A Guide to Gutenthal

Yasch is back!

The wait is finally over! Our Turnstone Selects edition of The Salvation of Yasch Siemens is now available for your reading a purchaing pleasure!

Re-acquiant yourself with Gutenthal and Armin Wiebe's cast of unforgettable characters, or meet them for the first time in this latest edition featuring a new chapter and a critical essay by Nathan Dueck.

Need a hand familiarizing yourself with some Plautdietsch? Check out this list of 48 Flat German words:

1.    backstring — n. the spinal column

2.    blind intestine — n. a blind-ended tube at the junction of the small and large intestines which has no known purpose in humans other than to explode on occasion to demand surgical removal; the appendix. also blint dorm.

3.    Bloomuhkomst — n. flower cabbage; cauliflower. (BLOUM•UH•KUMST)

4.    bring it by — v. to explain, to impress upon; related to falls me by — v. occurs to me;  similar to befell, but not at all related to throughfall which is a digestive disorder.

5.    Darpslied — n. village people. Some have been known to sing, but never at the YMCA. (DARPS•LEED)

6.    dringent  — adj. eager, unrelenting, persistent; in your face; like a terrier. (DRING•ENT)

7.    eajenkoppijch — adj. self-headed, pig-headed, independent, stubborn. (EAH•YEN•KOPP•IYCH)

8.    Engel Bengel — n. angel boy; bengel is an urchin, a scamp, a rascal, a boy with Bengal tiger spirit; engel — the root word of “England” and “English”. (ENG•YEL BENG•YEL)

9.    Engel Mäakje — n. angel girl; mäa is “sea” in German, so mäakje has connotations of mermaid; also Mäatje, Mäadtje related to the High German Mädchen. (MEYT•CHUH)

10.  Faspa — n. afternoon tea accompanied by buns, cheese, cold sausage, rollkuchen and watermelon in season; a Frisian form of vespers. (FASS•PAH)

11.  febeizel — v. to lose or to misplace carelessly. (FUH•BYZ•EL)

12.  Felaffniss — n. A wedding engagement party; falafel is not usually served, though laughing is permitted. (FUH•LAHF•NISS)

13.  frintle — v. to friendly; to smile (FRINT•EL)

14.  fuhlenzing — v. to doze or drift off. also fülenzing. Root fül meaning “lazy” or “lethargic”.(FEUL•ENZ•ING) 

15.  fuhschluck — v. to mis-swallow, choke, frog in the throat; to have food or drink go down one’s Sunday throat; schlucks — n.  a swallow. Sometimes used as a toast, as in “Down the hatch.” (FUH•SHLOOK)

16.  fuschel — v. to whisper. (FUHSH•EL)

17.  fuschtje — adj. a joker; a teaser, often crude. (FUSCHT•YUH)

18.  gloot  — n. ember, glowing coal; force, energy; to give it gloot means to step on the gas; adj. glootje. (GLOUT, GLOUT•YUH)

19.  Gutenthal — n. place name; Good Valley; Gutenthaler wine is made from Gutenthaler dandelions first imported into Manitoba from Russia by Dandelion Pauls inside his felt burr sock in 1875. (GOOT•EN•TAHL)

20.  hartsoft — adj. extremely (HART•SUHFT)

21.  haustijch — adj. hasty, impulsive, speedy, sudden. (HOWST•IYCH)

22.  Holem de gruel — int. fetch the horror; gruel, also grül — related to the Scot’s grue meaning “to shudder”; gruesome, grueling. (HOL•EM DUH GREWL)

23.  Katzenjammer — n. a yowling of cats; an uproar. (KAHTZ•EN•YAM•MER)

24.  Kjast — n. wedding, wedding feast. also Tjast. (TCHAHST)

25.  Klaviermensch — n. piano man, or person; not necessarily well-tempered. (KLAH•VEER•MENSH)

26.  knack — v. to knock, hit, crack; knackbaul — adj. crack ball; knackzoat — n. crack seeds, sunflower seeds, spitz. (K•NAHK)

27.  Meyall — n. a girl, but in Flat German sounds a little like the word for carrot — Yalmäa; (MEE•YAHL)

28.  pluidah — v. to gossip; pluidahzack — a gossip sack; one who spreads the news; a flapping tongue. (PLEU•DAH)

29.  quawlem — adj. a cloud of smoke v. to billow. also quaulem. (KWOW•LEM)

30.  schlikj — v. to sneak, slip, slink, steal. (SHLICK)

31.  schmuista — v. to smile to oneself; adj. twinkle (in the eye); also schmüsta. (SCHMEW•STAH)

32.  Schpikja — n. a wooden granary; the sound of the word suggests the prickly quality of grain husks and chaff. (SHPICK•YAH)

33.  schpott — v. to mock, scoff; to blaspheme.  (SHPUHT)

34.  schtooks — n. a bump, a jerk, a jolt;  schtookah — v. to bump, jolt. (SHTUHKS)

35.  Schuckel — n. A swing v. to swing; to rock (SHUCK•EL)

36.  schvaäkjs — v. to skid, swerve, veer, especially on a muddy road. (SHVEYCKS)

37.  schvienarie — n. a swinish mess, a morass; a crisis. (SHWEEN•AH•REE)

38.  schvierijch — adj. serious, difficult, discouraging, challenging. (SHVEER•IYCH)

39.  Selbstbefleckung — n. a self-satisfying behaviour that may lead to hairy palms and even blindness. (ZELBST•BUH•FLECK•UHNK)

40.  Shuft — n. a scamp, a scoundrel. (SHUHFT)

41.  sipple — n. onion v. to cry, to shed tears; reaction to chopping onions. (SIP•PEL)

42.  sommamolijch — adj. summer-moled, freckled. (SUM•MAH•MOL•LIYCH)

43.  spatsearing — v. to visit; to chat with; to have a gab fest; also neighbouring. (SHPAHT•SEARING)

44.  stengel — n. stem, stalk; related to schwengel — n. a lever.  (SHTENG•EL) (SHWENG•EL)

45.  tjriesel — v. to spin, spiral, swirl; also kjriesel.  (CHREEZ•EL)

46.  Trüarijchkeit — n. sorrow; exaggerated sorrow. adj. trüarijch. (TREUR•IYCH•KITE)

47.  yankah — v. to want, desire; to hanker after; also jankah. (YANK•AH)

48.  Yelttausch Yeeatze — n. a name, Moneybag Goertzen; Yeeatze also has homonymic echoes of yietz, a Flat German word meaning “stingy”, a quality people with bags full of money and those with bags empty of yelt often share. (YELT•TAOSH YEEAT•SUH)