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LEARNING GERMAN

German word of the day: Schweineteuer

Literally translated to "pig expensive", schweineteuer is a word that could be useful next time you go shopping.

German word of the day: Schweineteuer
(Photo by Andre Taissin on Unsplash)

Schwein and Sau (the German words for pig and sow) are consistently included in German vernacular, although no one can really explain why.

The terms can be used in both negative and positive phrases (but it’s good to note they are often included in insults).

For example, saying someone “has had a pig” (Du hast Schwein gehabt!) means they lucked out, while saying that the weather is a Sauwetter (literally “pig weather”) means conditions are nasty (as opposed to Kaiserwetter, or emperor weather, when it’s sunny and blue skies out).

Another example: a Schweinerei is a mess… so what in the world could “pig expensive” mean, then?

READ ALSO: German phrase of the day: Ich glaub’ mein Schwein pfeift

Well, in short, schweineteuer is used as an adjective and can be applied to anything that is very, very expensive, usually with the insinuation that it is much more pricey than it should be. 

It has to be quite extreme for you to use it, but it’s certainly a great word to know – especially in times of soaring inflation in Austria.

Examples:

Let’s say you get a speeding ticket for over €400, you might say it’s schweineteuer. And in the same vein, if your litre of milk costs €10, that would be schweineteuer as well.

Next time you show up on Sunday to a Trödelmarkt in the inner city and someone tries to sell you a simple picture frame for €120, let them know exactly why you won’t be buying it: It’s too damn expensive! 

Es ist schweineteuer! 

Are you learning German in Austria? Here are a few articles to help you out:

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GERMAN WORD OF THE DAY

Austrian word of the day: Beisl

This is a spot you might visit at the end of the working day - or Feierabend - particularly in Austria, as Germany has a different word for these establishments. Here's what this Austrian-German word means and how to use it.

Austrian word of the day: Beisl

Why do I need to know Beisl?

Because you may be invited to one or need to find one on the map.

What does it mean?

Das Beisl, which sounds like this, is the name for a pub or inn in Austrian German where people gather to drink beverages. In Germany, it is usually called a Kneipe.

This isn’t a fancy cocktail bar – it’s a neighbourhood watering hole and forms part of the make-up of towns and cities across Austria. It’s usually unpretentious, often small and used to be very smoky before Austria banned smoking indoors.

The term comes from the Czech “pajzl”, which means pub or dive. It’s a diminutive short form of the noun “hampejz” – with meaning such as “dog house” and even “brothel”.

Other possibilities for its origins include the Yiddish bajiss (house) , and the Austrian dialectal diminutive of the word Beiz – which was a low-class pub until the word got a better reputation.

Nowadays, the Beisl are usually friendly and charming and give an insight into life in Austria. So perhaps ask your Austria friends for a tip on a cool Beisl to visit. Just don’t expect the staff to speak English at all – or take credit cards.

If you’re hungry, keep in mind that Beisl usually doesn’t serve food or at least no hot dishes.

How to use it:
Treffen wir uns am Freitag nach Feierabend im Beisl.
Let’s meet in the pub on Friday after work finishes.
Ich gehe mit den Jungs ins Beisl.
I’m going to the pub with the lads.

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