Hans Breitmann
by Charles G. Leland. 1889


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THIS Glossary was prepared entirely by Mr. Nicholas Trübner.

I am not aware that he had any assistance in writing it. I mention this because I have never met with any person who was so equally familiar with obscure and obsolete old German facetious literature (as the text indicates), and at the same time with Americanisms. I should say that in all of the later ballads, or at least in fully one half of all in the book, the author was indebted to him for ideas, suggestions, and emendations, and that the work would never have been what it is - sit verbo venia - but for him. Mr. Trübner was a poet, even in English, as his translation from Scheffel's poems indicates. A very few words have been added to explain the poems in the ballads which appear for the first time in this edition.



A - To Top

Abenddämmerung, (Ger.) - Evening dim light; twilight.
Abendgold, (Ger.) - Evening gold.
Abendroth, (Ger.) - Evening red.
Abendsonnenschein, (Ger.) - Evening sunshine.
Abbordez-moi vodre mére, (German-French) - Bring me your mayor.
Ach weh, (Ger.) - Oh, woe.
Allatag, (Ger. dial.) - Every day.
Alla weil - All the while; always.
Allegader - All together.
Alles wird ewig zu eins, (Ger.) - And all for ever becomes one.
Alter Schwed', (old Swede) - A familiar phrase like "old fellow."
Anamile, (Amer.) - Animal.
Annerthalb Yar, Anderthalb Jahr, (Ger.) - Year and a half.
Anti Word: Antwort - Answer.
Antworded, (Ger.) - Answered.
Apple-tod, (Amer.) - Apple toddy. Spirit distilled from cider.
Arbeiterhalle - Working-man's hall.
Arminius, (Herman.) - The Duke of the Cheruskans, and destroyer of the Roman legions under Varus, in the Teutoburg Forest.
Armlos - Unarmed.
Aroom, Herum - Around.
Arrière pensée, (Fr.) - A reserved thought or intention.
Aufgespannt, (Ger.) - Stretched, bent.
Augen, (Ger.) - Eyes.
Augenblick, (Ger.) - Twinkling of an eye.
Aus, (Ger.) - Out.

B - To Top

Bach, (Ger.) - Book.
Baender-box - Band-box.
Baldface corn, (Amer.) - Plain maize whisky.
Barell-hell pars - Parallel-bars; a part of the gymnastic apparatus.
Barrick, (Pennsylvania Ger. for Berg) - Mountain.
Bauern, (Ger.) - Peasants.
Be-ghostet, (Ger. Begeistert) - Inspired.
Begifted, - Beschenkt - Gifted.
Begreifen, (Ger.) - Understand.
Beheaded, Behauptet, (Ger.) - Asserted.
Bei Leib und Leben, (Ger.) - By my body and soul.
Bekannt, Beknown - Known.
Bellin, (Ger. Bellen) - To bark.
Bemarket, (Ger.-Eng.) - Remarked.
Be-mark, (Ger. Bemarken) - Observe.
Bemarks, (Ger. Bemerkungen) - Remarks.
Bemerkbàr, (Ger.) - Observable. Should be noticed.
Bemoost, (Ger.) - Mossgrown, in student's language,
ein bemoostes Haupt, an old student.
Bender, (Amer.) - A spree; a frolic. To "go on a
bender" - to go on a spree.
Be-raised - Raised, with the augment, literal for Ger. erhoben.
Berauscht, (Ger.) - Intoxicated.
Besoffen, (Ger.) - Drunk.
Bestimmung des Menschen - Vocation of Man, title of one of Fichte's works.
Betaubend, (Ger.) - Enchanting.
Bewises, (Ger. Beweist, from Beweisen) - Proves.
Bibliothek - Library.
Bienenkorb, (Ger.) - Beehive.
Birra gazzosa, (Italian) - Aerated, gaseous beer.
Bischof, (Ger.) - Bishop.
Bix Büchse, (box) - Rifle. Bess in Brown Bess is the equivalent of the German Büchse, (Brown being merely an alliterative epithet;) French, buse tube; Flemish, buis. (Still found in blunderbuss, arquebuss.) See Blackley's "Word Gossip."
Blaetter, (Ger.) - Leaves.
Blei - Lead.
Blitz, (Ger.) - Lightning.
Blitzen, (Ger.) - Lightning.
Blokes, (English) - Men.
Bock - A strong kind of German beer.
Boemisch - Bohemian.
Boerenvolk, (Flem.) - Peasants.
Bole Jack road - Near Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Bool - Bull.
Bornirtheit - Limitedness of capacity.
Bouleverse - Boulevard.
Bountiee, (Amer.) - Bounty-money paid during the war as a premium to soldiers. To jump the bounty, was to secure the then run away. "This is the song of Billy Jones, Who jumped the boun-ti-ee." - American Ballad of 1846.
Bowery - A street at New York, inhabited principally by Germans.
Branntewein, (Ger.) - Spirits.
Brandy smash, (Amer.) - A plain half-glass mint julep of only sugar,ice, spirits, and mint. A regular julep is larger, contains more ingredients.
Brav, (Ger.) - Good.
Breit, (Ger.) - Broad.
Bring it down to dots - Reduce it to figures.
Brisner - Prisoner.
Broosh-pinder - Brushbinder, (Ger. Buerstenbinder.) - Brushmaker. The brushmakers are supposed, probably on account of their throat-parching business, to be always thirsty.
Brummed - growled - (Ger. Brummen).
Brücke, (Ger.) - Bridge.
Bugs - In America all insects, especially Coleoptera.
Bummer, (Amer.) - A fellow haunting low taverns; applied during the late civil war in the United States to hangers-on of the army. Probably a corruption of the German
Bumming - From Bummer.
Bushwhackers - Guerillas.
Bust his shell - Broke his head.
Butterbrod, (Ger.) - Buttered bread.
By-Nearly; Beinahe - Almost, nearly.

C - To Top

Came - Game.
Camine - Chimney-piece.
Canyon, (Span. Cañon) - A narrow passage between high and precipitous banks, formed by mountains or tablelands, often with a river running beneath. These occur in the great Western prairies, New Mexico, and California.
Carmagnole - A wild street dance.
Carmosine, (Ger.) - Crimson. French, cramoisoi.
Carnadine - Incarnadine.
Change their lodge - Shift from one "society" to another.
Chroc, Chrocus, Crocus - An Alemannic leader, who overran Gaul, according to Gregory of Tours.
Chunk - A short thick piece of wood, or of anything else; a chump. The word is provincial in England, and colloquial in the United States.
Cinder - Suende; sin.
Clam - The popular name of a bivalvular shell-fish, the Venus.
Clavier, (Ger.) - Piano.
Colle belle, (Ital.) - With the beauties.
Comedy - Committee.
Conradin - The last of the imperial house of the Hohenstaufen - beheaded at Naples in 1268.
Coot - (To cut) a dash, (to come out a "swell,") to dress extravagantly.
Corned, (Amer.) - Made drunk.
Coster - The inventor of the art of printing, according to the Dutch.
Crate - Great.
Crecian pend - When Breitmann says "Dat pend of the bow ish the Crecian pend," it is a rather eqivocal compliment. "Grecian bend" has lately become a common newspaper expression. Smuggling done by women is called a "Case of Grecian bend." The present style of skirt, full at the back, is favourable to it.
Crislies - Grisly, (bear.)

D - To Top

Da ist er! Schau! - There he is! look!
Damit, (Ger.) - Therewith.
Dampfschiff - Steamboat.
Deck - A pack of cards, piled one upon another.
Demperanceler, Temperenzler - Temperance man.
Dessauerinn - A woman from Dessau.
Deutschland - Germany.
Die Hexe - The witch.
Die wile as möhte leben - During all its life. Daz wolde er immer dienen Die wile es möhte leben. - Kutrun. XV. Aventiure, 756th verse.
Dink - he, they think; my dinks - my thoughts.
Dinked - he, they thought.
Dishtriputet - Instead of attributed.
Dissembulatin' - Dissembling.
Dissolfed - Instead of resolved.
D'lusion - Instead of allusion.
Donnered, (Ger.) - Thundered.
Donnerwetter, (Ger.) - Thunder and lightning.
Dooks - Ducks.
Doon - Tune.
Doonderblix - Thunder and lightning.
Dorn - A thorn. Dorn lieder - Thorn-songs.
Drawed he in - (literal rendering of the German Zog er ein,)
Dreimal, (Ger.) - Three times.
Drocks - Drakes, dragons; (Ger. Drachen.)
Druckerei - Printing-office.
Dummehrlichkeit, (Ger.) - Honest simplicity.
Dunkelheit - Darkness.
Dursty, (Ger. Durstig) - Thirsty.

E - To Top

Earnsthaft, ernsthaft - Serious.
Eber, (Ger.) - Wild boar.
Eberschwein, (Ger.) - Wild boar.
Eckhartshausen - A German supernaturalist.
Eher, (Ger.) - Sooner. In the dialect it has the meaning of "before."
Einander to sprechen mit, (Ger.) - To speak together.
Eins, zwei, drei - One, two, three.
Einsichen, to take up one's abode with. Eldern, (Ger. Eltern) - Parents.
Elfenbein, (Ger.) - Ivory.
Emerich - King Emerich, hero of a German legend.
Emsig Gruebler, (Ger.) - Assiduous inquirer.
Engel, (Ger.) - Angel.
Engländrinn, (Ger.) - English woman.
Entlang, (Ger.) - Along.
Erfinder, (Ger.) - Inventor.
Erfounden, (Ger. Erfunden) - Invented.
Ergeben, (Ger.) - Resigned.
Error-dom, Irrthum - Error.
Erstaun, Erstaunished, erstaunt - Astonished.
Erstarrt, (Ger.) - Aghast.
Erwaitin', (Ger. Erwartend) - Awaiting, expecting.
Euchre, Eucre - Sort of game played with cards, very much in vogue in the West.
Euchred - From Euchre, the game of cards.

F - To Top

Fackeltantz, (Ger.) - Torch dance.
Fancy craps or crabs - Fast horses.
Fanes, Wetterfahnen - Weathercocks.
Fass, (Ger.) - Barrel.
Fat - Printer's term.
Feldwebel, (Ger.) - A sergeant.
Feinslieb, (Ger.) - Fair or fine love.
Fenster - A window.
Fichte - A German philosopher.
Finster, (Ger.) - Dark, dismal.
Foal - Full.
Foll - To fall.
Foon - Fun.
Foors - First.
Fore-by - Literal translation of the German Vorbei.
Fore-lying - Literal translation of Vorliegend.
Foreschlag, (Ger. Vorschlag) - Proposal.
Foresetzen - To set, put (lay) before an audience.
Foxen, (Ger. Fuchsen) - Foxes.
Frank-tiroir - Franc-tireur.
François Villon - An old French humorous poet, whom Boileau speaks of as the first who began to write truly modern French.
Frau, (Ger.) - Woman.
Freie, (Ger.) - Free.
Freischarlinger, (Ger. Freischaerler) - A member of a Free Corps;
especially applied to those who belonged to the Free Corps formed in Southern Germany during the Revolution in 1848.
Freischuetz, (Ger.) - Free shot, one who shoots with charmed bullets, the name of Karl Maria Von Weber's celebrated opera.
Friederich Rothbart - Frederic Barbarossa, the great Emperor of
Germany and one of the German legendary heroes. He is supposed to sleep in the Kyffhauser in Thuringia, and to awaken one day, when he will bring great glory over Germany.
Frolic - Frohlich, merry.
Froze to de ready - Held fast to the money.
Fullenden - Vollenden - To complete, perfect.
Fuss, (Ger.) - Foot.
Fust or Faust - The partner of Gutemberg, the inventor of the art of printing.

G - To Top

Gambrinus - A mythical King of Brabant, supposed to have been the inventor of beer.
Gandertate - Candidate.
Ganz, (Ger.) - Ganz.
Gans egál - Quite the same.
Ganz und gar, (Ger.) - Altogether, all over.
Garce, (French) - Wench.
Gass und Strass, (Ger.) - Lane and street.
Gast, (Ger.) - Guest.
Gasbalgs - Bladder of gas.
Gauer - Valleys.
Gaul darn - G-- ---n.
Gaul dern - A Yankee oath.
Gauner-sprache, (Ger.) - Thieves' language.
Ge-bildet - Built, with the German augment.
Ge-birt', (Ger. Geburt) - Birth.
Geborn - Born, with the augment.
Ge-brudert, (formed like ge-schwister,) - Brothers.
Geh hin mein Puch, (German of the 16th century).
Gehst nit mit rechten Dingen zu - Dost not do it by any natural means; there is witchcraft in it.
Gekommene - Arrived(newly arrived).
Gekommen so, (Ger.) - Come thus.
Ge-kostet - Cost, with the German augment.)
Gesangverein, (Ger.) - Singing-society.
Ge-screech, Geschrei - Bawling, clamour.
Gesembled - Assembled, with the augment of the German preterite.
Geshmasht - Smashed, with German augment.
Gespickt, (Ger.) - Larded.
Gestohlen - Stolen.
Gestohlen und bekannt, (Ger.) - Stolen, and known.
Gesundheit, (Ger.) - Health.
Gewehr, (Ger.) - Musket.
Gewiss - Certainly.
Gift, (Ger.) - Poison.
Gilt - In the ordinary sense, and also in the same verse,
"gilt," implying the meaning of the German verb "gelten," to be worth something, and also guilt.
Glamour - Ocular deception by magic.
Glee-wine, Glueh-wein - Hot-spiced wine.
Glucky, (Ger. Gluecklich) - Lucky.
Glueck, (Ger.) - Luck.
Goblum - For goblin.
Gool - Cool.
Gottallmachty, (Ger. Gottallmächtig) - God Almighty.
Gottashe - Cottage.
Gotteshaus, (Ger.) - House of God.
Gott-full, gottvoll - Glorious, divine.
Gottsdonnerkreuzschockschwerenoth, (Ger.) - Another variety of big swearing.
Gott's-doonder, (Ger. Gott's donner) - God's thunder. See also
Gott's tausend, a thundering sort of oath, but never preceded by lightning, for it is only used as a kind of expletive to express great surprise, or to give great emphasis to words which, without it, would seem to be capable of none.
Gottstausend, (Ger.) - An abbreviation of Gott's tausend donnerwetter (God's thousand thunders), and therefore the comparative of
Gott's doonder; with most of those who use it a meaningless phrase.
Gott weiss, (Ger.) - God knows!
Go von - Go one, bet on him.
Grillers - Guerillas.
Grod, gerad - Straight.
Gros, (Ger.) - Great.
Guestfriendlich, gastfreundlich - Hospitable.
Gummi lasticum - India rubber.
Gutemberg - The inventor of the art of printing.
Guve - Southern slang for give. Guv, for give, is also English slang as well as American.
Gyrotwistive - Snaky.

H - To Top

Hab' und Güter, (Ger.) - Property.
Hagel! Blitz! Kreuz Sakrament!(Ger.) - Another variety of swearing.
Halberthier, for Halberdier - Halberthier means half an animal.
Hand-shoe, (Ger. Handschuh) - Glove.
Hans Michel - A popular but not complimentary name for Germany.
Hans Wurst - Merry Andrew; Zani; Jack Pudding - the latter word being a literal translation of the German Hans Wurst; the pudding in either case referring to the sausages, or the pretended sausage, which the Merry Andrew always appeared to be swallowing by the yard or fathom. See Blackley's "Word Gossip."
Harmlos, (Ger.) - Harmless.
Haul de pot - Take the stakes.
Hause - House.
Hegel - Name of the German philosopher.
Heine, Heinrich - German poet.
Heini von Steier - Heinrich von Ofterdingen.
Heldenbuch - Is the title of a collection of epic poems, belonging to the cycle of the German Saga.
Heller Glorie schein - Bright gloriole.
Hereauf, hierauf - Thereupon.
Herout, (Ger.) Heraus) - Out.
Herr Je, (Ger.) - An abbreviation of Herr Jesus (O Lord!); generally only used by those who are fond of meaningless exclamations.
Her-re-liche, herrliche - Superb, grand, noble.
Hertsen - Herzen; hearts.
Hertzhog, Herzog, (Ger.) - Duke.
Herzlich, (Ger.) - Hearty.
Herzbruder, (Ger.) - Heart's brother.
Hexerei - Witchery, sorcery.
Himmel, (Ger.) - Heaven.
Himmels-Potz-Pumpen-Herrgott - A mild sort of a German imprecation, untranslatable.
Himmlisch' hoellisch' qual, (Ger.) - Heavenly-hellish pain.
Hip Herjé! - A common interjection.
Hobbiness - Happiness.
Hoellisch, (Ger.) - Hellish.
Honey fooglin', Honeyfuggle - Is believed to be English slang. In America it means blarneying, deceiving.
Hoockle perry, persimmoned - "A huckle-berry over my persimmon." Surpassed, out-done.
Hoof-irons, (Huf-eisen in Ger.) - Horse-shoe.
Hoofstad, (Flem.) - Capita.
Hop-sosa, (Ger.)int. - Hop; heyday!
Hundé - Dog.
Hundsfott, (Ger. Vulg.) - Mean scoundrel, hound.
Hunk, (Amer.) - Stout, solid, profitable. "To be all hunk" means to come out of a speculation with advantage. To be well off.
Hut, (Ger.) - Hat.

I - To Top

I Gili romaneskro - This song is written in the German gipsy dialect. Eh! in third line of second verse, is the German word ehe, "ere," or before. Kuribente ("in war,") is in the Slavonic and gipsy local case,
or as Pott calls it (Die Zigeuner in Europa und Asien) the Second Dative.
Ik leven, (Flem.) - I live.
Il diavolo in carnato, (Ital.) - The devil incarnate or in carnation.
Immer - Ever.
In geburst - Burst.
In Sang und Klang dein Leben lang, (Ger.) - In music and song all thy life long.
Ita dixit, (Latin) - So said.

J - To Top

Jeff - A game played by throwing up types, generally for "refreshments."
Joss-stick - A name given to small reeds, covered with the dust of odiferous woods, which the Chinese burn before their idols.
Jungfernkranz, (Ger.) - Bridal garland.

K - To Top

Kaiser Karl - Charlemagne.
Kalt, (Ger.) - Cold.
Kanaster, (Ger.) - Canaster tobacco.
Kan ik. Ik kan, (Flem.) - I can.
Karfunkelstein, (Ger.) - Carbuncle.
Kartoffel, (Ger.) - Potato.
Kauder-Waelsch, (Ger.) - Gibberish.
Kellner, (Ger.) - Waiter.
Kermes - Annual Fair.
Kinder, (Ger.) - Children.
Kitin, a kitin - Flying or running rapidly.
Klein und gross - Small and great.
Kloster, (Ger.) - Cloister.
Knasterbart, (Ger.) - Literally, tobacco-beard; perhaps denoting a good old fellow, fond of his pipe.
Kneiperei, (Ger.) - Revel.
Knock dem out de shpots - Knock the spots out of them; astonish them.
König Etzel - King Attila.
Komm maidelein! Rothe waengelein, (Ger.) - Come maiden, red cheeks.
Köng, (Ger. König) - Old Norse for king.
Kooken - Cake.
Kop, (Ger. Kopf) - Head.
Kreutzer - Frederick Creutzer, distinguished professor in the University of Heidelberg, author of a great work on "Symbolik."
Krumm, (Ger.) - Crooked.
Kümmel, (Ger.) - Cumin brandy.
Kummel, kimmel, (Ger.) - Schnapps, dram. Hans, in his tipsy enthusiasm, ejaculates, "Oh, mein Gott in Kimmel!" instead of "im Himmel" (heaven), becoming guilty of an unconscious alliteration, and confessing, according to the proverb in vino veritas, where his God really abides; "whose God is their belly."
Künster, (Ger.) - Sacristan.

L - To Top

Lanze, (Ger.) - Lance.
Lager, Lagerbeer, (Ger. Lagerbier, i.e., Stockbeer) - Sometimes in these poems abbreviated into Lager. A kind of beer introduced into the American cities by the Germans, and now much in vogue among all classes.
Lager Wirthschaft, (Ger.) - Beerhouse.
Laibgartner, (Ger.) - Liebgard; bodyguard. The Swiss in blundering makes it "body-gardener."
Lam - To drub, beat soundly.
Larmen - The French word larmes, tears, made into a German verb.
Lateinisch - Latin.
Laughen, lachen - Laughing.
Lavergne - A place between Nashville and Murfreesboro', in the state of Tennessee.
Lebe hoch! - Hurrah!
Leben - Life; living.
Lebenlang, (Ger.) - Life-long.
Lev'st du nock? - Liv'st thou yet?
Libby - The notorious Confederate prison at Richmond, Va.
Liddle Pills - Little bills, Legislative enactments.
Lieblich, (Ger.) - Charming.
Liedeken, (Flem.) - Song.
Lieder, Lieds, (Ger.) - Songs.
Liederkranz, (Ger.) - Glee-union.
Liederlich, (Ger.) - Loose, reckless, dissolute.
Lighthood, (Ger. Lichtheit) - Light.
Like spiders down their webs - Breitmann's soldiers are supposed to have been expert turners or gymnasts.)
Loafer, (Amer.) - A term which, considered as the German pronunciation of lover, is a close translation of rom, since this latter means both a gipsy and a husband.
Los, los gehen, (Ger.) - To go at a thing, at somebody.
Loosty, (Ger. Lustig) - Jolly, merry.
Loudet, (Lauten in Ger.) - To make sound.
L'Ubbriacone, (Ital.) - Drunkard.
Luftballon, (Ger.) - Air-balloon.
Lump, (Ger.) - Ragamuffin.
Lumpenglocke - An abusive term applied to bells, especially to those which are rung to give notice that the beer-houses must close.

M - To Top

Madel, (Ger.) - Girl.
Maedchen, (Ger.) - Girl, maiden.
Markgraefler - A pleasant light wine grown in the Grand Duchy of Baden.
Marmorbild - Marble statue.
Maskenzug, (Ger.) - Procession of masked persons.
Massenversammlung, (Ger.) - Mass meeting.
Mein Freund - My friend.
Mein Sohn - My son.
Meine Seel', (Ger.) - By my soul.
Meisjes, (Flem.) - Girls.
Middleolter(Mittelälter) - The Middle Ages.
Mijn lief gesellen, (Flem.) - My dear comrades.
Mineted - Minded.
Minnesinger - Poet of love. A name given to German lyric poets, who flourished from the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries.
Mist-hauf, (Ger.) - Dung-hill.
Mit hoontin knife, &c.:-
"With her white hands so lovely,
She dug the Count his grave.
From her dark eyes sad weeping,
The holy water she gave."
- Old German Ballad.
Mitout - Without.
Mitternight, Mitternacht - Midnight.
Mitternocht, Mitternacht - Midnight.
Mohr, ein schwarzer, (Ger.) - A blackamoor.
Moleschott - Author of a celebrated work on physiology.
Mondenlight - Moonlight.
Mondenschein, (Ger.) - Moonlight.
Morgan - John Morgan, a notorious Confederate guerilla during the late war in America.
Morgen-het-ache - Morning headache.
Moskopolite, (Amer.) - Cosmopolite. Mossyhead is the German student phrase for an old student.
Mud-sill - The longitudinal timber laid upon the ground to form the foundation for a railway. Hence figuratively applied by the labour-despising Southern gentry to the labouring classes as the substratum of society.
Murmulte - Murmured.
Mutter, (Ger.) - Mother.

N - To Top

Naturalizationisds - The officers, &c., who give the rights of native citizens to foreigners.
Nibelungen Lied - The lay of the Nibelungen; the great German national epos.
Nieuw Jarsie - New Jersey, in America, famous inter alia for its sandy beaches and high surf.
Nig - Nigger.
Nirwana - The Brahminical absorption into God.
Nix, (Ger. Nichts) - Nothing.
Nix cum raus - That I had not come out.
No sardine - Not a narrow-minded, small-hearted fellow.
Norate - To speak in an oration.
Noth, (Ger.) - Need, dire extremity. Das war des Breitmann's Noth, -That was Breitmann's sore trial. Imitated from the last line of the Nibelungen Lied.
Nun - Now.
Nun endlich, (Ger.) - Now at last.

O - To Top

O'Brady - An Irish giant.
Ochsen, (Ger.) - Oxen; stupid fellows. As a verb it also is used familiarly to mean hard study.
Odenwald - A thickly-wooded district in South Germany.
Oder - Other. See Preface.
Oltra tramontane; ultra tramontane - Applied to the non-Italian Catholic party.
On-belongs - Literal translation of Zugehört.
On de snap - All at once.
On-did to on-do - Literal translation of the German anthun; to donn, to put on.
Onfang, (Ger. Anfang) - Beginning.
Oonendly - Unendlich.
Oonshpeakbarly, (Ger. unaussprechbarlich) - Inexpressibly.
Oop-geclearéd, (Ger. Aufgeklaert) - Enlightened.
Ooprighty, (Ger. Aufrichtig) - Upright.
Oopright-hood, (Ger. Aufrichtigkeit) - Uprightness.
Oop-sproong - For aufsprung.
Opple-yack - Apple-jack. Spirit distilled from cider.
Orgel-ton, (Ger.) - Organ sound.
Orkester - Orchestra.
Out-ge-poke-te - Out-poked.
Out-signed, (Ger. ausgezeichnete) - Distinguished, signal.
Out-sprach - Outspoke.
Over again - Uebrigen.

P - To Top

Paardeken, (Flemish) - Palfrey.
Pabst, Der Pabst lebt, &c. - "The Pope he leads a happy life," &c., beginning of a popular German song.
Palact, (Ger. Pallast) - Palace.
Péké - Belgian rye whisky.
Peeps - People. "Hard on the American peeps" - a phrase for anything exacting or severely pressing.
Pelznickel, Nick, Nickel - St. Nicolas, muffled in fur, is one of the few riders in the army of the saints, but, unlike St. George and St. Martin, he oftener rides a donkey than a horse, more especially in that part of the German land which can boast
of having given birth to the illustrious Hans. St. Nicolas is supposed, on the night preceding his name-day, the sixth of December, to pass over the house-tops on his long-eared steed, and having baskets suspended on either side filled with sweets and playthings, and to drop down through the chimneys presents for those children who have been good during the year, but birch-rods for those who have been naughty, would not go to bed
early, or objected to being washed, &c. In the expectation of his coming, the children put, on the eve of St. Nicolas' day, either a shoe, or a stocking, or a little basket, into the
chimney-piece of their parents' bedroom. We may remark, by the way, that St. Nicolas is the Christian successor of the heathen Nikudr, of ancient German mythology. Pesser, besser, (Ger.) - Better.
Pestain - Stain, with the augment.
Pfaelzer - A man from the Rhenish Palatinate.
Pfeil, (Ger.) - Arrow.
Philosopede - Velocipede.
Pickel-haube, (Ger.) - The spiked helmet worn by Prussian soldiers.
Pie the forms - Break and scatter the forms of types - the greatest disaster conceivable to a true typo.
Pig-sticker - Bowie-knife.
Pile-out, (Amer.) - Hurry out.
Pimeby - By and by.
"Plain" - Water plain, i.e., unmixed.
Plue goats - Blue coats, soldiers.
Plug-muss - Fight for a fire-plug. American fireman's language.
Pokal, (Poculum) - Goblet.
Poker - A favourite game of cards among Western gamblers.
Poonkin - Pumpkin.
Pop-slets - Bob-sleds. A very rough kind of sledge.
Potzblitz, (Ger.) - int., The deuce.
Potztausend! Was ist das? - Zounds! What is that?
Poulderie - Poultry.
Poussiren - To court.
Pretzel, (Ger.) - A kind of fancy bread, twist or the like.
Prezackly - Pre(cisely), exactly.
Protocollirt, protocolliren - To register, record.
Pully, i.e., Bully - An Americanism, adjective. Fine, capital. A slang word, used in the same manner as the English used the word crack; as, "a bully
horse," "a bully picture."
Pumpernickel - A heavy, hard sort of rye-bread, made in Westphalia.
Put der Konig troo - To put through, (Amer.), to qualify, to imitate.
Pye - To buy.

R - To Top

Rapp(Rappe) - A black horse.
Raushlin', rauschend - Rustling.
Reb - An abbreviation of rebel.
Redakteur - Editor.
Red cock - Or make de red cock crow. Einem den rothen Hahn aufs Dach setzen. A German proverb signifying to set fire to a house.
Rede, (Ger.) - Speech.
Red-Waelsch, Roth-Waelsch, (Ger.) - Thieves' language.
Reiten gaen, (Flemish) - Go riding.
Reiter, (Ger.) - Rider.
Reiver - Robber.
Reue, (Ger.) - Repentance.
Rheingraf, (Ger.) - Count of the Rhine districts.
Rheinweinbechers Klang - The Rhine wine goblet's sound.
Richter, (Jean Paul Fr.) - A distinguished German author.
Ridersmann, (Reitersmann in Ger.) - Rider.
Ring - A political clique or cabal.
Ringe, (Ger.) - Rings.
Ritter, (Ger.) - Knight.
Roland - One of the paladins of Charlemagne.
Rolette - Roulette.
Rollin' locks - Rolling logs, mutually aiding (used only in politics.)
Rosen, (Ger.) - Roses.
Rouse, (Ger. Heraus) - Out; come out.

S - To Top

Sachsen - Saxonia, Saxony.
Sacrin - Consecrating.
Sagen Cyclus - Cycle of legends.
Sass, Sassy, Sassin' - Sauce, saucy, &c.
Sauerkraut, (Ger.) - Pickled cabbage.
Saw it - Understood it.
Scatterin, Scotterin - Scattering.
Schatz - Sweetheart.
Schauer, (Ger.) - Awe.
Schenk aus, (Ger.) - Pour out.
Schenket ein, (Ger.) - Pour in (fill the glasses).
Schimmel, (Ger.) - Grey horse.
Schimpft und flucht gar laesterlich, (Ger.) - Swears and blasphemes abominably.
Schinken, (Ger.) - Ham.
Schläger, (Ger.) - A kind of sword or broadsword; a rapier used by students for duelling or fighting matches.
Schlesierwein, (Ger.) - Wine grown in Silesia, proverbially sour.
Schlimmer, (Ger.) - Worse.
Schlog him ober de kop - Knocked him on the head.
Schloss, (Ger.) - Castle.
Schmutz, (Ger.) - Dirt.
Schnapps, (Ger.) - Dram.
Schnitz - Pennsylvania German word for cut and dried fruit.
Schnitz, schnitzen, (Ger.) - To chop, chip, snip.
Schönheitsidéal, (Ger.) - The ideal of beauty.
Schopenhauer - A celebrated German "philosophical physiologist."
Schoppen, (Ger.) - A liquid measure, chopin, pint.
Schrocken(Erschrocken) - Frightened.
Schwaben - Suabia.
Schwan, (Ger.) - Swan.
Schweinblatt - (Swine) Dirty paper.
Schweitzer kase, (Ger.) - Swiss cheese.
Schwer, (Ger.) - Heavy.
Schwig, Swig, verb. - To drink by large draughts.
Schwigs, Swig, n. - A large draught.
Schweinpig, (Ger.) - Swinepig.
Scoop - Take in, get.
Scorched - Escorted. A negro malapropism.
Scrouged, (Amer.) - Pressed, jammed.
Seelen-Ideal - Soul's ideal.
Sefen-lefen - Seven or eleven(minutes).
Seins, (Ger.) - The Being.
Selbstanschauungsvermögen, (Ger.) - Capacity for self-inspection.
Selfe, (Ger.) Selbe) - Same.
Serenity - A transparency.
Shanty - A board cabin. Slang, for house.
Shapel - Chapel is an old word for a printing-office.
Sharman, Sherman - German.
Shings - Jingo; by jingo.
Shpicket - Spigot; a pin or peg to stop a small hole in a cask of liquor.
Shipsy - Gipsy.
Shlide - Slide. "Let it slide," vulgar for "let it go."
Shlide, (Amer.) - Depart.
Shlished, geschlitzt - Slit.
Shlop over - Go too far and upset or spill. Applied to men who venture too far in a success.
Shlopped - Slopped.
Shmysed, (Ger. Schmissen, from Schmeissen) - Threw him out of doors.
Shnow-wice, (Ger. Schnee-weis) - Snow-white.
Shoopider - Jupiter.
Shooting-stick - A shooting-stick is used for closing up the form of types.
Show-spiel, Schauspiel - Play, piece.
Shpoons - Spoons, plunder.
Shtuhl, (Ger. Stuhl) - Stool, chair.
Silbern, (Ger.) - Silver.
Sinn, (Ger.) - Meaning.
Six mals - Six times.
Skeeted - Went fast, skated(?)
Skool - Skull.
Skyugle, (Amer.) - "Skyugle" is a word which had a short run during 1864. It meant many things, but chiefly to disappear or to make disappear. Thus, a deserter "skyugled," and sometimes he "skyugled" a coat or watch.
Slanganderin' - Foolishly slandering.
Slasher gaffs - Spurs for cocks, with cutting edges.
Slibovitz - A Bohemian schnapps.
Slumgoozlin' - Slum or sham guzzling, humbug.
Slumgullion - A Mississippi term for a legislator.
So mit, (Ger.) - Thus with.
Solidaten, (Ger. Soldaten) - Soldiers.
Sonntag, (Ger.) - Sunday.
Soplin - A sapling, young tree.
Sottelet, (Ger. Gesattelt) - Saddled.
Sound upon the goose - Bartlett, in his Dictionary of Americanisms, states that this phrase originated in the Kansas troubles, and signified true to the cause of slavery. But this is erroneous, as the phrase was common during the native American campaign, and originated at Harrisburg, as described by Mr. Leland.
Souse und Brouse, (Ger. Saus und Braus) - Revelry and rioting.
Speck, (Ger.) - Bacon.
Spiel, (Ger.) - Play.
Spielman, (Ger.) - Musician.
Splodderin' - Splattering.
Spook, (Ger. Spuk) - A ghost.
Sporn, (Ger.) - Spur.
Sports - Sporting men.
Squander, (Amer.) - Wander. Used in this sense in "The Big Bear of Arkansas."
Staub, (Ger.) - Dust.
Stein, (Ger.) - Stone.
Stille, (Ger.) - Stillness.
Stim, (Ger. Stimme) - Voice.
Stohr - Store.
Stone fence, (Amer.) - Rye whisky. "I went in and got a horn Of old stone fence." - Jim Crow, 1832.
Straaten, (Flem.) - Streets.
Stracks - Straight ahead, or onwards.
Straight flush - In poker, all the cards of one suit.
Strassen, (Ger.) - Streets.
Strauss - Name of the celebrated Viennese valse player and composer.
Strumpf, (Ger.) - Stocking.
Stunden, (Ger.) - Leagues. About four and a half English miles.
Sturm und Drang, (Ger.) - Literally Storm and Violence.
Sturm und Drang periode, signifying a particular period of German literature.
Sweynheim and Pannartz - The first printers at Rome.

T - To Top

Takes - Allotments of copy to each printer.
Tantz, (Ger.) - Dance.
Tantzen, (Ger.) - To dance.
Tarnal - Eternal.
Taub, Taube, (Ger.) - Dove.
Taugenix, Taugenichts - Good-for-nothing fellow.
Teufelsjagersmann - Devil's huntsman.
Theil, (Ger.) - Part.
Thoom - Thumb.
Thrip, (Southern Amer.) - Threepence.
Thusnelda - The wife of Arminius, (Hermann,) the Duke of the Cheruskans and conqueror of Varus. Tie a dog loose. Losbinden
- An American term for a gambling table.
Tixey - "I wish I was in Dixie." The origin of this song is rather curious. Although now thoroughly adopted as a Southern song, and "Dixie's Land" understood to mean the Southern States of America, it was, about a century ago, the estate of one Dixie, on Manhattan Island, who treated his slaves well; and it was their lament, on being deported
south, that is now known as "I wish I was in Dixie."
Todt, (Ger.) - Dead.
Todtengrips, Todtengerippe - Skeleton.
Tofe - Dove.
To House, (Ger. zu Hause) - At home.
Tortled - To tortle, to move off. From turtle.
Touch the dirt - Touch the road.
Treppe - Stairs.
Treu, (Ger.) - Faithful, true.
Throw him with ecks - Pelt him with eggs.
Turchin - Colonel Turchin's men ravaged the town of Huntsville (Ala.) during the civil war.
Turkas - Turquoise.
Turner, (Ger.) - Gymnast.
Turner Verein, (Ger. Turnverein) - Gymnastic Society.
Tyfel, Teufel - Devil.
Tyfeled, Verteufelt - Devilish.
Tyfelfest - From Teufel, here in the sense of "best" or "worst."
Tyfel-shnake, Teufelsschnaken - Devilries.
Tyfel-strikes, Teufels-streiche - Devil-strokes.
Tyfelwards - Devilwards.

U - To Top

Uber Stein and Schwein, (Ger.) - Over stone and swine.
Ueberschwengliche, (Ger.) - Transcendental, elevated.
Uhr, (Ger.) - Clock, watch, hour, time. Used for "hour" in the ballad.
Uhu, (Ger.) - Owl.
Uliverus - Oliver, another of the twelve Paladins of Charlemagne, who fell at Roncesvalles (a Roland for an Oliver).
Und lauter guter Ding, (Ger.) - And of thoroughly good cheer.
Un-windoong, (Ger. Entwicklung?) - Unravelling.
Unvolkommene technik - Unfinished style or method.
Urbummellied, (Ger. vulg.) - Arch-loafer's song.
Urlied, (Ger.) - The song of yore.

V - To Top

Van't klein komt men tot't groote, (Dutch) - Great things have small beginnings. (Concordia res parvä crescunt - Legend on the Dutch ducats; or "Magna molimur parvi.")
Varus - The Roman commander in Germany, conquered by Arminius.
Veilchen, (Ger.) - Violets.
Vercieren, (Flem.) - Adorn; exalt.
Verdammt, (Ger.) - D---d.
Verfluchter, (Ger.) - Accursed.
Verloren, (Ger.) - Forlorn.
Verstay, Verstehen - Understand.
Versteh, Verstehen, (Ger.) - To understand.
Vertyfeln, Verteufeln - To botch.
Villiam - William Street at New York, inhabited by many Germans.
Vivat! - The same as vive! in French. Hurrah!
Vlaemsche - Flemish.
Von - One. See Preface.
Voonderly, (Ger. Wunderlich) - Wondrous, curious.
Vorüber, (Ger.) - Past.

W - To Top

Wachsen, (Ger.) - Waxen.
Wachsen, (Ger.) - To grow.
"Komm'ich in's galante Sachsen
Wo die schöne Maedchen wachsen."
- Old German Song.
Waechter, (Ger.) - Watchman.
Waelder, (Ger.) - Woods.
Wahlverwandtschaft, (Ger.) - Elective affinity, sympathy of souls.
Wahrsagt, (Ger. Wahrsagen) - To foretell, soothsay.
Waidmannsheil, (Ger.) - Huntsman's weal.
Wald, (Ger.) - Wood.
Wallowin - Walloon.
Wälschen, (Ger.) - Of the Latin race.
Wappenshield(Waffenschild) - Coat of arms.
Ward all zu Steine, (Ger.) - Became all stone.
Ward zu Wind, (Ger.) - Became a wind.
Wechselbalg, (Ger.) - (formerly a popular superstitious belief), a changeling, brat, urchin.
Weihnachtsbaum, (Ger.) - Christmas tree.
Weihnachtslied, (Ger.) - Christmas song.
Weingarts, Weingärten, (Ger.) - Vineyards.
Weingeist, (Ger.) - Vinous, ardent spirit.
Wein-handle, (Ger. Weinhandel or
Weinhandlung) - Wine-trade, wine-shop.
Weinnachtstraum - Lit. Winenight's dream, for "Weihnacht," Christmas dream.
Wellen und Wogen, (Ger.) - Waves and billows.
Welshhen - Turkey hen.
Werda?(Ger.) - Who's there?
Werden, das Werden - The becoming to be.
Wete (Wette) - Bet.
We'uns, you'ns - We and you. A common vulgarism through the Southern States. "'Tis sad that we'uns from you'ns parts When you'ns hev stolen we'uns' hearts.
Wie gehts, (Ger.) - How goes it? How are you?
Wie Milch und Blut - Like milk and blood.
Wild und Weh, (Ger.) - Wild and woebegone.
Wilde Jagd - Wild hunt.
Willkomm, (Ger.) - Welcome.
Windsbraut, (Ger. poet) - Storm, hurricane, gust of wind.
Wird, (Ger.) - Becomes.
Wise-hood, (Ger. Weisheit) - Wisdom.
Wised, (Ger. Wusste, from wissen) - Knew.
Witz, (Ger.) - A sally.
Wo bist du?(Ger.) - Where art?
Woe-moody, (Ger. Wehmüthig) - Moanful, doleful.
Wohl, (Ger.) - Well!
Wohlauf, (Ger.) - Well, come on, cheer up.
Wolfsschlucht, (Ger.) - Wolf's glen.
Wonnevol, (Ger. Wonnevoll) - Blissful.
Woon, (Ger. Wunde) - Wound.
Word-blay - Word-play, pun, quibble.
Wunderschéen(Wunderschön) - Very beautiful.
Wurst - A German student word for indifference.
Wurst, (Ger.) - Sausage.

Y - To Top

Yaeger, (Ger.) - Huntsman.
Yaegersmann, Jaegersmann - Huntsman.
Yager, (Jager, Ger.) - Hunter.
Yar, (Ger. Jahr) - Year.
Yartausend, Jahrtausend - A thousand years.
Yellow pine - Mulatto.
Yonge maegden, (Flem.) - Young girls. "I lost a maiden in that hour." - Byron.
Yoompers - Jumpers. Rude sledges.
Yungling, Jüngling, (Ger.) - Youth.

Z - To Top

Zapfet aus, (Ger.) - Tap the barrel.
Zigeuner - Gipsy.
Zimmer, (Ger.) - Room.
Zukunftig, (Ger.) - In future.

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