I read this article about 5 times and looked up every word I don't understand and I still am completely clueless as to what exactly is the article talking about(the topic). It really irritates me and I tried so many times to understand what is written there, but it just doesn't make sense! This is the article: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/08/german-tabloid-bild-identifies-sunlounger-hoggers-british

Wake-up call for Brits as Germans refuse to take towel jibes lying down.

What does this mean?! What are Germans refusing to do? I looked at every definition of the word "jibe" and this still doesn't make sense.

German daily tabloid Bild says it has sunlounger hoggers in Europe's holiday resorts bang to rights: the English

What does "sunlounger hogger" mean? The only related definition of the word "hog" that I found is "to appropriate selfishly", but I just don't get it. What does a "sunlounger hogger" do?

What is this article exactly about? What problem related to towels is it discussing?

3 Answers 3


Apparently there is a long-standing rivalry between British vacationers and German vacationers where each says that the other one is guilty of taking up all of the chairs for sitting in the sun. Photographic evidence shows that British people may be guilty of this far more often than Germans.

Refusing to take something lying down = not allowing someone to say something about you that isn't true. This is also a sunbathing joke.

Sunlounger = chairs by a pool or beach where you can sunbathe.

Hogger = a person who selfishly uses more than their share of something.

To have someone bang to rights = to catch someone doing something in a way that they can't deny; another idiom for this would be to 'catch them red-handed.'

The towels are how people reserve a sunlounger - you drape your towel over the chair to claim it. It is considered very rude to remove these towels from the chairs, but leaving your towel on a chair all day is also very petty, as it prevents other people from enjoying the sun.

This seems to me to be a very silly article about another silly tabloid article, full of sunbathing puns and idioms.


There is a long-standing British joke that holidaying Germans get up early to place towels on the poolside sunloungers, thereby 'reserving' them while not actually using them. This is what is referred to as 'hogging.'

'Jibes' is a mainly Br English word, often used in the media, to describe a nasty comment.

The article reflects the continuing tension between two friendly nations!


What a horrible article.

The German tabloid Blid says it caught the Brits hogging (using something in an unfair or selfish way) sunloungers (furniture for sunbathing). Bang to rights means being caught red-handed.

Wake-up call for Brits as Germans refuse to take towel jibes lying down = The Germans are not going to lie down on their sunloungers to be mocked (jibes) for being sunlounger hoggers from the Brits, because they suspect "the villains could in fact be Brits."

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