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Carnival Dictionary

«Goschdym», «Gässle» and «Schyssdräggziigli». During Carnival (Fasnacht) in Basel – the «three best days of the year» – you’ll hear these terms on every corner. Our dictionary will make you a Fasnacht expert.  

Ainzelmasgge Term for a person in full costume who performs
alone during Fasnacht
Ändstraich End of the three most beautiful days
Bebbi Inhabitant of Basel
Chaise Basel dialect term for carriage
Clique Umbrella term for all groups actively involved
in Fasnacht. These include traditional,
piccolo and drum formations (often divided
into a main section, Stammclique, an “old
guard”, and a “young guard”), loosely
organized groups of pipers and drummers,
as well as Guggenmusik bands, floats, and
carriages (Chaise)
Cliquenkeller Practice room of the carnival club
Cortège Official move
Dääfeli Basel dialect term for candy
Dääg  Day
Drey scheenschte The three most beautiful
Drummle Basel dialect term for drum
Gässle Playing music and parading through the
alleys of the Old Town with no fixed route
Goschdym Basel dialect term for carnival dress
Gugge/Guggemuusig Short for Guggenmusik band; brass band
accompanied by percussion instruments that
plays popular tunes and hits with verve but
slightly off-key. The band is usually headed
by an impressive drum major
Lampe oder Ladärne Basel dialect term for lantern
Larve Basel dialect term for head-mask
Määlsuppe, Kääs- and Ziibelewaie Local terms for roasted flour soup, cheese
pie, and onion pie, favoured dishes at the
Morgestraich but also served on other days
during Fasnacht
Morgestraich  Prelude to the Basel Carnival
Pfyffer Basel dialect term for piccolo player
Rädäbäng The official guide to Fasnacht is published
two weeks before Fasnacht and lists all the
upcoming events and respective sujets. The
brochure is sold at the Fasnacht Committee’s
sales points at Barfüsserplatz, Marktplatz,
and Claraplatz and in Sutter bakery shops
Räppli Basel dialect term for confetti
Requisit Prop consisting of different parts that illustrates
the clique’s sujet. The prop makes up
part of the clique’s formation and is drawn in
a handcart during the cortège
Sauglattismus Basel dialect term for pseudo fun
Schnitzelbängg Ironically sarcastic texts on current topics
Schränze Play Guggenmusik
Schyssdräggziigli Small group of pipers and/or drummers that
gets together spontaneously but does not
take part in the cortège
Sujet Specific theme chosen by a clique which it
plays out during Fasnacht; usually a local,
national, or international topic that has
given rise to discussion and criticism over
the last year
Tambour Basel dialect term for drum player
Vortrab Placemaker at the tip of a carnival train, note distributor
Waggis Traditional Basel carnival costume
Zeedel Note with satirical texts