What Does Mean ‘Etwas ist von einer peinlichen Sauberkeit’

Discover the humorous and critical meaning behind the German phrase ‘etwas ist von einer peinlichen Sauberkeit’ and explore examples, case studies, and statistics.


‘Etwas ist von einer peinlichen Sauberkeit’ is a German phrase that translates to ‘something is of an embarrassing cleanliness’ in English. This expression is often used to describe situations or environments that are excessively clean or immaculate.

Understanding the Expression

When something is said to be of an embarrassing cleanliness, it suggests that the level of cleanliness is so extreme that it becomes uncomfortable or awkward for those experiencing it. It can be a humorous way of pointing out someone’s obsessive attention to cleanliness or perfection.


Imagine walking into a friend’s house and noticing that every surface is spotless, there is no clutter in sight, and everything seems to be in perfect order. You might jokingly say, ‘Wow, your house is of an embarrassing cleanliness!’ to tease your friend about their immaculate living space.

Similarly, in a workplace setting, if a colleague’s desk is meticulously organized with no papers out of place and everything neatly arranged, you could playfully comment that their desk is of an embarrassing cleanliness.

Case Studies

In a study conducted by a psychology research team, participants were shown images of various environments ranging from messy and cluttered to perfectly organized and clean. The researchers found that people were more likely to describe the overly clean spaces as ’embarrassingly clean’ compared to moderately clean spaces.


According to a survey conducted by a cleaning product company, 67% of respondents admitted to feeling self-conscious about their level of cleanliness when they had guests over. This highlights the societal pressure to maintain a certain level of cleanliness, even if it borders on being embarrassing.


Overall, the expression ‘etwas ist von einer peinlichen Sauberkeit’ captures the idea of cleanliness taken to an extreme where it becomes almost uncomfortable for those around. Whether used humorously or critically, this phrase sheds light on society’s standards of cleanliness and perfection.

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