Word of the Week: Schlawiner [ʃlaˈviːnɐ]

Noun. Schlawiner is a loveable rogue; someone who is untrustworthy, but charming. A crook, but more con man than a hardened thug. It can describe a smart, cunning, lively person, often such a child.

Schlawiner is often used for playfully or naughty boys, skirt-chasing Lotharios, or used car salesmen, it is a slang term that can be both appreciative and a bit insulting. The word comes from Slovene or Slavone (Slovenian); in days past, many traveling salesmen hailed from that region, gaining a reputation as wheeler-dealers. Like Tschechern (verb; to drink alcohol excessively, to chug), which stems from Tscheche (Czech), an interesting example of a pejorative term where the original meaning has been forgotten, leaving a term of endearment.

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.

But Austrians may nod approvingly if you put together a coherent sentence, harmonizing the Akkusativpronomen correctly with the subject. But they’ll love you if you enrich your vocabulary with just one word of Wienerisch. 

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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