Word of the Week: Sitzfleisch [ˈzɪt͡sˌflaɪ̯ʃ]

Noun. Endurance, staying power, tenacity. Lit. “sitting flesh,” i.e. one’s posterior, or, “bum on the seat.”

Noun. Endurance, staying power, tenacity. Lit. “sitting flesh,” i.e. one’s posterior, or, “bum on the seat.”

While derriéres are a staple of insults worldwide, Sitzfleisch actually has positive connotations: Saying that someone has it denotes a certain fortitude in usually sedentary, clerical tasks, the nigh-on heroic ability to outlast even the most mundane, mind-numbing or just plain irritating work with superior mental endurance, personified in German as having enough bottom to “sit out” anything, as it were.

A vital skill for anyone working in a government office, where promotions usually go to those who have the most Sitzfleisch. For the more conventional take on backsides, see the highly versatile Oasch.

“Vom sitzen wird das Sitzfleisch mehr.” (“The bottom’s weight increases from sitting.”)

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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