walke
Local time: 15:07
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 175
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