Bäuerchen (“little farmer”): That‘s how Germans colloquially refer to a burp,especially one from a little child

literally: “little farmer” / meaning: burp, especially of a child

There are countries where burping at the table is not a bad thing, but is actually encouraged. India is often cited as an example. And also in China, table manners are much looser than in most parts of Europe. In Germany, there is only one situation in which a burp gets applauded for: when a mother pats her baby on the back—and it properly does its Bäuerchen.

The word reflects the fact that in Germany, bodily functions in the presence of other people have been considered a rude custom of peasant society at least since the 19th century. However, this used to be different in the Middle Ages, which is also underlined by a well-known table speech by Martin Luther. After a rich dinner, the famous Protestant reformer is said to have asked the other guests: “Why don’t you burp and fart? Didn’t you like it?”

By the way, the loudest burp of all time was measured in 2009 and reached a volume of 109.9 dB(c), which is about as loud as a chainsaw. That’s indeed a big Bäuerchen.



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