10

The article “Ich hab Urlaub - und Sie nicht” from Der Spiegel provides examples of Christmas out-of-office autoresponder email messages. One example, illustrating a potential ending to an email message, reads:

Tschüssikowsky, Klaus Kalau

Tschüssikowsky is obviously a humorous way of saying Tschüss. But what exactly does the author want to emphasize by using Tschüssikowsky? (There's no context; just the above example given.)

  • 1
    Sounds like Klaus Kalau has delusions of being a dead Russian composer… – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 23 '16 at 10:46
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    I too see a hint at the Russian composer Tschaikowski who wrote, among other things, the score for the (Christmas-themed) ballet The Nutcracker. – mustaccio Dec 23 '16 at 15:31
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    @JanusBahsJacquet and mustaccio: I strongly doubt Tschüssikowsky is in any way specifically related to Tschaikowski than to any names ending in -kowsky in general. – O. R. Mapper Dec 23 '16 at 20:20
  • Todays worst: "Tschö mit Ö". – user unknown Dec 24 '16 at 5:34
16

He is just trying to be funny. Tschüss is mostly used in the northern part of Germany. Tschüssikowsky is a stultification.

According to Wiktionary, this term was first used in the German translation from The Persuaders! (Die Zwei, 1972)

14

"Tschüssikowski" is a somehow humorous version derived from "Tschüss" which simply means "Good bye".

I don't know if there's an official name for transforming a common "standard German" word or phrase into something theoretically senseless that however sounds similar enough to the original to be recognized, but that is what has been done here. Sometimes it is done by mixing unrelated words together or appending unrelated endings, sometimes there are just some twisted letters, sometimes an entire word from a different topic is used instead of a similarly sounding one ("Malapropism").

Such humorous phrases were somehow quite popular in the past (before my time, maybe in the 80s), but is considered pretty annoying by most people nowadays. From my perception it's no longer really commonly used, except maybe by a few people who conserved that kind of humour.

Some more similar examples that belong to the same category IMHO:

  • zum Bleistift (zum Beispiel)
  • bis Baldrian (bis bald)
  • Wirsing! ([Auf] Wiedersehen!)
  • Schlepptop (Laptop)
  • teflonieren (telefonieren)
  • Schankedön (Dankeschön)

and so on...

  • 3
    It started to get annoying when McDonalds had an ad campaign using expressions like "schankedön" over and over and over and … It was a relief someone brought it to an end: youtube.com/watch?v=kSjjW2bNaIs – Janka Dec 23 '16 at 22:25
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    In your examples at the end, wouldn't "Zun Bleistift" and "teflonieren" be whatever the German equivalent of a malapropism is? And schlepptop perhaps a pun? ...Or are you saying that all those are in some broader category of word play? (Also I've never heard those before but will definitely be using them :D ) – BruceWayne Dec 24 '16 at 0:44
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    @BruceWayne Actually I am not too sure what categories these examples would fit best or how to name them. I consider them all to be similar, but this might not necessarily be correct. Thanks for mentioning "Malapropism" though, I did not know that fancy sounding word so far. :) – Byte Commander Dec 24 '16 at 1:08
  • @ByteCommander haha I must admit it's a big word for something so "simple". It's a common comedy trope though for sure. I sincerely appreciate this answer as one rarely comes across these types of word in academic study of German so it's fun to see the examples. – BruceWayne Dec 24 '16 at 4:24
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    "Some more similar examples that belong to the same category IMHO:" Tschüssikowski does not fall in the same category at all. It developed completely different and has completely different connotations. Its an hommage to the many foreign polish workers that worked in the Ruhr area. Its very common to hear in North-Rhine Westfalia, especially in the Ruhrpott and is not meant to be funny at all, at least not in the same way as the others. – Polygnome Dec 24 '16 at 10:12
4

As a German, I think it is mostly used to say: "Bye, I'm out", but in a more humorous content. Additionally it may also transfer, that this is his or her (hopefully, but not in a negative way) "last word".

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