I have searched around on this site and google and I cannot seem to find an answer for this.

I know that Zürich seems to be a bit of an odd city in the German language due to the fact that when you need to add an adjective ending, you also need to remove the i, e.g.:

Neue Zürcher Zeitung

What is the etymological reasoning behind this? As far as I know, no other cities do this in German.

  • 2
    vgl. München - Münchner Abendblatt
    – tofro
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 11:47
  • 4
    I'm afraid, but you don't need to remove the "i". E.g. the expression "Züricher Flughafen" (airport) can often be found. I think "Zürcher" is only a matter of Schwyzerdütsch, and this newspaper decided to put it in its name.
    – IQV
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 11:51
  • 3
    @tofro: Aber Münchener Kammerorchester.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 11:59
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    Another example is "Dresdner Straße" or "Dresdener Straße" (derived from "Dresden") which both can be found. Or consider, even a bit more strange, "Eisleber Wiesenmarkt" (derived from "Eisleben", see wiesenmarkt.de). I guess this all is just for the ease of pronounciation.
    – Jonathan Herrera
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 12:20
  • Ah really? I didn't realise other cities did this too, and yes saying Züricher vs Zürcher, the latter does seem slightly easier to pronounce. Thanks all :)
    – user21483
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 20:41

2 Answers 2


As IQV already said: There is no etymology behind that. I think that the reason for this is the colloquial language. If I talk about Munich (München) and people from Munich (Münchener) I won’t pronounce every syllable. If I say Münchener it sounds like Münchner.

Maybe its comparable to wanna instead of want to in English.

I don’t know the exact reason of the naming of this newspaper — but I found this little Q and A. The question is exactly yours and the answer comes from a person who deals with Schwizerdütsch (Idiotikon). He says, that Züricher and Zürcher were equal in literature over centuries and Zürcher has something to do with pronounciation.

One more thing: I found a forum where a person from Zürich explains, that people from this city always call themselves Zürcher — and that this little difference is quite important to them (3rd post).

  • 1
    Please do not use acute accents instead of apostrophes; it looks horrible and the spacing is catastrophic.
    – Jan
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 12:48

There is no etymology behind Zürcher. Zürcher is the Swiss German (schwizerdütsche) expression for Züricher. In the German Wikipedia you can find a broad explanation of the genesis of Schwizerdütsch as a German dialect.

And there is no need to remove the i when using an adjective form. You can find examples where Züricher is used, e. g. Züricher Flughafen.

As mentioned in the comments above, there are also other German city names, which can lose the last vocal like München or Dresden.

  • Wrong. It is not true that “Zürcher is the Swiss German (schwizerdütsche) expression for Züricher.” It is just as standard German as Münchner.
    – mach
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 20:24
  • @mach When you downvote my answer - why didn't you do it with the accepted answer above, who confirmed it? Can you verify your statement? I'm pretty sure, that "Zürcher" is alemannian and not standard high german!
    – IQV
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 6:31
  • 1
    The difference between your answer and the other answer is that you have claimed that the word is dialectal, which it is not. You can easily verify that it is standard German by consulting a Duden, where you will find that the word is not even marked as «ugs.» (umgangssprachlich, a kind of sub-standard).
    – mach
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 7:58

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