American Geißsbock Glossary

Rather than fret about trying to explain terms repeatedly as their used, I’ll update this regularly for reference. I’m sure that’s annoying for anyone reading, but not as annoying as having to slow down continually to translate or explain. It’s also certainly more friendly than just rolling my eyes and saying “just Google it!”

I will try to remember in posts to put German words in italics to help separate jargon from foreign language.

Alphabetically, then?


1. FC Köln: The “1.” means “first”(erste), referring to the fact we’re talking about the top team in a club system, rather than the reserve, youth, or women’s teams. Generally, I won’t have much reason to need to distinguish, as I’m only following the one squad. “FC” is for Fußball Club (football club); that seems pretty self explanatory, though it’s not uncommon for some of these clubs to field teams in other sports. Köln is the city.

Bundesliga: The common term for the top-tier of the German football league system. Hopefully, when I refer to the “Bundesliga,” I mean this particular group of 18 teams.

Bundesliga 2: Will have to do for a short and simple designation for the second-tier of the German league system. Would be nice to not really need it, but 1. FC Köln was relegated to the second league last year.

EffZeh: Is a common way to refer to the 1. FC Köln. Essentially, it’s how the letters “FC” are pronounced in the local dialect (Kölsch…also a fine style of beer, I might add). You have to hear it to really get it, but if you try to splice a “T” sound on top of the “Z” when you say it, you’ll be close enough.

Geißbock: Literally “billy goat.” Relevantly, the billy goat is the mascot of FC Köln.

Hennes: The name of the billy goat mascot. Know this.

Köln: Is the German name for the city commonly known to English speakers as “Cologne.” Seeing as it’s a German city, it happens to also be the correct name. I grew up thinking proper nouns weren’t something to translate, so I prefer to call it “Köln.” Though, for the sake of ease, I won’t go around typing Deutsch  and Deutschland in place of “German” and “Germany,” unless at some point I do. I’m not great with rules.

RheinEnergieStadion: “RhineEnergyStadium” (and, yes, sometimes the Germans do just smush words together like that to make one long word) is where 1. FC Köln plays their home matches.

Zweite Liga: German for “second league.” Sometimes I’ll use that just because I like how it’s more distinct than just slapping a “2” behind “Bundesliga.” Also, I remember the chanting of “zweite Liga” being a bit of a taunt, which is fun.


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