Oktoberfest Dictionary

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Oktoberfest Dictionary

Essential Bavarian Language Primer

Bavarian may not be an official language but it sure isn’t just another German dialect either. In order to communicate with the locals it pays to know at least some basic Bavarian vocabulary.

The following is an excerpt from the “Wiesn-Dictionary” by Thomas Sjöberg. Click here to access the complete Oktoberfest Dictionary.

The pronounciation is in a phonetic form of German which may require some practice. Please note that the German letter ß is pronounced as a sharp s, as in fuss, hiss. Have fun!

arschlings (adj.)
backwards, more specific: “in your behinds direction”.

Biafuizl (n.)
beer mat, is often used by the waitress/waiter as a note pad where dashes indicates the quantity of beer ordered by the guest.

bieseln (v.)
term for “to take a leak”; unfortunately too many want to save a couple of Cents and use the option “wild bieseln”

Brezn (n.)
Bavarian pretzel. Aesthetically twined string of dough, baked to a pastry. At the Oktoberfest, the giant “Riesnbrezn” are especially beloved.

Charivari (n.)
decoration (charms) on Lederhose

Dampfnudl (n.)
a sweet dumpling, Bavarian speciality. Oft eaten with vanilla sauce or melted butter.

Diridari (n.)
money: should be brought in sufficient sums to the Oktoberfest.

Fingahackln (n.)
Bavarian sport. Two men hook their middle fingers and try to pull the opponent over the table. Popular activity at the Oktoberfest.

fuaßln (n.)
above the table people hook fingers, but when people secretly have toe-to-toe contact under the table, it usually gets more interesting.

Gamsbart (n.)
traditional Bavarian hat adornment, every proper Oktoberfest visitor should posses one.

Gaudi (n.)
merriment, fun, spree


Enjoy the season

gmiatlich (adj.)
comfy, cosy. Q.v. “griabig”.

Gschbuusi (n.)

Haferl (n.)
large mug, foremost for tea or coffee.

Hendl (n.)
grilled chicken; in Niederbayern the expression “Giggerl” is also used. At the Oktoberfest known as “Wiesn-Hendls”.

Hundling (n.)
experienced man, often appreciative.

Kuaze (n.)
short Lederhose (leather pants), as opposed to long Lederhose, which cover the knees. A real Bavarian possesses both kinds of pants.

Lebawurscht, beleidigte (n.)
offended person, mortally offended.

Maßkruagstemma (n.)
a contest, where the contestant must hold one maß beer with straight outstretched arms. The one who can hold the beer up the longest, wins.

Mognschoaß (n.)
belch, burp, eructation. Unpopular in the beer tents, occurs more frequently with an increased consumption of beer.

Noagerl (n.)
the last remainder of a beverage in a glass.

Noagerlzuzla (n.)
person who drinks the last remainders from abandoned glasses, also used in name calling.

obandeln (v.)
to flirt, mostly with explicit intentions.

Obazda (n.)
bavarian cheese speciality with Camembert, onion, paprika, caraway, butter and sometimes also beer, can be acquired in most Oktoberfest tents.
(Check out Chefkeem’s recipe in the guestbook)

schbei’m (v.)
to throw up, to vomit, sometimes also to spit.

Schmarrn (n.)
absurdity, nonsense.

Schoaß (n.)
flatulence, expulsion of intestinal gases. Not popular in the beer tents.

Spezi, Spezl (n.)
friend; also a mixed beverage with coke and orange soda. Sold in Maß jugs at Oktoberfest.

Teifi (n.)
devil, appears after a couple of Maß.

Wammerl (n.)
meat from the pigs belly, often smoked meat.

Wolpertinger (n.)
mythical creature in Bavarian fairy tales. Combines attributes of various different local animals.

Zsammgsuffana (n.)
person with a bad reputation.

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