Friehyaahrsgranket (Spring fever)

Posted: April, 2013 | By: N. Daniel Schwalm, President - The Pennsylvania German Society

As the days gradually warm up, we all suffer from Friehyaahrsgranket (spring fever, literally spring sickness). Abril iss der Munet as es Wedder aafange sett wennich friehyaahrich warre. April is the month when the weather should begin to be a little spring-like. On the other hand, the weather in April can be very changeable. The expression so verennerlich wie’s Wedder im Abril. The expression “as changeable as the weather in April,” indicates the variety of weather that April can present to us.

Since April snows are often here and gone the next day, it occurred to me that, inevitably, when I teach a dialect course, a student will request the meaning of the following children’s rhyme usually with the stipulation that (s)he learned it from his/her grandparents. Since it is appropriate for the changeable April weather…

Aa, Bee, Zee
Die Katz leit Schnee;
Der Schnee geht weck;
Die Katz leit im Dreck.

A, B, C
The cat lies in the snow
The snow goes away;
The cat lies in the dirt.

Im Friehyaahr gucke mer fa die Friehyaahrsamschel. In the spring we look for the (spring) robins. Unser Friehyaahrsgedanke nemme uns in der Gaarde un mer denke vun friehe Reddich, Friehgraut, un Friehegrummbiere. Our thoughts of spring take us to the garden and we think of early radishes, early cabbage, and early potatoes. Abril iss die Blanzzeit un blanze iss en Friehyaahrsarewet. April is the time of planting and planting is spring work. Die Friehyaahrsdaage bringe Regge and der Regge bringt Friehyaahrsblumme un noh sin mer glei in Moi. The spring days bring rain and the rain brings spring flowers then soon we will be in May.

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