Last Word | September 2017 | Schiach

To be truly integrated in Vienna there are certain terms no dictionary or Deutschkurs will properly explain. But you’re no stranger, so here’s this month’s cheat sheet.

SCHIACH

[ʃiːɐ̯ç]

adjective. Ugly, unattractive, aesthetically displeasing. Has expanded over the years into a catchall descriptor for anything unpleasant: Previously used mostly in reference to people, clothes, contemporary art and modern architecture, nowadays situations, moods, accidents, hangovers, someone’s behavior, political ideologies and much more can be schiach. This makes the word extremely useful in Viennese, and almost as utilitarian as heast (yo) and Oida (dude).

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Binu Starnegg
Manila born, Brooklyn bred and a longtime resident of Vienna, Binu Starnegg is currently managing editor for Metropole, where he completes myriad tasks with style and aplomb. Photo: Visual Hub

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