Austrian German Word of the Day: Bim

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected]
Austrian German Word of the Day: Bim
One of the famous Viennese trams, also known to the locals as "Bims" (Photo by Árpád Czapp on Unsplash)

This word will really tell the local Viennese that you know the town.


Of course, you can always use Tram or Strassenbahn to describe Vienna's iconic streetcars in German.

But for an Austrian German local treat, it might be more fun to simply call them what the locals often do - Bims.

Easy to remember and it rolls off the tongue, calling a tram a Bim instead will also signal to Vienna locals that you're at least a little familiar with local lingo and Austrian German - as opposed to standard high German that a tourist from Munich or Berlin would normally sport.


Where does it come from?

No one knows for sure. But one theory is that Viennese youth started calling the city's trams Bims sometime in the 1970s, apparently for the bim-bim-bim noise they apparently make while making their way through traffic.

This could - of course - also just be an urban legend. But either way, Bim is here to stay.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also