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Swinglish 101 – The Swiss Say the Darnest Things

Swinglish 101 - The Swiss Say the Darnest Things

"May I use your handy?" If you have lived in Switzerland long enough, you will have undoubtedly come across this question... It is a perfect example of a Swiss anglicism, or short: Swinglish"!

We have decided to publish the funniest Swinglish translations and anecdotes. It is actually normal for most Swiss to speak English fairly well (aside from German, French, Italian, you-name-it), but occasionally, words appear in the wrong context or are ever slightly off.

For native English speakers, this results in some pretty amusing "Swinglish" (i.e. "Swiss English"). But just to set the record straight, this article is not intended to make fun, but rather to put a smile on our faces. I mean, some of these Swiss "sayings" are truly "mega cool"!


A "Public Viewing" has nothing to do with a person who passed away...

Swinglish 101 - Public Viewing

An "Oldtimer" has four wheels instead of two legs and a cane!

Swinglish 101 - Oldtimer

A "Beamer" has little in common with a German car brand, as it is a video projector!

Swinglish 101 - Beamer

"Partnerlook" should be added to the English dictionary, no?

Swinglish 101 - Partnerlook

And since Switzerland is so unique, the Swiss simply invented a new word to describe it: "Swissness"!

Swinglish 101 - Swissness

Now this one makes sense: You kick the ground to get going on a skateboard. Thus, why not call it a "kickboard" like the Swiss?

Swinglish 101 - Kickboard

If you said "Handy" instead of mobile phone in the UK, you might get some blank stares as it stands for "hand job"...


"I've spent the holy day calling on the handy - just to try and get a hold of this guy!"


"I did quite some snow shuffling this weekend!"


"Your sweater is totally trendy!"


"I became a gift from my girlfriend today!"


"It was so funny skiing the other day!"


"I was so drunken on the weekend..."


"The cooker at this restaurant is famous!"


"The rabbits were all action at Migros today!"


"Let's go wellnessing this weekend!"


"Hello together!"


Have you ever been offered "du" informality like this? "You can say you to me!"


"Horny Chicken" on a restaurant menu... HUH?


"Frosted the lemon"

Now, please share your own findings in the comments below!

(Photographs courtesy of, Imprefectly Perfect, Skateboardfreunde NBG)

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.

Dimitri Burkhard

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