16 Viennese Idioms That Make No Sense Whatsoever

The Viennese sometimes have their own special way of using the German language, especially when they lapse into dialect. It is often a mixture of gleeful malice, eloquence, flattery and "charm".

The Viennese sometimes have their own special way of using the German language, especially when they lapse into dialect. It is often a mixture of eloquence, flattery, gleeful malice and… “charm” for which there are often no comparable idioms. So instead, we decided to give you the literal translation of the following expressions with a crib as to what they really mean. Herewith, a small selection of Austrian originality!

1) Du host ausgschissn! (You have shit everything out.)

Meaning: I want nothing to do with you (or this) anymore.

2) Du gehst ma am Zaga! (You affect me like the hands of a clock!)

Meaning: You are really getting on my nerves.

3) Des is a gmahte Wiesn. (This is a mowed lawn.)

Meaning: Something is easily done, victory is close.

4) Hin in der Marün. (broken in the apricot)

Meaning: to be a dead head, to be stupid.

5) Sich über die Häusa haun. (to throw oneself over the houses)

Meaning: to leave a place

6) Wia a Aanser stehn. (to stand like a one)

Meaning: to stand up upright, to persevere.

7) Da krieg I an Hois! (I am getting a neck!)

Meaning: to get very angry

8) Si an eineschraubn. (to screw one in)

Meaning: to get drunk

9) Krochen wie a Kaisersemmel (crackle like a bun)

Meaning: to heavily be in debt

10) Da is da Hund begrobn! (Here is where the dog is buried!)

Meaning: This is the crux of the matter.

11) An Elefantn auf da Blosn habn. (to have an elephant sitting on one’s bladder)

Meaning: really having to urinate

12) Jemand in Grund und Bodn saufn. (to drink someone into the floor and ground)

Meaning: to destroy someone by drinking him the “under the table”

13) Hupf in Gatsch und schlog a Wöln! (Hop in the mud and make a wave!)

Meaning: Asking someone to leave asap.

14) Si hamdrahn. (to turn oneself home)

Meaning: to commit suicide

15) ‘N Leffl ohgebn. (to give up the spoon)

Meaning: to die

16) Si di Radieschen von unt auschaun (to look at the radishes from below)

Meaning: to die, i.e. “pushing up the daisies.”

Julia Seidl
Julia started out at "Die Presse." She went on to study "Journalism & Media Management" in Vienna and worked for several local news outlets such as ORF, Kurier and Falter before joining Metropole as online content and social media manager.

Help us help you

“Strong media and independent journalism are built on the shoulders of subscribers. Your support means the world to us.

Benjamin Wolf
COO & Managing Editor

The coronavirus outbreak affects and challenges your life in big and small ways. Metropole is here for you and we are proud to be your news source during this crisis.

But just as the coronavirus has increased the need for independent journalism, it has also undercut a major revenue source of media companies, ours included – advertising.

We need your support to keep it up – donate or subscribe and #helpushelpyou!

Support Metropole!


RECENT Articles

The End of the City Bikes?

The all-purpose workhorses of the inner city are the last remaining rental bikes in public spaces. But they could disappear soon, says sponsor Gewista. The reason is a dispute over financing.

The Coronavirus in Austria & Vienna | No Masks in Schools, Active Infection...

Austria has successfully flattened the curve, for now. Here’s all you need to know about current measures, including available resources, trusted sources and tips – regularly updated.

Ending the Pandemic with Mass Testing

Austria under lockdown has done well controlling the spread of COVID -19. But the only way to return to normal is to track the cases and be able to control further spread.

Solar Roofs for All New Buildings in Vienna & a Turbocharged Climate Budget...

A new city planning law stipulates that all new residential buildings in Vienna have to be built with solar collectors on the roof. Meanwhile, the federal government almost doubled funds for climate initiatives.

Pleased to Meet You | Carefully

Why we (still) need to practice social distancing, now that we can finally get together with friends and family again.

US Quietly Funds the IAEA in Fight Against COVID-19

As Donald Trump Slams the World Health Organization, the State Department is giving millions to another uN agency to battle the pandemic.


Join over 5,000 Metropolitans, who already get monthly news updates and event invitations.