As may be abundantly clear, most of the German I know has to do with food. I’m working on the gazillion names for fish; currently I’m in the cephalopods. Here’s where I got yesterday:
Tintenfisch is a small octopus. Octopi have ink. Ink tints things. Got it?
Sepia is a somewhat larger octopus. Octopi have ink. Ink tints things. Sometimes, the result is a sepia tone. Got it?
Kraken is a much larger octopus. These are the kind that seafarers* are afraid of. This is easy to remember if you think of Kracken as KRAKEN! Got it? No? Try saying KRAKEN! loud enough that someone can hear you in a crowded bar, and do some judo hand moves for emphasis. Still no? Try this:
Fill a rocks glass most of the way with ice
Add two parts ginger ale and one part Kracken rum
Squeeze a lime in, give it a stir.
Say KRAKEN! some more.
Repeat until you’ve got it.
*It just took me to waaaay too long to think of the way to degenderize ‘seamen’. Part of that time was spent playing with the word sealady, emphasis on the second syllable, as in, “Can I get that door for ye, sealady?” And then she just says “Aaaargh.”