"Yep, I know a few."
Like the time our family hosted a French exchange teen, we sat around the table laughing and teaching phrases and words. I now know some Deutch. Some not so proper. You know, the slang. Thanks Harvey. Or the, uh, curse words. Thanks Monroe! And I know some typical household ones, too. Bahaef dich.
I think Amish - or Deutch or German - is a pretty language. I'm not a linguist but I've heard it referred to as Deutch or German, and a combination thereof. Did you know . . .
- Amish is an oral language? It's not recorded. Children learn from hearing their parents.
- There are various dialects? Depending on the area of our country - Amish may have different accents just like non-Amish with southern or northern accents. Think New Yorkers vs those in Alabama.
Here I share a glossary of Amish words. Some have different spellings because, being an oral language, there's no right way to spell them. Often a word is spelled phonetically. Ask an Amish or ex-Amish to help you with pronunciation.
My ex-Amish friends helped me with these so you know they're accurate:
- Dawdy (daudy or dawdi) = Grandpa
- Mommi (maumy) = Grandma
- Maam = Mom
- Gma (Gmay) = Church
- Maan = Husband
- Englischer = non-Amish
- Frau = Wife or woman
- Humli = Calf
- Gut = Good
- Lobe = Praise
- Kapp = Head covering
- Vee bisht du hight? = How are you today?
- Shay = Nice
- Sex = Six (seriously!)
- Bahaef dich or Behave dich = Behave yourself
- Kotz = cat
- Shtup gucka = Stop staring
- Du bisht shay = You're pretty
- Ich liebe dich = I love you
- Kissy = Pillow
- Buch = Book
- Kutza = Vomit
- Buss = Kiss
- Schup-kaech = Wheelbarrow
- Shnuck = Cute
- Liebe = Love
- Roth = Red
- Laufa = Walking
- Dawdi Haus = Home built on the family farm for grandparents to live.
- Vee gehts = How's it going?
***Random adds - Want an interesting speaker? Your audience will love hearing my stories of the customs/beliefs/behaviors of the Amish and fingering through my suitcase of authentic Swartzentruber Amish clothes. Talk to me about speaking at your next event - speaker2parents @ juno.com.
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