phonetically related milder versions of stronger swear words
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I just remembered another: "Armleuchter" (candelabrum) for "Arschloch" (asshole).
From your post and muckefuck's comment, it seems that English has a lot more of these than German does. I suspect that when we decide to swear, we just do it. Additionally our range of swearwords is relatively small, and anything to do with "ficken" ("fuck") is a lot cruder than the English version, so people like myself who freely use "Scheiße" would not really use it at all.