Swiss Expressions that will come in handy

by Kim –  Wednesday, 13. February 2019

Everybody knows the swiss expression “Chuchichäschtli” (kitchen cupboard). We swiss people like to hear it from english natives, because english speakers can’t say a strong “ch” sound and what they do say sounds really funny to us. So be prepared as it may be the first word you have to say when you meet swiss people. 😉

Here are some phrases / words that will make your life in Switzerland easier and have you sound like a local.. kind of.

Grüezi – You’ll hear it everywhere, it means “hello”

Wämmer eis go ziieh? – “Do you want to go for a drink?” Drop this one if you want to try some local beer

Proscht / Pröschtli – means “cheers” and remember to maintain eye contact when you clink glasses

En guete! –  This is the best way to wish someone a good meal across Switzerland

Wie gats dir? – It’s the informal for “how are you”. The response will be along the lines of, “Danke guet und dir” (fine, thanks, and you?)

Äxgüsi – means “sorry”

Röschtigraben – is an expression used for the border between the German-speaking and the French-speaking Switzerland.

Znüni – is the snack break you take at nine o’clock in the morning

Chrüsimüsi – means “chaos”

Chönd Sie bitte langsamer rede? –   “Can you please talk slower?”

Bitte und Danke –  means “please” and “thank you”. The verbal courtesy exchanged may seem almost excessive. Better say  too much than too little “please” or “thank you”.

In case you struggled with some of the swiss german metaphorical expressions, I’d like to explain some more fun ones of them.

“Chasch nöd s’Foifi und s’Weggli ha.” – You can’t have your cake and eat it

“Dr Schneller isch dr Gschwinder.”- first come, first serve

“Hopp-de-Bäse”- hurry!

And for the final finish, here are the phrases / words some of our English-speaking instructors first learned:

George:        Ich han es nicht extra gemacht (I didn’t do it on purpose)

Aaron:          Chuchichäschtli (the famous kitchen cupboard)

Caroline:       Mega geil! (really really cool)

Dan:             Rande (beetroot)

Luisen:         Entschuldigung (sorry)