SPEAK LIKE AN OKTOBERFESTERMEISTER! Impress your friends!
(Courtesy of Alpiner Village in Torrance, CA)
Cheers and chants: You’ll want to master these so that even after a couple of beers you’ll be able to cheer loudly with the whole tent.
o Prost!: (Prōst) Its easy to remember because it rhymes with toast. This is how we say, “Cheers!” Sometimes you’ll hear ein Prosit this means “a toast.”
o Eins, zwei, drei: (ine tsvy dry) “One, two, three” We use this a lot to count down to the start of a contest or end it with g’suffa for ein Prosit. Make sure when you’re counting with your fingers in German, one is the thumb, two is thumb and forefinger, and three is thumb, forefinger, and middle finger.
o Oans, zwoa, g’suffa!: (ōnns tswō g’zoo-fa) “One, two, drink up!” This the very Bavarian way of saying it.
o Zicke zacke, zicke zacke, hoi hoi hoi!: (tsick-a tsack-a, tsick-a tsack-a, hoy hoy hoy) The band leader, or an over-exhuberant beer drinker, may lead us all in this cheer throughout the night and it’s often followed by Prost! and a swig of beer.
o Zusammen!: (tsoo-zamm-in) “together!” The Festmeister will shout this out when he wants everyone to join in.
Clothing: At Oktoberfest, you’re going to see a lot of German outfits, some traditional and some not so much. Here’s how you can identify what everyone’s wearing.
o Dirndl: (Dern-dull) The traditional German dress that you’ll see many lovely ladies and a few adventurous men wearing. This dress is German-engineered to highlight every woman’s assets.
o Lederhosen: (Lay-der-hose-in) This word literally translates to “leather pants.” You’ll see a lot of men wearing these trousers, some short and some to the knee, held up by a pair of leather suspenders. It’s been Oktoberfest-proven that when you wear lederhosen, your Bier tastes better and the Frauleins find you irresistible.
o Ladyhosen: (Lay-dee-hose-in) Some women at Oktoberfest decide to get in on the leather pants party too. When a lady wears Lederhosen, they are simply referred to as Ladyhosen.
Food and Beverage: Oktoberfest is a celebration of life and happiness, and that just couldn’t happen without great eats and libations. For those that think the German language is hard, just tell them, “Beer is Bier and bread is Brot. What more could you need to know?”
o Noch ein Bier, bitte: (nock ine beer bit-a) Because you know you won’t want just one, this is how you ask for “Another beer, please!”
o Brezeln: (Bray-tsuln) “Pretzel”. You’ll be wanting lots of giant, soft pretzels to go with your beer.
o Wurst: (virst) Sausage. No, it's not the worst, in fact it's the best, it is sausage. Don't call it a wiener.
o Guten Appetite!: (goo-ten app-a-teet) The German version of bon appetite.
Event terms: These are things you might hear on stage, or, on the dance floor, or when you can't get up to get on the dance floor. Knowing them will help you understand what’s going on.
o Gemütlichkeit: (gu-moot-lish-kite) This word has a very broad meaning. It is an atmosphere of comfort, peace, and acceptance, and it is what Oktoberfest is all about.
o Schunkeln: (Shoon-kulln) It’s the perfect dance for drinking because you don’t have to leave your seat. At Oktoberfest we sit on long benches and when the Schunkeln song comes on, everyone locks arms and sways back and forth.
o Zillertaler Hochzeits Marsch: (tsill-er-tall-er hock-tsites march) This is a traditional Bavarian wedding dance. Couples wrap one arm around their partner and clasp hands keeping the other arm strait like an arrow, and they skip in the direction the arrow is pointing then swap arms and change direction. It’s a lot of fun and a great cardio workout.
So, once you know all of these words and phrases you will become the Oktoberfestmeister! So study up, and we’ll see you soon!