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Psst! Here are 19 ingenious ways to piss off the Swiss

Roger Federer has South African Citizenship

Most of us have probably stepped into proverbial cow dung by asking inappropriate questions while in a foreign country.

While reading through these statements, ask yourself why a Swiss person might not like to hear some things. Are you committing a cultural faux pas, stating a lie, or are you simply being too direct about an inconvenient truth?

By pondering about this, you will undoubtedly discover something about the Swiss psyche. And in the best case scenario, none of these statements will ever have to be spoken out loud... In short: Do not use this knowledge to poke at the Swiss, but instead become friends with someone!

Alright, since you insist, here are some ways to piss off the Swiss:


Asking whether they speak "Swiss".


Pointing out that Swiss German is just a dialect and not its own language.


Wondering whether Switzerland is next to Norway or Finland.


Asking what the capital of Sweden is. ("It's Zürich right?")


Asking who the king of Switzerland is.


Drawing the Swiss flag in a rectangular shape.


Saying that Belgium chocolate is much better.


Wondering whether in the land of cheese and chocolate, everyone must be fat?


Stirring in the cheese fondue pot when it's not your turn.


Referring to Roger Federer as being a South African (not a Swiss).


Writing yourself in on your building's shared laundry plan on a day that you normally don't use. #passiveaggressive


Stating that "Switzerland is boring."


Assuming that all Swiss are bankers, brokers or traders, and that everyone is filthy rich.


Bringing up "Swiss banking system" and "corrupt" in the same sentence.


Asking where all those gold reserves are from.


Saying that something is too expensive here, "I'll just buy it it Germany."


Skipping Switzerland on a European vacation "because it's too expensive."


Assuming that everyone skies - every day.


Claiming that your home mountain in North America is better for skiing.

In case you like this kind of content, check out our post about more ways to piss off the Swiss or 7 little ways to tick off the Swiss...

(Collaboration post with inputs from Bill, Christine, Christian, Dimitri, Kristina, Wesley, inspired by this)

Dimitri Burkhard

As the founder, editor, and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of Swiss Travel Communicators. Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.


    • I know, #4 is a double whammy… People mix up Switzerland and Sweden all the time – while in Switzerland. So the Swiss really get ticked off by that, plus by the fact that everyone assumes Zürich is the capital… ^Dimitri

      • I honestly do not understand why people mix up Switzerland and Sweden. It’s unfortunately so very common, though. But seriously, how!?

      • In some languages (such as even in Chinese) the Swiss and the Swedes start even on the same character — in the case of Chinese it is 瑞 (rui). So… that’s quite a start already…

  • […] dinners quite often, and they’re always a good giggle … with conversations such as how do you annoy a Swiss person, and how big is Australia in comparison with […]

    • Sure, there is not necessarily an “order” or a “turn”. But looks are exchanged and intentions read as to who goes next. Finally, those who stirr their forks in the melted cheese are supposed to follow a “figure 8” movement… ^Dimitri

    • As a Swiss try explaining where you’re from in rural Vietnam. After much waving my hands I ended up saying I was from Europe. That seemed to brighten their faces…

  • (Instant reactions…)

    1. The closest thing to “Swiss” linguistically is Rumantsch, and the real “Swiss” Rumantsch is the 1982 Federal concoction, Rumantsch Grischun.

    2. (Please don’t get me started.)

    3. Both are in Schengenland (for now). Off you go to Gates A or B at ZRH…

    4. MIND THE GAP. There is a Zurich (no ümläüts) in the Netherlands! (As if this was relevant.)

    5. No king… But then we don’t directly elect our President in Bern, either! (Or would 100,000 intrepid compatriots change this at the ballot box?)

    6. Our cantonal and Gemeinde flags are just about square as well.

    7. (How can I believe you…)

    8. Didn’t MIGROS do an ad for an “apple + mineral water” lunch?

    9. (Never tried.)

    10. (???)

    11. What a great way to get the evil eye. It’s like always pushing the “open doors” button on a train when nobody is getting onboard (or off). Timing is everything, really.

    12. RailCity / ShopVille on Sundays? Nobody wants to starve you…

    13. I was close to failing my precalculus. (Hint hint!)

    14. (You can only be stared at in amazement.)

    15. (Ditto.)

    16. The city of Harbin, China, is probably tonnes cheaper. (But the flight ticket and visa fees!)

    17. Well, the half-litre ice tea packs aren’t astronomical…

    18. I think I will be cut off very quickly if I try to tell you my adventure on the pistes. Which ended with me breaking my ski set by accident!

    19. I might have done a #SkiEpicFAIL at Hoch-Ybrig but then there are other places in Switzerland as well. Right?

  • Swiss German is not just a dialect, it is an own way of expression with several ways of writing each other and very much different from German! Therefore it is an own language and has only basic similarities with German…Don’t know why people seriously don’t get it!

  • Telling Genevans that they are actually way more more German-like (punctual, humble, hard-working, love everything environment-friendly…) that French-like (undisciplined, rebel, “râleurs”), whatever they think.

Dimitri Burkhard

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