Newly Swissed Online Magazine

Here are 14 definite signs to know if you’re Swiss

While hanging out at the lake the other day, we reflect on our first year back in Switzerland. The result: a consolidated list of observations and, at the same time, a sequel to our series of definite ways to know if you are Swiss...

You know you're Swiss if:


You enjoy watching the cars pass by on the freeway.


You are fluent in at least three languages (and think it is completely normal).


You routinely have to explain that “Swiss” is not a language.


You get amused when you see Swiss German people being subtitled on German television.


You think it's normal to have six different public television channels in three different languages.


You can not only pronounce "Chuchichäschtli", but also know what it means! (That's if you're from the Swiss German part.)


You have ever been called "Swedish".


You have ever been asked - upon stating your nationality - whether you live in the mountains - and whether you can yodel!


You grew up believing all cows must wear bells (and still believe so).


You think showcasing your collection of garden gnomes is a way of making friends.


You never leave the house without an umbrella.


When asked to explain how certain things work in Switzerland, you commonly use the phrase "it differs from canton to canton…"


No matter how much of a "bad-ass" you think you are, you will still pick up your candy wrapper off the floor if an old lady asks you to!


You always bring some Aromat when traveling abroad!

Did we just describe your very personality? Or did we miss any crucial signs that you are Swiss?

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.

21 comments

  • I’ve been here in Switzerland for exactly one year today, and I couldn’t agree more about all this! I got exactly the same impression and was especially surprised by the children walking alone with that funny reflection band!

    Denise

  • You know you’re Swiss if …
    … you get a cow bell with personalized embroidery on the leather strap … as a wedding gift!

  • I just stumbled across this blog … awesome, a lot of funny and absolutely true facts assembled! I’m Swiss through and through (familiar with most of the items above) but I’ve lived in Scotland for a while, so there are a few things to add to your lists:

    food: You know you’re Swiss…
    …when you search for fresh yeast in a British supermarket (to make this kind of plaited bread known as “Züpfe”) and can’t find any.
    …when you miss “real” bread with a crust more than chocolate when being abroad.
    …when you explain that “Emmental” is actually a region with a river called “Emme”.
    …you try to find white eggs in a British supermarket to dye them with onion skins for easter and you find only brown ones.

    politics: You know you’re Swiss…
    …when you need at least an hour and two pints to explain the political system in Switzerland to your foreign friends. (Provided you understand it yourself.)

    geography: You know you’re Swiss…
    …when you don’t think you need a compass and an appropriate map to survive when you go hiking, which is one of your favourite sports anyway.
    …when you constantly feel like on holidays only because you can see the sea from your kitchen window.

    language: You know you’re Swiss…
    …when you are mistaken as being French just because your accent in English doesn’t sound “German”.

  • You know you are (Swiss) German speaking, if…
    … you confuse “if” and “when” all the time although you should know the difference.

    • @Stefanie and Denise: Thanks for the great additions to this list! I have heard things like “I became a gift from my friend” many times before… Any by the way, you can say you to me!

  • You know you’re Swiss if…
    someone claims something is “the greatest thing since sliced bread,” and you wonder if that’s supposed to be a good thing.

  • thank you,
    you know you’re Swiss if… you think is normal that your guests help with dishwashing and cleaning at the end of the party…

  • You know you’re Swiss if . . .
    you greet someone by name, even though you’ve only met them once at a party 10 years ago.

  • Hahaha, that me me laugh so hard! Thanks for sharing!

    I have a few additions (sorry for the mess…)

    You know you’re Swiss if…
    …you enjoy shopping in about every foreign city because, omg, it’s so cheap!
    …you’ve ever been asked why you don’t have blond hair
    …you’ve been asked where you keep your gold at home (because, of course, every Swiss has heaps of gold hidden under their mattress)
    …you have at least one Swiss Army Knife and use it frequently, e.g. to cut an apple during coffee break at uni
    …your dad/uncle/cousin/boyfriend/male friends have assault riffles at home and you think that’s completely normal
    …you know several completely normal people doing shooting as a sport
    …you don’t find it weird to not have taxes deducted from your salary every month but to receive at tax bill at the end of the year (which, of course, you will pay)
    …you fail to name a Swiss person who is known worldwide
    …you laugh at the sight of cuckoo clocks in Swiss tourist shops because you know they are not Swiss
    …you have ever replied to the question “so, are you European?” with a no

    Again, thanks for making my day Dimitri!

  • You know you’re Swiss when…
    You like Rivella and like even more disgusting foreign friends by telling them that it is partially made with milk.
    You know you’re Swiss (German) when…
    You have eaten bread covered with butter or quark and with Cenovis during your whole childhood.
    You know you’re Swiss German when…
    You say “Hello together” instead of “Hello everybody” as a litteral translation of “Hoy zäme” (Hoy zusammen)

    • Thanks for sharing these! You are so right about Rivella’s formula: The Swiss will always point out the milk part!

Dimitri Burkhard

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