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The Schlawiner (also Schlawuzi or Schlawack ) is a slang term that can be both appreciative and insulting. You designated

  • a smart, cunning, lively person, often such a child; synonymous: Schlingel (in its current meaning), Schalk ,
  • a cunning crook
  • an unreliable person.

The etymology is not clear. The word was probably formed at the beginning of the 20th century for Slovene or Slavonians (an ethnic group in Croatia ) or, in the case of Schlawacken, represents an older term for the Slovaks , because peddlers from there were considered particularly cunning traders .

It should be noted that this does not necessarily mean that the peddlers as originally indicated were of Slavic origin, because at least Slovaks was (as for example in 1888. Schimmelreiter by Theodor Storm ) as a term for Gypsies in the narrower - so Roma including Sinti - or other traveling people , which also included Jews and Yeniche - meaning common (cf. bohemians : due to their immigration from Bohemia or Slovakia, the Roma were often referred to accordingly); Peddlers were often Roma, Jews or Yeniche.

The term was also used as a dirty word for Eastern European foreigners.


  • Duden - The dictionary of origin. Mannheim 1989.

Web links

Wiktionary: Schlawiner  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Duden, the great foreign dictionary. Mannheim / Leipzig, 2000, ISBN 3-411-04162-5 .
    Kluge dates the word to the 19th century. (Kluge: Etymological dictionary of the German language. Edited by Elmar Seebold. 24th, revised and expanded edition. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2002, keyword Schlawiner , ISBN 3-11-017473-1 , p. 807.)
  2. Erich Mühsam: Schwabing. In: Vossische Zeitung (morning edition) April 5, 1928, p. 9 ( "... Russians, Hungarians and Balkan Slavs, in short what the Munich native summarizes in the collective name Schlawiner .").