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Austrian word of the Week – Cleaning Gretl

Print This Post Putzgretl: A guy’s dream and a woman’s nightmare. You remember Hansl and Gretl, don’t you? And that mean old witch in the woods who made Gretl scrub the tiles on her hands and knees while lazy old ignorant Hansl had his fill of candy canes and gingerbread? Well there you go. The first Putzgretl was born. (The Grimm Brothers may have been the first novelists to write mantasies). Much to the chagrin of my nearest and dearest, I shall never be at risk of coming down with the affliction of Putzgretlness. Sure, I can be sweet talked into a cute apron, a pair of ripped jeans and my hair in a ponytail to put in some elbow grease but no one would ever confuse me with a Putzgretl — because – alas – I might clean because I know it needs done but I will never ingratiate myself to the thankless Sisyphus work of spray, wipe, smile, repeat. Spray, wipe, smile, repeat. Give me a good podcast and I can clean a place in no time flat. Just clear on out of my way and don’t make me remove my headphones for anything. But just clean for cleaning’s sake — for, like, fun. No way.

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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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WATER SO GOOD IT’S CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED

Stay calm and drink more water.

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In the US, one of the first things that happens when you sit down in a restaurant, is that the server comes to your table with a shiny happy welcome-to-our-restaurant smile and pours everyone a glass of ice water.

Don’t come to Austria with American-made expectations. If you visit a restaurant in Vienna, you’re highly unlikely to be greeted with flashing pearly whites. Don’t take this personally. The servers here are highly trained professionals who receive normal wage and insurance and are therefore not likely to give you a cheerleader rah rah can-I-have-a-tip-to-make-up-for-my-below-minimum-wage-pay veneer.

The quality of Viennese tap water which originates in the Austrian mountains is very high

Most Vienna tap water truly originates from mountain springs

Next, don’t come to Europe expecting drinks served with ice. For that you’ll need to hop the train to Switzerland or Finland to one of the ice bars. No air-conditioning, no ice cubes, and no whining, so suck it up and deal.

 But you also will not receive the automatic glass of water. Pity. Because it’s healthy and we should all be drinking more water. You’ll see water on the menu and be astounded how much one can charge for a bottle a water. And you will be confused – prickelend or still when all you really want is normal glass of water. Can you get that here?

A resounding yes!

But is it safe to drink?

Triple yes!

And it will be some of the best tap water you’ve ever tasted. Promise. Because Vienna has a very high quality of water that comes straight to the city from pipes from the mountain regions of Rax/Schneeberg, Schneealpe in Lower Austria and Hochschwab in Upper Styria.

So how do you order water?

If you want to go with the bottled water – decide if you want it with or without the bubbles.

THREE TYPES OF WATER

With bubbles is prickelnd but that is difficult to say, so say simply “mit Gas”(with gas) and they will know what you want.

Voeslauer is a an Austrian mineral water brand

Voeslauer is a an Austrian mineral water brand

No bubbles is easy – still – remember by thinking of the old Christmas classic Still, Still, Still. Austrians will sometimes call it “ohne Gas” (without gas).

Uncarbonated water is called "still" in German. Sometimes Austrians will just say "ohne" (without) meaning "ohne Gas"

Uncarbonated water is called “still” in German. Sometimes Austrians will just say “ohne” (without) meaning “ohne Gas”

Good old high quality mountain water from the tap: Leitungswasser. Pronounced: Leit tungs wasser.

If the menu just says “Vöslauer” that’s the Austrian water brand like calling a tissue a Kleenex.

Gespritzt: A refreshing healthy drink Viennese love is juice, syrup of white wine “gespritzt” which means mixed with sparkling water.

“Gespritzt” drinks include:

Apfelsaftgespritzt: Apple Juice mixed with sparkling or normal water

Holundersoda: Elder flower syrup mixed with sparkling water (sound weird? Live a little. Try it. It’s a great summer drink and you won’t be disappointed).

weißen gespritzt

G’Spritzer

Himbeersoda: Raspberry juice mixed with sparkling water

Soda-Zitron:  Soda water with lemon juice

weißen gespritzt:  A Viennese classic summer drink – they’ll think you’re a local if you order this — white wine mixed with sparkling water

GOOD TO KNOW

Coffee with water on the side: Viennese coffeehouses take pride in their coffeehouse traditions. A good Viennese coffeehouse will serve your coffee on a silver platter. Next to the coffee will be a small glass of water and balancing atop of the coffee will be a spoon.

Tap water might not be free: Some restaurants in Vienna might charge for a “Leitungswasser.” Sad but true. And they aren’t ripping you off because you’re a tourist. If they charge, they charge everyone.

Flavored water at the grocery store

Flavored water at the grocery store

Public water fountains: The first district has public water fountains where you can fill up your water bottle for free. I have taken a photo of one for you. This one is located at Höhe Markt next to the ice cream shop and across from the very fancy Merkur grocery store. The German term for drinkable water is “Trinkwasser.”

“Because water should not be a luxury item”: Vienna is the first city in the world to place its water under constitutional protection. Since December 2001, the city of Vienna has protected its water for future generations in the Vienna Water Charter.

Read more about Vienna’s Water Charter (in German).

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Austrian word of the Week – Cabbage Guard

Print This Post Krautwachter: If you’re a policeman or a soldier and been more naughty than nice, you might find yourself on a fast track for a career as Krautwachter. And who wants a job title that shares half itself with a gas-inducing vegetable? Kraut for cabbage and Wachter for guard. So a cabbage guard refers to the person in charge of doing critical work like watching over the heads of cabbage. You thought it wouldn’t be just a job but an adventure. But you were out munching down on donuts and powdering your rhino tattoo just one marijuana-dealing Oma too many and found yourself shipped off to the Krauts to an assignment threatening fatality through boredom.

And no complaints that this post is gender bias. The term is very clearly Krautwachter and NOT Krautwächterin, which of course doesn’t exist. You won’t find the ladies hanging out with the greens because clearly they are always more nice than naughty and know when to put down the Crispy Cremes and pursue the bad Omis.

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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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Austrian word of the Week – Small House Paper Robber

Print This Post Häuslpapierfladerer: The German word “Haus” is a cognate of the English word “house.” In German you add the ending “chen” as a diminutive >> Häuschen. In Austria you add an “erl” as the diminutive. A Häuserl is not a little house as in Laura Ingalis’ house on the Prairie – it’s that even smaller closet-sized shack out back that we never see Ma, Pa, Laura, Mary or Carrie visiting but we know must be there. Papier and Paper are also cognates. And fladern? It means to steal. So an Outhouse paper robber is a person who steals the toilet paper from public bathrooms. For shame! Who does such a thing?!

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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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