Oktoberfest Lingo You Should Know

It's that time of year! This weekend, La Crosse will transform into a Bavarian wonderland. Amidst the parades, brats, and beer, there will be plenty of German words and phrases you'll have to decipher. If you want a chance at understanding what people are yelling to each other or compliment someone's festive German getup, read up on this Oktoberfest lingo.

1. Prost!

"Prost!" is the German equivalent to saying "Cheers!" in English. This is one of the more common words you'll hear throughout the festivities, and it's a good one to know. Prost!

2. Lederhosen

Lederhosen are the traditional Bavarian shorts-and-suspenders worn by men during Oktoberfest. 

3. Dirndl

dirndl is the women's equivalent to lederhosen. The dirndl is also based on traditional Bavarian-Alpine attire. You'll be sure to see plenty of women dressed like this in the parade.

4. O'zapft is!

Although you won't be as likely to hear this phrase, it's still important in the Oktoberfest lineup. This phrase means "it's tapped", and is usually exclaimed when the first keg of beer is tapped, marking the start of the festivities.

5. Zicke Zacke! Zicke Zacke! Hoi! Hoi! Hoi!

This is a weird one. (And its spelling varies). People chant this in a call-and-response manner throughout the fest grounds. This phrase is essentially a German drinking toast. One of the most popular German drinking songs, Ein Prosit, contains this phrase, which will be shouted enthusiastically for the duration of the festivities.

6. Bier

This one is pretty obvious, right? You could sound American and drink "beer" all weekend, or you could make it a little more fun and drink some bier!

With this new vocabulary in hand, grab your dirndls and get out to the fest grounds! Enjoy the polka, the brats, and other Oktoberfest fun. Don't forget to stay safe, stay smart, and make some good memories. Prost!