The meaning of our aphorisms
„minettsdapp“: the inhabitants of the “Minett” (southern Luxembourg)
Iron ore, which is found in the southern part of the country along the French border, is the foundation for the prosperity of Luxembourg. After the end of the 19th century began the industrial production of iron, Luxembourg became one of the largest manufacturers of steel worldwide. Iron ore is called “minette” in French.
In Luxembourgish a “Dapp” is a buddy, someone who has his heart in the right place. The working class people in the south of the Grand Duchy therefore are called “minetssdapp”. They have the reputation of being very open and direct, and they express their views bluntly.
„äddi a merci“: Goodbye and thank you
A very typical expression when you leave a place or a person that has provided you a service.
„kuff d’Schmull“: Shut up
“Jéinesch” is a dialect that was spoken in Luxembourg by the traveling merchants long ago, but now is almost extinct. Many words and phrases have been adopted from “Jéinesch” into Luxembourgish, such as “Moss” for an attractive girl or “Klont” for a prostitute. “Kuff d’Schmull”, a rude expression to tell someone to “shut up”, is used regularly by Luxembourgers today.
The Luxembourgish people curse you in every opportunity. “Nondikass” is probably by far the most frequently used curse word. There are different theories on the origin. Most likely,”nondikass” originated from the French “nom de dieu” (similar to the English: For the love of God). Since the Catholic Luxembourgers did not want to offend God, they used the word “kass” instead of “dieu”.
„Klibber mech“: Do what you want
The connection between the origin of the phrase and how it is used today is unclear. During Holy Week, altar boys and girls parade through the streets making lots of noise with a wood instrument called a “Klibber”. Symbolically, they are replacing the church bells which are “flown to confession to Rome”.
The verb for what the children are doing is “klibberen” – and translation of the phrase would be “’Klibber’ me”. This expression is used when you are in the midst by an argument and have had enough. You throw up your hands and say “Klibber mech” (i.e. almost like “Whatever!” in English) as you turn around to walk away.
„a soss?“: What’s up?
Common phrase that is used at the beginning of a conversation to hide that one actually has nothing to say.
„wat e gedeessems“: What a hassel
a slightly derisive expression for a person who’s always on the move and likes to party.
„et war net keen“: It wasn’t just anybody
A sentence used to describe the suspicion among some in the judiciary that high ranking personalities may have been involved in a series of bomb attacks (the so-called Bommelëer affair) in Luxembourg in the 1980s.
„egal wat“: whatever
„wat gelift?“: I beg your pardon?
„o vreck!“: Damn it
„huddel a fatz“:
a broken object or a hangover.
someone who is stubborn.
The Luxembourgers borrowed the expression „tip-top“ from the English language and it has basically the same meaning as in English.
„gromperekichelchen“: potatoe pancake
Somebody who likes to talk a lot („big mouth“).
„dajee“: Come on now!
„dajee alt“: OK then…
Answer to „come on now”.
The proper meaning is a bag of sweets with a hidden surprise to arouse the curiosity of children. The actual meaning is somebody who’s quite curious.
Someone who likes to drink and is always close to the bar ( a „barfly“).
someone from the Moselle region
„wann s de eppes kanns“:
I’m a natural
„vum lämmes gebass“:
You were bitten by „Lämmes“, means: out of one’s mind,
throwing a tantrum!
„gare la box“:
woe betide…, watch out!
damn, Synonym for „nondikass“.
When you leave in the „heibleifskärchen“, it means that you stay at home during the holiday, (to have a „staycation“)
crazy, mad, nuts