American Geißbock’s Fußball-to-American Glossary

The convergence of multiple languages (German, Kölsch, Amerikanisch, Deutschlisch, etc.) can lead to the casual use of words that some may not yet have learned in their time following the club. As a public service, American Geißbock will attempt to maintain this reference piece to help everyone become fluent in effzeh.


1. FC Köln: The “1.” means “first”(erste), refers to the fact that it was the first “football club” established in Cologne. “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. The 1. FC Köln was essentially a merger between KBC (Kölner Ballspielclub) 01 and SpVgg (Spielvereinigung) Sülz 07 (Thanks to Axel of FC blog Der 4. Offizielle (the fourth official) among other FC-oriented projects)

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.

Cologne: The English name for the city of Köln.

Domstadt: The “Cathedral City” nickname for the cith of Köln references the Kölner Dom, the giant cathedral that is emblematic of Cologne and features prominently on the club badge.

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.

Hinrunde: The first half of the season is collectively known as the “Hinrunde.” In English football, I’ve heard it called the “first leg.”

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.

P-Frage (P-Question):  “Is Podolski coming back to effzeh?”  See Podolski, Lukas

Podolski, Lukas: Well-loved product of the FC system who regularly returns to Köln to see his beloved Billy Goats play, show his love for his hometown, and generally raise the hopes of a significant portion of effzeh fans that he soon will return to play for the club.

Prinz Poldi (Prince Poldi): See Podolski, Lukas

RheinEnergieStadion:  (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.

Rückrunde: The second half of the season is collectively known as the “Rückrunde.” In English football, (I think) I’ve heard it called the “second” or “return leg.”

Rut un Wiess (root-oon-vees): Literally “red and white” in Kölsche dialect. Can be used as a way to refer to the 1. FC Köln. The phrase is also the name of a song by cult Kölsch rock band Bläck Fööss

Spilldaach: That’s Kölsch for “Spieltag,” which is German for match day.  The Kölsch dialect is a huge part of the culture around the club and city. As a linguistics nerd, I make it a point to try to pick up on the bits of dialect I can.  I just love this stuff!

Wendepunkt: A “turning point.” Used here as a name of a type of post I occasionally write, breaking down vital moments from matches to look at what went right or wrong, depending on your preferences.

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. There exists also a chant declaring “Never again, second division!” Nie mehr! Zweite Liga!”

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  1. Today in FC – Friday, May 5, 2017

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