Culture

Franconian Word of the Month – October

Winfried von Wittsburg

Saupreiß  /saʊ – praɪs/

Hochdeutsch: Schweinepreuße (not actually used)

English: Prussian Pig

Germany was, for the longest time, a country of different kingdoms. You had Franconian kings, Bavarian kings, the Hohenzoller, and other royal families. And you had Prussia.

Prussia had been one, if not the biggest kingdom of Germany. Under it, Germany was united for the first time with a Prussian Kaiser at its top, right after Germany had given France a right slap in the face in 1871. The Prussian virtues (even called Preußische Tugenden, later Deutsche Tugenden) like punctuality, dutifulness, tidiness, and diligence were a rough contrast to the Bavarian virtues, which mostly referred to eating plenty and brewing the very best beer. Bavaria, being the second-biggest kingdom at the time, and having fought plenty with Prussia over the centuries, now had to face a future in which Prussia told them what to do – which in turn gave the word Saupreiß a new Renaissance.

For a true Bavarian (and especially a Franconian), everything north of the Weißwurschtäquator – a non-existent border which, depending on who you ask, is either the Donau, the 49th latitude, roughly everything within a 100km radius around Munich (very highly debated, since only Großköpfada live in Munich), or everything outside of their village – is Saupreißenland, so essentially the region where Saupreißen originate from. 

A Saupreiß itself is anyone who does not like Bavarian beer, Weißwurst, or Bratwurst, and especially people who visit the Oktoberfest wearing Lederhosen while not being able to speak even the tiniest bit of Bavarian. People not understanding Bavarian and Franconian traditions like erecting the Maibaum (a tree, erected on the day the local church was built), drinking Gaßmoß (a mixture of beer, Cola, and cherry liquor), and what a Kerwassau is (the first person to be completely and utterly drunk on a Kerwa; elected by being the first one to puke) usually fall into this category, too.

Although the word may sound like a deadly insult, it is mostly used to signal to the “insulted” that he or she does not understand anything about Franconia. That in itself is not regarded as a problem, just that the person should undergo a rigorous training, usually started by going into a Gasthaus and buying some rounds of beer, so he or she may learn everything there is to know about Franconia.

In this very rare case, Franconians have not changed the word even though it originates from Bavaria, which shows that Franconians and the rest of Bavaria can live together peacefully as long as they can gossip about everyone else.

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