Hey everyone. Today I was playing with a German using chat and then she said tschüß. Now I learnt it Tschüss. Is this German slang or just another way to say it. I would appreciate your incite.

September 13, 2017


Wiktionary used to say:

While this spelling is not permitted by Duden, it is much more common than standard tschüss in those regions that commonly pronounce the word with a long /yː/ (particularly northern Germany).

It is apparently a regional variant reflecting regional pronunciation (and nothing to do with spelling reforms replacing ß with ss) .

Edit: DL, for some reason, isn't letting me correctly link to this:üß&oldid=38632519 . It really doesn't like ampersands...

Just read your post after adding my previous comment. Since I learned the 'ß version' in Northern Germany, it seems likely that your explanation could be correct.

I too initially supposed it could be due to the spelling reform, but upon looking into it didn't find any evidence for this.

Weird. I always felt like it was because of the reform. I'm from the south and learned "tschüß". I still use it sometimes, because it's just not a word you often write in school or focus on when learning the revised spelling. Even though I pronounce it with a short ü it just looks right this way...
But of course it could just be because of my teachers before the reform. I don't remember if they were from the north or south, but that just means it could be either.

Hmmm, I just had a look, and did find considerable support for the spelling having changed in 1996 from Tschüß to Tschüss or Tschüs as an interjection, and Das Tschüss (no single s version) as a noun. They list it as colloquial speech, and give its origins as French. Apparently it was derived from Adieu by 17th century mariners. Lovely word to say :) (main source: 1986 Duden Rechtschreibung der deutschen Sprache, but other sources as well)

Interesting. I don't, alas, have a proper Duden to consult; I do, however, have the Oxford-Duden German-English dictionary from 1994, which, despite being pretty large as bilingual dictionaries go, only lists 'Tschüs' (with one 's'), as 'colloquial', so that spelling doesn't seem to be anything to do with the reform, anyway.

I've no doubt that spelling-reformers are indeed God's gift to dictionary-makers. In English they just have to make do with the steady trickle of horrible neologisms usually dreamt up by journalists...

The 1986 Duden is obviously not a source for a 1996 reform, so what sources say it was affected by the reform? I only did a minimum of skimming, so I could very well be entirely wrong. However, as you say, it's a rather casual word, so the reformers might have thought it beneath their notice, anyway.

That was my main source for the old spelling, and I took the new spelling from the current version of Duden. I didn't find the particular change for Tschüss in the rules, but if you apply the ß change they suggest to of Tschüß, you do indeed get Tschüss.

Based on some of the comments in the discussion here, I'm beginning to suspect the reform is actually just a business model for Duden. I'm sure it helps them sell a lot of new dictionaries every few years! :)

What is this spelling reform everyone's talking about?
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mizinamo - Very interesting, I too have heard about the spelling reform and up till now I hadn't looked into it. Thanks for the link. I can't imagine English going through a reform like this; WWIII would probably breakout.

And according to some, they didn't go far enough (possibly a typical committee problem: if you have to reach consensus, you can't be as bold as if you had free rein), and didn't do a proper job.

Yes, reforming English spelling would be next to impossible -- especially if you wanted to coordinate it between all the English-speaking countries rather than, say, the US or the UK doing it by themselves while ignoring what Canada or South Africa or Australia or New Zealand or ... do.

That's a great link. Thank you and thanks for taking the trouble to highlight the ampersand. If you ever need to make a link like that clickable, you can shorten the link via something like tinyurl:

not slang, it's another way of writing it. If i remember right the eszett is written after elongated diphthongs. Tschüss is the correct way that I know of. compared to the elongated sound of the ü in süß

Is that what it's called thanks. I'll try to remember that! eszett thanks

Ich weiss nicht wie man tschuess schreibt, aber das scharfe "s" oder eszett erscheint in Woertern wie "Mass" (mit eszett) und langem "a" und Kuss (mit eszett) mit kurzem u. Ich weiss auch nicht ob "ue" ein dipthong ist, denn im Deutschen ist es ein selbstaendiger Buchstabe.

Sorry, I cannot produce certain German letters with my OS.

Kuss is spelled with ss because it's after a short vowel -- in the current spelling used in schools in Germany since 1996.

Older people may have learned Kuß which is the pre-1996 spelling.

Not everyone agrees with the quality of the spelling reform but that is the official spelling for education and bureaucracy (representatives of the state).

Also, it was the common way to spell it before the spelling reform, and such things take time to change completely.

After the German spelling reform, "tschüss" is the correct way to write this word. Before that, it was "tschüß".

After the German spelling reform tschüss is the correct way to write this word if you use a short vowel and tschüs is the correct way to write this word if you (like me) use a long vowel. ( )

It's a bit like Spaß - Spass which has two official spellings depending on the pronunciation you use. ( )

...or even "Tschü-üs" - if you use a very long vowel. Of course that's inofficial and isn't found in the Duden... But I know all versions (spoken) from (very) short "ü" to a very long "ü". Obviously you are free to choose the version you like, especially in pronunciation. (Written only "Tschüs" or "Tschüss" are correct!) Teens use even more different version...

In addition, tschuess now often is replaced by the Italian ciao, pronounced "chow".

I've already seen a Germanised version of "Ciao!": "Tschau!" ...

Yes! Your right! I had forgotten how to spell it
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I've seen that too!

Yes true! There r many ways to say bye in Deutsch! Aufwidersehn; Ciao; Bis spater; Bis Balt: and more
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You mean Bis bald of course.

Yes I meant Bis Balt! It was probably typo ! Sorry

You are funny, V-Ninja-V. Bis bald.

Ninja, you are funny because you misspelled "bis bald" again.

Oh! Autocorrect! Danke

Ok. So what's the spelling reform? Did they like change the spelling of a bunch of words?

The German Spelling Reform or German Orthographic Reform was an effort by a commission of German educators to simplify German spelling, thus making learning to write much easier. It went into effect on August 1, 1998

Several spelling changes were introduced. For example, the use of "ß" was completely changed. Before the reform, "ß" always denoted a voiceless sibliant. It was actually called the "sharp s". In contrast, "s" was sometimes pronounced voicelessly or voiced. Thus, "castle" was written "Schloß", "river" was "Fluß" and "bye" was "tschüß".

After the reform, "ß" is used after a long vowel. After a short vowel, it's now "ss". Therefore it's now "Schloss", "Fluss" and "tschüss".

Unfortunately, when you tell people to write as they speak, they will do so. And so, people now make spelling mistakes simply by consistently applying the above rule, writing e.g. "Sarkassmus" and "Kommunissmus".

Even worse is the effect of regional differences in pronunciation. For example, the German word for "fun", is mostly pronounced with a long "a", therefore it should be written "Spaß". But in several dialects, the "a" is pronounced as a short vowel, so many people started writing "Spass".

Unsurprisingly, linguists who study such things found a marked increase of spelling mistakes by students learning to write since the introduction of the reform.

Thanks. That's really interesting. Sounds like it almost achieved the opposite of what it intended.

Hi Cluney, yes I think so. And with the reform of the reform of the reform they even made it worse. Many desicions in 1996 were stupid, so they changed in 2004 and 2006 many spellings again. And this year again. At the moment it's more confusing than ever.

regards Angel

Hello Cluney2,

the "reform" didn't cause many legal problems, however it did create additional work, mainly for attorneys, solicitors and notaries public.

The latter were particularly cool about the "reform", since some sentences might change their meaning. Take the following example:

"Ein vielversprechender Kandidat kann in Ausnahmefällen in einem verkürzten Verfahren zur Probe angenommen werden." / "A promising candidate may, as an exception, be accepted for a trial period through a shortened procedure."

"Ein viel versprechender Kandidat kann in Ausnahmefällen in einem verkürzten Verfahren zur Probe angenommen werden." / "A candidate promising lots may, as an exception, be accepted for a trial period through a shortened procedure."

And if you don't mind me asking. Did this create any law problems? The reason I ask this is because if you draft a new system saying that 'This is the proper way'. What about all the legal documents that used INCORRECT spelling?

This reform turned a spelling bee champion into a dyslexic. On the other hand, you could always claim that you write in accordance with "the old spelling" ;-)

It is the same. The double s was/is represented with ß. It can be used both ways.

"double s was/is represented with ß" sounds as if you mean they are interchangeable.

They are not.

You cannot write the German word for "water" as Waßer, for example. It is always Wasser.

Nor can you - in Germany or Austria - write the word for "white" as weiss. It is always weiß.

This is not non existent in English but not on such a large scale. I couldn't get my format to be lined so it just has a list of words instead of a graph. The second word is the american spelling but the first is the British and Australian spelling. (I don't know how other countries spell these words). British US colour color flavour flavor humour humor labour labor neighbour neighbor

But these are just some small differences and it makes sense that you can't change the spelling. We can't make cat into kat. Even that that probably would say the same. Or paw into poor. They sound the same but are spelled differently and mean different things.

Hi cluney, we had that "problem" with colour/color at school. Teacher said colour and kid came with (american dictionary) and said no.*g

For me this reform is just a pain in the neck. I learned spelling at school and if I didn't know how to write I ask my mother or had a look in the "Duden". Problem solved.

Not so my children. I tried to catch up with this reform, but you didn't remember everything what changed. So they made their homework I told them "write it this way" - next day the teacher said wrong. Beside the fact that we had to buy all lexicas new there was always trouble with school. After a time newspapers and some publishing companies decided to go back to the old spelling. Chaos perfect.

So you read sometimes this or that. "heute abend" or "heute Abend" / Fotografie or Photographie / Panter or Panther". some words you write together some not. That doesn't change the meaning, only the spelling is determined differently. And nowadays the economy complains about the german and writing skills of the young. In my personal opinion this reform (and the many changes after it) was just useless and cost a lot of money.

have a look

and these are the newest changes (it's in german, just have a look at the words in "")

best regards Angel

Since I am old I feel entitled to ignore the reform and write in German as I always did. Nobody ever let me know that they were confused by my German spelling and in the end all that matters is to be understood.
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This is what I found: "According to the Duden, you can either write "tschüs" or "tschüss". "Tschüß" is old spelling (before the orthography reform of 1996). If you write "tschüs", you would pronounce it with a long ü, while "tschüss" would indicate a short ü." Jul 24, 2010 on internet.

Personally I like the way Tschüß looks.

I learned that it was another way to spell it. 'ß' is just another way to type 'ss'

But "Wasser" with an eszett or "besser" are clearly wrong. But replacing and eszett with two s has been common for ages.

True! But I meant in this case, it doesn't apply to all words. Thank you for pointing that out

I've actually also learned that Tchuss sounds short. This is because the "ss" makes the vowel in this case u shorter. The 'ß' makes it longer, the vowel sound.

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