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Posts from the ‘Language’ Category

Word of the Week – Arschknapp – Butt Close

The word of the week comes from a statement made by an Austrian news reporter describing the head-to-head election results for Austria’s new president. Tarek Leitner of the Austrian public TV station, ORF, offered his professional, analytical take on the situation as “Arschknapp.”

And with the results standing at 50/50 on the evening after the election and a nation holding its breath and this time around – the whole world watching — while the over 800,000 absentee ballots that will decide the outcome are counted, Leitner’s political analysis seems Arschgenau.

Arsch: butt or arse
knapp: close or tight/narrow

News report and video with “Arschknapp” statement: Tarek Leitner sorgt mit „Arschknapp“-Sager für Lacher

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DISTANCE HURT – Austrian word of the Week

Print This PostFernweh: Oh yeah. Americans feel it too. But maybe the-powers-that-be thought it wise not to allow it into the English language, for fear that the English-speaking wage slaves amongst us with little to no paid vacation time could be chronically ill with Fernweh. Wittgenstein knew exactly what he was talking about when he said the boundaries of our language are the boundaries of our world. No name? No reality. Better to let those European German-speakers name and suffer from their Fernweh ailment as they plan their month-long annual jaunts to distance lands, exotic beaches and tropical paradises. Because who the heck isn’t suffering a bit of distance hurt whenever Poldi from three cubicles down, keeps sending the company Whatsapp group amazingly gorgeous photos of hippos or

Hippo

Don’t be fooled. Whatapp Hippo Photo sent to induce Fernweh and envy.

rhinos and clear blue African skies while the rest of us peons are battling the last of our winter colds, suffering through Lugner Presidential raps and elbowing Omis in Billa for the last pack of the spring’s first ripened strawberries. Yes, unbelievable but true, even if you are fortunate enough to reside in the world’s most livable city, you can suffer from bouts of Fernweh. So if

Vacation Sign

Vienna store sign bragging about being on vacation instead of simply posting “closed.”

you’re like me, it’s not that you weren’t desperate to get out of Dodge while living your hamster-wheel 9-5 existence in small town USA, you just didn’t realize there was a proper name for it and that folks just like you all over the globe were suffering from the exact same thing – Fernweh! Yes, Fernweh! Print This Post

More Words of the Week

Beuschlreißer: Lung Ripper

Panama Beach

Beach in Panama – guaranteed to grant Fernweh sufferers relief while experienced – unless they’re too busy trying to hide something else.

Blechtrottel: Tin Idiot

C-80

Eierbär: Eggsbear

Eifersucht, Frühlingsmüdigkeit, Hungerlohn, Torschlusspanik, Schadenfreude, Weltschmerz, Katzenjammer, Freitod, Holzpyjama, Lebensmüde, Fernweh

Fetzenschädel: Rags Skull

Geistesvernichtungsanstalt: Spirit Annihilation Asylum

Gespritzer

Häuslpapierfladerer: House Paper Thief

Hatscher

Krautwacher: Cabbage Guard

Putzgretl: Cleaning Gretl

Saubär: Pig Bear

Treppenwitz: Stair Joke

 

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Austrian word of the Week – Pig Bear

Print This PostSaubär: “Sau” is pig, and “Bär” is a cognate and means bear. So what’s an “Pigbear” — besides a no doubt very sweet creature, one that isn’t too tidy – like the little guy featured here. Print This Post

Wappler swearing in Austria

Der Kleine Wappler – How to swear and bad mouth in Austria

Delve more into the Austrian creative side with their rant words: “Der Kleine Wappler” by Astrid Wintersberger, Residenz Verlag — book is completely in Austrian language.

Website of Austrian Dialect: Ostarrichi.org

More Words of the Week

Beuschlreißer: Lung Ripper

Blechtrottel: Tin Idiot

C-80

Eierbär: Eggsbear

Eifersucht, Frühlingsmüdigkeit, Hungerlohn, Torschlusspanik, Schadenfreude, Weltschmerz, Katzenjammer, Freitod, Holzpyjama, Lebensmüde, Fernweh

Fetzenschädel: Rags Skull

Geistesvernichtungsanstalt: Spirit Annihilation Asylum

Gespritzer

Häuslpapierfladerer: House Paper Thief

Hatscher

Krautwacher: Cabbage Guard

Putzgretl: Cleaning Gretl

Saubär: Pig Bear

Treppenwitz: Stair Joke

 

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HOW TO FAN A FLIRT AND PIN DOWN A STINGING MESSAGE – ACCESSORIES WITH MEANING

“Women are armed with fans as men with swords, and sometimes do more execution with them.” – Joseph Addison was a publisher and ran an academy in the 1700s that taught ladies the language of fans

For hundreds of years, women have used accessories as tools for secret communication.

Brooching Diplomacy

Evidenced by recent events, Madeline Albright has never been one to keep her opinions to herself. In former times, however, she expressed her ideas with a bit more subtlety and charm. As US Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeline Albright was in charge of monitoring the sanctions against the Iraqis at the end of the first Gulf War. Saddam Hussein did not take kindly to her tough stance. A meeting between her and her Iraqi counterparts was followed up with the publication of poem in the government-controlled Iraqi press entitled “To Madeleine Albright, Without Greetings.” The poem included the line: “Albright, Albright, all right, all right, you are the worst in this night” and ended with a reference to her as an “unparalled serpent.” Ms. Albright’s attire for her next get-together with her Iraqi counterparts included a golden snake brooch.

Kaffeesiederball Fan 2016

Kaffeesiederball Fan 2016

In 1997, when Ms. Albright was appointed as US Secretary of States and thus became the highest ranking female civil servant in US history, she continued using her brooches as an essential part of her “personal diplomatic arsenal.” While balloons, butterflies and flowers signified optimism during diplomatic talks, crabs and turtles indicated frustration. After the Russians were caught tapping the State Department, and even listening in on Ms. Albright’s office, she engaged in the next round of talks with the Russian officials wearing pin with a gigantic bug on it. Stinging message on its way? Ms. Albright donned a wasp pin. Time and again, she accentuated her polite talk with no-nonsense pin speak.

In the same manner, women over the centuries have used ornate fans as both a fashion accessory and a communication tool. Fluttering signals could indicate that the lady in question considers you infatuating or a flop.

Fanning the Flame

Fan from Kaffeesiederball 2011

Fan from Kaffeesiederball 2011

Fan held high at the chest, spread open and pointing downwards: Better luck next time, this girl’s taken.

Fan spread open and the top is lightly pressed against the lips: Shut up, get over here and kiss me.

Fan spread open at shoulder height with pinky finger extended outwards: Take a hike. You’re a total bore.

Fanning self slowly: Nothing to see here, keep moving, I’m hitched.

Fanning self quickly: Engaged. Catch the glint of the rock on my finger as I vigorously bat this fan back and forth.

Fan spread open, pointed upwards and pressed against the heart: I love you.

Campari Fan

Campari Fan

Placing the fan on the right check: Why yes!

Placing the fan on the left check: No way!

Fan closed and pressed against the ear straight up and down (not angled like a telephone!): Call me, maybe. Definitely.

Opening and shutting the fan: You are cruel.

Twirling the fan in the left hand means: We are watched.

Fan closed and pressed against the lips: Get over here and whisper sweet nothings in my ear.

Fan closed and pressed against a coffee cup (or wine glass, beer mug, whiskey flask…): I’m thirsty, sweetcakes, and you look like the perfect man to buy me a drink.

Kaffeesiederball Fan 2014

Kaffeesiederball Fan 2014

But the thing about communication is that it is a two-way street and only effective if the person on the receiving end understands the message being sent. While the press and even Vladimir Putin became quite skilled in recognizing Ms. Albright’s “Read-My-Pin,” codes, it is easy to imagine the young men throughout the ages have had quite a time at making heads and tails of the slow, rapid, hand-switching, waving, fluttering signals of fans to the point where there must have been some Cassanovas-in-waiting who got so frustrated that they simply surrendered and walked away. But take heart. It is equally important to recognize that sometimes, a fan is simply just a fan.

Interested in learning more? Check out these sites:

Wikipedia page of Jean-Pierre Duvelleroy – a fan manufacturer from 1827 from Paris: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duvelleroy

Exhibition of 200 pins used by Ms. Albright during her service as US Secretary of State:

Black Wooden Fan

Black Wooden Fan

http://www.bellevuearts.org/exhibitions/read_my_pins.html

 

 

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