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Austrian word of the Week – Spirit Annihilation Asylum

August Heyn Trouble in Classroom

“We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control. No dark sarcasm in the classroom.” —  Pink Floyd, Another Brick in the Wall

Print This PostGeistesvernichtungsanstalt: As I write, thousands of Austrian students who are nearing graduation are being subjected to one last round of tests – four written, and three or four oral. They fail? Tough luck, you don’t graduate. And you thought fixing the tassel on your funny cardboard hat was a lot of pressure at the end senior year. And maybe that’s why Austrian novelist, Thomas Bernhard, referred to schools as Geistesvernichtungsanstalten.  “Geist” is the mind or spirit — you might be familiar with the German (and English) term “Zeitgeist” – meaning the “spirit of the times.” “Vernichtung” means annihiliation – yes total destruction – Bernhard was never an author known for holding back or softening the blow. And an “Anstalt” is an institution – but more along the lines of an asylum. So what’s a spirit annihilating asylum? A school.

Now see if you can say the 26-letter word really fast, three times and KC will give you a gold star.

Nie mehr Schule… keine Schule mehr…

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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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

 

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