Franconian Word of the Month

Franconian Word of the Month – Fräggala

Franconian Word of the Month
Franconian Word of the Month

Fräggala /fræ – gʌ – la/

Hochdeutsch: Lausbube, Frechdachs

English: Scallywag

There were a couple of times I visited my grandma in Gaiganz, a very small village in the middle of Franconia. There, she had a small dog – some sort of dachshund – which usually was quite likeable, but sometimes also a right little bastard. It would snatch food off the table, and sausages in its perimeter could not be considered safe. Therefore, she oftentimes lovingly called it “mein Fräggala”.

The dog may have died, but the word still lives on. It probably originates from the German “Frechdachs”, a combination of the adjective “frech” and the noun “Dachs”. Essentially, it means “silly badger” and was mostly used to describe young pranksters, especially in school. Nowadays, its use has somewhat declined and if you hear it, it probably comes from an older person since there is a good chance they were called exactly that by an annoyed school teacher back in the day, like my grandma. (She did indeed call me that, too; usually when I stole cookies.)

Franconians came up with something that only marginally resembles this word. The “Frägg” part possibly is supposed to be the adjective “frech” in some way or another, since Franconians do not like the sound of “ch” and often substitute it with a single or double “g”. (They still have not stooped low enough to say “Gina” instead of “China”, but that is only a matter of time.) In turn, the word is supposed to mean that the so-called person is slightly annoying (slightly because of the “-la”), whereas a “Frägga” is when you really get on someone’s nerves.

It is also very important to consider that this word is usually only used for people of the male persuasion, since, especially to my grandma, only they can be a perpetrator of irritation, whereas an aggravating woman would usually have a good reason for their behaviour.

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