Word of the Week: Knödel

Noun. 1. A Knödel is a type of dumpling, usually made with potatoes, flour or breadcrumbs (exceptions exist, like the liver-based Leberknödel) and cooked by boiling in salt water. Extremely popular in Austrian, Czech and German cuisine, they can be side dishes, main courses or desserts, solid (Semmelknödel, Spinatknödel) or stuffed with fillings, either savory (Selchknödel, Wurstknödel or the infamous Grammelknödel) or sweet (Marillenknödel, Germknödel).

Noun. 2. One of many Viennese slang terms for “money;” According to Falter columnist Andrea Dusl (https://www.falter.at/zeitung/20180425/wo-das-knoedel-herkommt/80e4b0cae7), one possible origin is that cash is handled and “kneaded” like a Knödel – and likely the same etymological source of similar English terms like “dough” or “bread.” Another theory is that it stems from the Yiddish gnéjwe (theft, stolen property), which eventually made its way into Rotwelsch (thieves’ cant); from there, it entered common parlance as Knödel, a malapropism committed by those unfamiliar with criminal argot. Either way, a wallet full of Knödel is a delicious thing indeed!

Heast! Ruck umme den Knedl (Knödel)! (Yo! Hand over the Cash!)

The Word of the Week can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Spread the word!

Leave a Comment