Word of the Week: Rauschkind [ʁaʊ̯ʃkɪnt]

Noun. A wild, crazy and somewhat dimwitted person, particularly when under the influence. Lit. “child of intoxication.” The term stems from the medically dubious Austrian old wives’ tale that children conceived while one or both parents are drunk grow up not only a bit slow, but also take on various qualities associated with being utterly hammered, including but not limited to: terrible judgement; foolish risk-taking; irascibility and a low threshold for violence; self-destructive behavior; promiscuity (or at least constant horniness); and, of course, a boundless appetite for booze and illegal substances. While sometimes used as a term of endearment for party animals, the title is generally reserved for that one friend everyone has (usually working in finance or the like) who completely overdoes it on Saturday night, double-fisting Jägerbombs, picking fights with the bouncer and having intercourse with complete strangers in the bathroom stalls before vomiting in the alley and leaving everyone with the bill to grab a cab home for a nightcap of blow – and who doesn’t behave much better when sober, either. While fetal alcohol spectrum disorders caused by drinking during pregnancy are a serious condition and alcohol consumption does affect fertility, sobriety (or the lack thereof) during conception generally does not affect the resulting child either way – else a significant portion of the human race would undoubtedly be Rauschkinder. Mind you, that would explain a lot about the state of the world…

“Sauf weniger, du Rauschkind!” (Drink less, you crazy dimwit!)

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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