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Austrian word of the Week – Tin Idiot

Blechtrottel: Tin Idiot — “Blech” means tin. You perhaps recall the Nobel Prize winning German author – Günter Grass  – and his famous novel – “Die Blechtrommel” (Tin Drum) about the boy who refuses to grow up during WWII — well the only thing that a Blechtrottel has in common with a Blechtrommel is the word “Tin” in the beginning.

Trottel is the Austrian word for idiot.

So a Tin Idiot normally refers to a computer.  I imagine if my personal experience is universal, this term will inevitably evolve to encompass more the user than the machine.

However, according the “Der Kleine Wappler” the word can also refer to athletes who have won only tin – meaning those who must be satisfied with 4th place. (Did I ever mention that Austria is not a country that gives every kid a trophy just for showing up).

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


Eierbär: Eggsbear

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

Fetzenschädel: Rags Skull

Geistesvernichtungsanstalt: Spirit Annihilation Asylum


Häuslpapierfladerer: House Paper Thief


Krautwacher: Cabbage Guard

Putzgretl: Cleaning Gretl

Saubär: Pig Bear

Treppenwitz: Stair Joke