Carnival words: These Cologne terms you should know

by Pramith

Carnival has given rise to a number of words that are only used in this context. Especially in the carnival stronghold, there is a mature vocabulary for the fifth season. But what do the expressions actually mean?

Carnival: These are the words you should know

Anyone who has ever celebrated carnival will inevitably be confronted with many words that cause question marks, especially among outsiders. Especially in Cologne, there are a lot of carnival words that you should know.

  • Alaaf: The exclamation is used mainly in the Rhineland and is Kölsch for “over all”. So “Kölle alaaf” means “Cologne above everything”.
  • Bützchen: This is a kiss on the cheek.
  • Fastelovend: Also a Cologne expression meaning “carnival”.
  • Jecke: This is the name given to anyone who joins in the carnival celebrations – whether in costume or in civilian clothes. The best translation of the term is “crazy people”.
  • Kamelle: These are the sweets and other things thrown into the crowd during the parades.
  • Muzzepuckel: Also a Cologne expression used mainly for all those who don’t like carnival. Muzzepuckel are in fact “fun spoilers”.
  • Nubbel: This is a large straw doll that stands for all the bad things that happened during the fifth season. It is burnt on Carnival Tuesday so that the Jecken are free of sin again.
  • Stippeföttche: A traditional dance from the Rhineland performed by the carnival guards. In this dance, two guardsmen stand back to back, naturally in full carnival costume, and rub their bottoms together to the rhythm of the music.
  • Strüßjer: Are small “bouquets” of flowers that are thrown during the climax of Carnival – the Rose Monday parade – and can be exchanged for a Bützchen.
  • Zoch: A Cologne expression used for the carnival parades. there is the Geisterzoch, the Veedelzöch and of course the big Zoch on Rose Monday.

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