Adriana in Vienna
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Ending -rl

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German

Ending -rl

Are you wondering what is this picture supposed to mean? What do the things on it have in common?

T-shirt, bag, mug …?

Believe me, as I heard the Viennese slang names of these things for the first time, I was also wondering what the hell is that supposed to mean? 😀 Viennese like to use different words with the ending -rl and I do not think I have to explain how complicated is the pronunciation of such words for a foreigner, but why should not the already quite difficult German language be made even more difficult? 😀

T-shirt

In standard German just like in English T-shirt, das. However, in Vienna it is called Leiberl, das. From the word Leib, der = body. Originally, the word Leiberl means a men undershirt, but in Vienna it is used to describe any conventional T-shirt.

Bag

In standard German Tasche, die (which, by the way, is also very similar to the Slovak word Taška). In Vienna it is a little bit complicated, which is why the word Sackerl, das is being used here. Yes, a real challenge for a foreigner in terms of pronunciation 😀

The term Tasche is normally only used in the sense of a travel, sport or a women bag. A shopping bag (fabric, plastic, paper) is defined with the already mentioned word Sackerl (please never use the word Tüte in Vienna 😀 ).

By the way, the origin of the word comes from Latin saccus, via Greek sákkos to Assyrian sakku, which means a sack in the translation.

Mug

In standard German Tasse, die. In Vienna, however, I do not recommend to use this term in public, even though everyone would understands it … Just say Häferl, das (or Haferl, Heferl). This originally means a small pot or a large cup, but in Vienna it is used to define practically any cup/mug.

Otherwise, there are quite a lot of similar words that are used in Vienna with the ending -rl. One example is, as I already mentioned in the article “Rex’s bun”, Weckerl, das (in standard German Brötchen, das, which means a small bread) or Pickerl, das (in standard German Aufkleber, der, which means a sticker) etc.