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Schätzli, Schnüggel and Müüsli - Terms of Endearment in Swiss German


Kiss - Oliver Haja  / pixelio.de

If you've ever been invited to the home of a Swiss couple, you are probably familiar with the most popular Swiss German term of endearment "Schätzli" (little treasure) or one of it's many varieties like e.g. "Schatz" or "Schätzeli". Obviously, this is not the only pet name used by Swiss couples (or parents for that matter). Like many other languages, Swiss German offers a wide variety of words and phrases that you can use to address your loved one.

What most of these pet names have in common is the ending "-li" which basically turns the thing or person a word refers to into something small. For example "Haus" means house and "Hüüsli" means small house. This ending "-li" can also be added to first names as a means of endearment, e.g. Benjaminli, Estherli or Fabienneli.

I tried to come up with a collection of Swiss German pet names but realized I only know a handful. However, after combing through the internet for a bit I found a great list of terms of endearment in the Swiss dialect of Züridüütsch (Zurich Swiss German) and wanted to share it with you. Some I find a bit unusual, some are very cute and some a bit kinky but all in all it's a fun list to read. I added the literal meaning of the pet names in brackets where possible. Notice the frequent use of "-li".

  • Allesabeschluckerli (little swallows everything)
  • Amediesli (meaning unknown)
  • Ängeli (little angel)
  • Anke-Flöckli (little butter flake)
  • Augesternli (little starry eyes)
  • Augöpfeli (little apple of the eye)
  • Bibi (meaning unknown)
  • Böhnli (little bean)
  • Bölleli (little ball)
  • Böpperli (meaning unknown)
  • Bubeli (little boy)
  • Büebli (little boy)
  • Bugi (meaning unknown)
  • Büsi (cat)
  • Chäferli (little bug)
  • Chätzli (little cat)
  • Chnöpfli (little button)
  • Chnopi (short for Knollenblätterpilz i.e. death cap)
  • Chnuschperli (little crunchy thing)
  • Chuschpertäschli (little crunchy bag)
  • Chröttli (little toad)
  • Chrüseli (curly hair)
  • Dickerli (little fat one)
  • Dummerli (little stupid one)
  • en Knubbel (someone to cuddle)
  • Flöckli (little flake)
  • Goldchäfer (gold beetle)
  • Hasibärli (little bunny bear)
  • Häsli (little bunny)
  • Herzchäferli (little heart bug)
  • Honigbienli (little honey bee)
  • Joggeli (little Jacob)
  • Liechtli (little light)
  • Möckli (little chunk)
  • Mückli (little mosquito)
  • Muggi (meaning unknown)
  • Murmeli (little marmot)
  • Müüsli (little mouse)
  • Muus (mouse)
  • Perle (pearl)
  • Pflödderli (meaning unknown)
  • Pfüderi (meaning unknown)
  • Prinz (prince)
  • Prinzli (little prince)
  • Rugeli (little round thing)
  • Schätzeli (little treasure)
  • Schätzi (little treasure)
  • Schläckerli (little sweet candy)
  • Schnadehüdeli (meaning unknown)
  • Schnäggechäfer (snail bug)
  • Schnäggli (little snail)
  • Schnätzli (meaning unknown)
  • Schnitte (slice of cake)
  • Schnüfi (little breath)
  • Schnüfel (little breath)
  • Schnügel (cutie)
  • Schnuggebuzzeli (meaning unknown)
  • Schnuggi (cutie)
  • Schnugipupsi (cutie pie)
  • Schnurpeli (meaning unknown)
  • Schnusi (meaning unknown)
  • Schnusimusi (meaning unknown)
  • Seelewärmerli (little soul warmer)
  • Spätzli (little sparrow)
  • Sternli (little star)
  • Sternschnuppe (falling star)
  • Stinkerli (little stinky one)
  • Strampli (little struggly one)
  • Sunneblüemli (little sun flower)
  • Sünneli (little sun)
  • Sunneschii (sunshine)
  • Süürmeli (meaning unknown)
  • Tigerli (little tiger)
  • Tigi (little tiger)
  • Totschli (little clumsy one)
  • Zuckerschnägg (sugar snail)
  • Zuckerschnoizli (little sugar moustache)
  • Zwergli (little dwarf)
Source: Slangikon



© 2013 IRENE WYRSCH "A HUMOROUS GUIDE TO SWITZERLAND" ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Comments

  1. Oooh, what a fun list! Though several translations are missing. Thanks for sharing. Just found your blog and also just moved to Zurich. So I'm beginning to become acquainted with the Züridüütsch.

    Rachel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome to Zurich! I'm interested to see where your blog is heading...

      Some pet names are simply untranslatable... they simply sound cute but have no real meaning! :)

      Delete

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