Europa ist ein Kontinent sprachlicher Kreativität. Wer auf die Witze unserer Nachbarländer achtet, ihre Zungenbrecher und Schüttelreime, wird viel lernen über ihre Art, die Welt zu verstehen. Er wird beispielsweise feststellen, dass jedes europäische Land über eine Palette von Witzen über mindestens eines seiner Nachbarländer verfügt. Das zeigt, wie eng manche Nationen durch ihre Geschichte und Kultur miteinander verbunden sind. Auch hinter manchem Zungenbrecher steckt eine interessante Anekdote, die uns viel über die Geschichte eines Landes lehrt. Diese Kategorie ist ganz diesen europäischen Redewendungen gewidmet, die in einer transnationalen Perspektive erschlossen werden sollen.

European Jokes

But who are we poking fun at? Indeed, Belgian jokes are very popular in France, Luxemburg and Netherlands such as jokes on Swedes are very common in Norway, Denmark and Finland.  In the Baltic countries, people tend to laugh at Estonians, whereas in Balkan states, they do jokes on Bosnians. This list is the first attempt ever made to compile the national targets of jokes in each European country. Europe is full of this “jokelore”. Don’t worry, most of the researchers like Davies and Leon Rappoport have argued that ethnic jokes do not propagate ethnic stereotypes, but are often a way of positive interaction between communities. Jokes on neighbors, ac […]

European Superstitions

Mini - European superstitions In Europe, we all share common superstitions : walking under a ladder, seeing a black cat, breaking a mirror, opening an umbrella indoors, all those widespread superstitions are told to bring bad luck. Others are told to bring good luck, such as the four leaf clover or the number 7. But apart from these common references, we also have individual superstitions at national level which are the results of cultural and folkloric events or traditions. Some of them can be really funny, even if it is difficult to understand how people could have come to that superstition. In Serbia, if you bit your tongue, this means that your grandmother plans to bake a cake for you… In Lithuania, a bird shitting on you will bring you […]

European Palindromes
Mini - European Palindromes

 You may not know what a palindrome is, but you surely have read one at least once in your life. A palindrome is a sentence whose meaning may be read and interpreted the same way in either forward or reverse direction. “Madam, I’m Adam” for instance. And European languages generated thousands of them ! Some languages are really appropriate to build palindromes and others are somehow less “malleable”. The word “palindrome itself is a European invention, as it was coined in the 17th century by the English writer Ben Jonson. Germans have even come up with the palindromic word “Eibohphobie” to describe the hypothetic […]

European Tongue Twisters

This is maybe unexpected, but the following list of most famous Tongue Twisters will teach you a lot on European culture and history. In some countries, as in Italy or England, the tongue twisters are based on historical events, and this is quite impressive. In other countries as in Czech Republic or Estonia, they are just really funny. And naturally for the majority of them, they are unpronounceable! This […]


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