Word of the Week: Hackln [ˈhakln]

Verb. Hackln means to work, especially hard, physical labor. A less enthusiastic expression than the more neutral arbeiten, emphasizing the frustration that goes with having an unfulfilling job.

Hackln originates from hacken, to hack or chop wood – certainly a physical and monotonous job few people get exited about, the perennial dirty job that someone has to do.

With Austria’s strong history of labor unions, Hackler (those who hackl) even get special treatment from social security: The so-called Hackler-regelung (Hackler regulation) allows those engaged in heavy labor to retire early with no penalties – an acknowledgement of the physically demanding and mind-numbing nature of such occupations, the bodily wear and tear offered up for the common good.

Often used humorously to describe 9-to-5ers,the wage slaves whose jobs, at least in their own minds, can be just as mind-numbing as the nastiest of hard labor.

No matter how well you speak German, the Word Of The Week will help you impress any Viennese! While learning German is not an easy task in general, learning the language in Austria can come to be twice as complicated.

Strongly linked to local cultural individualities, the slangs change and evolve in all cultures around the world, the words and phrases make sense only when one is familiar with their cultural context. The Word of the Week is here to help you understand those singularities and impress the locals with some real Viennese words and expressions.

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