"Bätschi" seems to be a quite popular word in German politics nowadays, being popularized by the proposed new SPD head, Andrea Nahles. But I haven't been able to find a suitable explanation online, maybe because its popularity is too recent. Germans seem to find its meaning quite self-evident, and all the political talkshows or programs that I've seen just simply don't explain it.

What does "Bätschi" mean, exactly? And where did it come from?

  • 17
    I would not say it is popular only one politician is using it. It is really very childish speech.
    – Thomas
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 9:47
  • 1
    It's popularity is not recent. I believe my parents have used it as children some 60 years ago. And I wouldn't be surprised if my grandparents have used it.
    – user6495
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 11:20
  • According to this dictionary it's (in variations) centuries old.
    – user6495
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 11:23
  • 2
    @Roland: that is for Ätsch. with Bätsch it is more complicated.
    – Takkat
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 11:28
  • She seems to be using it in an I-told-you-so manner or a now-you-have-the-schlamassel-without-us type of attitude.
    – thymaro
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 18:07

5 Answers 5


It child's speech and often connected to Ätsch --> Ätsch bätsch. Wiktionary (Ätsch) is listing Ätsch bätsch as characteristic word combination.

(Ätschi) Bätschi is just another form with the same meaning.

Under "Ätsch" some explenations can be found in the internet for example on Duden (Ätsch):

Ausruf zum Ausdruck des schadenfrohen Spotts (oft verbunden mit einer besonderen Geste)

Translation: Exclamation to express the mischievous mockery (often combined with a special gesture)

Wiktionary (Ätsch) shows the additional meaning:

Ich bin besser als du, ich kann mehr als du, ich habe mehr oder Besseres als du

Translation: I am better than you, I am more capable than you, I own more or better things than you do

  • 1
    Swabian form: Ätschgäbele! Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 10:11
  • Pictures of typical gestures: 1, 2, 3 (a commentator in the national TV news!); 4 (no pic): stroking with the extended right index finger over the pointed left index finger several times
    – klanomath
    Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 13:10

Bätschi is used for a boring person in Swiss dialect:

enter image description here
Schweizer Idiotiokon

Obviously in the given context this was not the intended meaning but it may be worth to keep in mind when using it.

Other than that bätsch used as an interjection in the meaning of ätsch (Engl. gotcha or similar) is not new. The DWDS references its usage in letters of 1934 by Kurt Tucholsky but it most likely is much older than that.

  • Ist der Schweizer Bätschi verwandt mit dem bairischen Batzi? (Scheibweise kann wohl variieren; Bedeutung, nach meiner Erfahrung: ein ungeschickter, unangenehmer Mensch.) Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 14:01
  • 1
    @ChristianGeiselmann: eher nicht, denn der Lumpazi ist etymologisch wohl nicht Hintergrund des Schweizer Bätschi (aber eventuell das Bätschi, ein Schaf in der Schweizer Kindersprache).
    – Takkat
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 14:09

Those who are familiar with "The Simpsons" TV series there's a frequent exclamation of bully Nelson Mantz: "Ha-ha!" That is a close equivalent.

To expand it into real words Bätschi means something like "You want something, but you don't get it, and I enjoy that."


The best English equivalent that I can find is "tee-hee". https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=teehee

It is a puerile phrase expressing schadenfreude. It does not have an actual literal meaning, i.e. it is not an actual word.

  • 1
    Why puerile? I hear this used by boys and girls likewise. Perhaps even more often by girls. Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 14:05
  • 7
    @ChristianGeiselmann “puerile” = “childish”. Girls can be puerile even if it seems that they should rather be puellile. Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 14:15
  • 3
    @ChristianGeiselmann this could certainly yield a wonderful discussion on Latin SE ;)
    – thymaro
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 17:53

Bätschi is more common in the southern parts of Germany (Ätsch being more common otherwise), it generally means as much as "nah na na nah na". No adult person would use the expression, except maybe when talking to a three year old.

What it really means is the same thing as another Nahles quote: "Ab Morgen gibt's auf die Fresse". The SPD, and Nahles in particular is not taking their responsibility seriously. The whole point of politics is to have your personal entertainment and to exchange petty insults. Riot, ideologic beacon projects and personal insults are more important than to provide the government that, as an elected representative, you owe to the citizens, or to make sensible decisions that affect the fates of millions of those same citizens.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.