A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

Foreign Words

by Peter Lang
Translation by Brad Schwebler

     The Donauschwaben also used foreign words completely naturally, which they have partially taken on in the original homeland from the French and in the southeast from the people there.  The words from the French were always easier to interpret which is why I did not want to mention them for lack of space.  Instead I also want to cite German words which have taken on another meaning by us.

Aldumasch (Hungarian aldomas = blessing), a communal drink after a large purchase at the market.

Backsimpel = baking basket made from corn husks (Liesch).

Barch (from Barge), Bär = boar, also the “richtige Bär” (hulking brute of a man).

Barchet, Barchent = flannel.

Batschi (Hungarian bacsi = older brother, the younger is called öcs) = uncle and every older man.

bereits = almost, nearly, instead of perfect.

Betchar (Hungarian betyar) = scoundrel.

Bitanger (Hungarian bitangember), the first two parts of the word comes from begging crusaders (please, thank you), ember = man, homeless man. (Petöfi: “Schonai bitangember, ki most, ha kell, halni nem mer” = “A homeless man, who now has the need, will not die cozy.”) But the term Bitanger went much further, one could use it for all bad habits (petty theft, burglary, robbery, sexual offenses, and so forth) that a homeless person engages in.

blöd = shy (also comes in a church hymn in the sense of shyness).

Bunde (Hungarian bunda) = fur coat.

Dolina (Serbian dole = under) = depression in the karst region, taken on in high German.

Ewenke (Serbian or Turkish evenka) = wine grapes hanging up to dry on a nail covered pole.

Grenze (Serbian granica) = taken on in high German.

Gatchr, Gatcherhose (Hungarian gatya) = very wide underpants which were bound with a Gatcher ribbon through a string.  Fits all sizes.  Because of lovely fantasies the ladies did not speak of Gatchers in fine society.

heidi, heide (Serbian hajde) = we go.

Hambar (Hungarian) = corn comb.

Hotter, Hutter, Hotterhüter (Hungarian hatar) = Gemarkung, border, corridor.

Hutsch, Hutscher, Hitschche = foal, Füllchen.

jo jott = variant of yes, just not as nice = no, no

Kanitzel = copper sulfate.

Kapeerdeck (probably from the French factory called Chabert) = uppermost bed cover of linen, one side covered with patterns (colored).

Kapper, Kappert = dill pickles, never capers.

Katsch (Hungarian kacsa) = duck (Katsch with long aa = community Katsch).

Kickritzel (Kükrützel) (Serbian kukuruz) = finely ground corn, which was placed in a sieve and under the flame where it increased tremendously in volume (one dessert spoonful = one to two liters).  It was “provided” on Good Friday.  The sieve must be covered, otherwise the kernels fly a meter high.  (popcorn?)

Klumbe (Hungarian klompa) = wooden shoes made from one piece, which were very similar to Dutch wooden shoes, produced in Apatin.  For young boys they were a dream because one could slide on the ice with them, flew into the curves and had many other advantages.

Krelle (from coralle) = pearl necklace (not real).

Kritsch (Latin cricetus ) = hamster.

Kummre, Umarke, also Umorke (Hungarian uborka) = cucumber.

Logl = small wooden drink water barrel about 40 centimeters in diameter and about 20 centimeters deep.  Advantages: unbreakable, keeps water cool.  Only taken along to field work. 

logeln = excessive drinking, boozing. – “nunerlogle” = drink under the table.

Los, Mehrzahl (several) Lose = breeding sow(s).

maje = go on a visit.

Malei (Hungarian málé) = thin corn cake – Kulje (Serbian) = corn porridge.

Minkelche, Minglche (from mini?) = small morsel of bread or bacon.

nee nett = an improvement of, or comparison to, no no.

Neni (Hungarian: the older sister, the younger is called “hug”) = aunt and every older woman.

nötigen = offer.

Ober (Serbian) = pig pen.

Ohnen = awns or beards.

Palatschinken, Palatschinge’ (Hungarian palacsinka) = Fladen (large, flat, round cake made from barley flour), baked in fat and made from thin dough from flour, milk, eggs, and sugar.  It was filled with cinnamon, sugar, or marmalade (Pekme-) and rolled together.  The dough was like Kaiserschmarren (pancake pulled to pieces and sprinkled with powdered sugar and raisins.)

Patschker, Pätschkerche’ (Hungarian: bocskor) = light leather shoes somewhat like Opanken (Serbian = taken over in German writing), also painted shoes with felt soles.

Patrense = hip high hay piles, with two “Patrensen” poles (bean poles) pushed under them to carry the haystack.  20 Patrensen = 1 hay wagon.

Pekmes (Turkish pekmez) = puree; squash, Weichsel (Vistula)-, apricot- pekmes.

Platschkukrutz = see Kickritzel.

Pockerl (Hungarian: pulyka) = turkey hen; Pocklhohn = turkey tom.

possen = vaccinate by grazing the skin.

Sarmen =(Hungarian: szarma) = Kraut wurst wrapped in sauerkraut leaves.

Schap – spoken Schaap (French) = original head decoration made from flowers or precious stones (tiara), and also ribbons.  Used by the Donauschwaben until in the end there were only ribbon decorations under the heads of the dead.  “Des war domols, wie mei Großvater uf m Schap gele’ hot” (That was at the time when my grandfather had laid on the Schap.)

In Germany the word is still preserved only in the Black Forest as “Schäppele” and only as a head decoration for living women.  Besides in Grimm’s 24 volume dictionary in large format it is not listed in any etymological dictionary and it was preserved by us until the people fled.  Also the names Schaber, Schawer, and Schafer may have come from Schap and not from schaben or Schaf!

schepp = crooked.

Schiewer = open-sided barn, haystack, “Triste?”

Schlappe = slippers.

Schlockerfaß = A container in which the whetstone for the scythe, together with water, was stored hanging on the belt during the work.  It was often a horn of a cow.  (Thanks to the contribution of Walter Nehlich)

schonbald (schunbal) = nearly, almost. 

Sprau = husks.

suttern = run, trickle.

Tata (Serbian: otac) = father.

teschek (Hungarian: tessek) = is pleasing, attractive.

Teps = cooking sheet (metal).

Tschardak (Turkish Laube (arbor, summerhouse) = slat framework for corn.

Umarke, Umorke = cucumber.

Ulaker (Hungarian: Ujlak = village name) = primitive pocket name, produced in Ujlak.  Also small boys were so named.

Wicke (Hungarian bika) = bull.

weiland = the deceased.

[Published at by Jody McKim Pharr, 2005]