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How to Say 'Mother-in-Law' in Swiss German

Family or Familie - Thommy Weiss  /
It's the family season of the year for me. Birthday celebrations and other family gatherings somehow accumulate in the months of April and May. In Swiss German we often call family gatherings 'Familieschluuch' which literally means 'family hose' and refers to an 'obligatory family gathering' or 'family gathering where your presence is expected'.

Personally, I agree that it's nicer to sit outside in the afternoon with the family and enjoy the sun, a good steak and a cold beer than sitting cooped up in a living room and watch the rain fall outside. However, it might just as well be true that some people use their birthdays to show off their new barbecue equipment or garden furniture. I don't disapprove.

Dictionary of Family Members in Swiss German

Anyhow, I'm using the opportunity of this family season to share with you a short dictionary of family members in Swiss German. Most of them are quite similar to the German equivalents but there are some  fun exceptions. Have a look for yourself.

Änkel (grandchild)
Änkeli (little grandchild, young grandchild)
Änkelin (female grandchild)
Baby (baby)
Bébé (baby)
Brüeder (brother)
Brüederli (little brother)
Buschi (baby)
Chind (child, children)
Cousin (male cousin)
Cousine (female cousin)
Cou-Cousin (male second cousin)
Cou-Cousine (female second cousin)
Eltere (parents)
Familie (family)
Frau (woman, wife)
Fründ (boyfriend, friend)
Fründin (girlfriend, friend)
Gromi (grandma)
Gropi (grandpa)
Grosi (grandma)
Groschind (grandchild, grandchildren)
Groseltere (grandparents)
Grosmami (grandma)
Grospapi (grandpa)
Gschwüschterti (sibblings)
Maa (man, husband)
Mami (mom)
Mueter (mother)
Mueti (mom)
Nachzügler (straggler)
Neffe (nephew)
Nichte (niece)
Papi (dad)
Partner (partner, boyfriend, girlfriend)
Schwager (brother-in-law)
Schwiegereltere (parents-in-law)
Schwiegermueter (mother-in-law)
Schwiegervatter (father-in-law)
Schwögerin (sister-in-law)
Schwö (sis)
Schwöschter (sister)
Schwöschterli (little sister)
Schöschterherz (dear sister)
Tante (aunt)
Unkel (uncle)
Vatter (father)
Vati (dad)
Verwandti (relatives)
Zwilling (twin)

Note: The terms Stiefvater, Stiefmueter, etc. (stepmother, stepfather, etc.) are technically correct but are barely used anymore. It's more common to call your mother's new husband "de maa vode mueter" (which means 'mom's husband') than stepdad. If you address them directly you use their first name anyway.

More Swiss German words and expressions from different topics can be found in the Swiss German Dictionary.



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