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Gschmäckle is the Swabian belittling form of taste , synonymous with the High German word, but with the special meaning of a strange, suspicious, not belonging taste or smell. The term is used in particular for an aftertaste of food and drink or a bad smell and used in a figurative sense for the peculiarity, specific, other conspicuous and disgusting or ridiculous nature of an individual or class.

In this sense, it also includes all kinds of processes that are associated with corruption , felt , official patronage or the like. These things have a smack , they are simply "disreputable" in High German. It is not uncommon for these processes, which are perceived as dubious, to concern the early phases of bribery and are therefore sometimes a. thematized in the context of administrative ethics.

Nationwide, the term is often used for such machinations if they take place in southwest Germany or in the Baden-Württemberg state capital Stuttgart , similar to Cologne clique for events in the area of ​​Cologne. But it is also generally used for nepotism and similar behavioral patterns that appear morally questionable and questionable, but are not (yet) a criminal offense. To name a case in the context of journalism with Gschmäckle - often put in quotation marks to be on the safe side ("Gschmäckle") - relieves the reporter or commentator from specifying his allegations in the sense of an indictment, it is "only" about a Gschmäckle , not an actual crime . The Focus correspondent, for example, made use of this possibility in December 2005 when the rumors about the Gazprom plans of Gerhard Schröder came up. Spiegel also used the word in at least one title, as did the Hamburger Abendblatt and ARD. This "free" possibility of using the originally regional dialect expression may have contributed a lot to its supraregional dissemination in the press and in political discourse .

The French gout has a similar double meaning .


Swabian taste also means smell in High German , taste also means smell . In the 19th century, the Ludwigsburg Gschmäckle was the name given to the vapors from the JH Franck chicory factory , later Unifranck , now Nestlé . There was a coffee substitute produced.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hermann Fischer, Hermann Taigel, Swabian Concise Dictionary. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1999, ISBN 316147063X sv Taste, p. 198
  3. ^ Anna Reimann: Public broadcasters: Cooperation with Gschmäckle. In: Spiegel Online . May 11, 2006, accessed June 9, 2018 .