Luzi-Wuzi

seitt

Senior Member
English/Welsh
Greetings

I am interested in this nickname for an Austrian archduke called Ludwig.

The Life and Times of Luzi-Wuzi - Secret Vienna | Tours in Vienna

My understanding is that the U in the name Ludwig is short, not long. So wouldn't it also be short in the nickname Luzi-Wuzi?

But if it is short, shouldn't it be written “Lutzi-Wutzi”? In this case, the two consonants following the vowel would then indicate that the U is indeed short, and not long as in the German word Rune.

Best wishes, and many thanks,

Simon
 
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  • Kajjo

    Senior Member
    My understanding is that the U in the name Ludwig is short, not long.
    This understanding is wrong.

    In most German regions the first name "Ludwig" is pronounced with a long u like [ˈluːt.vɪç]. The nickname "Luziwuzi" zeigt, dass dies wohl auch auf den Königsbruder Ludwig Viktor zutraf.

    But if it is short, shouldn't it be written “Lutzi-Wutzi”
    Yes, that is to be expected if it were a short-u.
     
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    seitt

    Senior Member
    English/Welsh
    Many thanks to all – indeed, it works well for me to pronounce that U long as I can store it in my memory along with Hedwig [ˈheːtvɪç]/[ˈheːtvɪk], which seems always to be long with regard to its first vowel.

    Hedwig – Wiktionary
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    "one of the few areas"?

    westdeutsch: [ˈlʊtvɪç]
    Die Regionen in Deutschland, in denen ich länger gelebt habe, sind die Region Hamburg, Westfalen und Südhessen. In Westfalen und im Raum Hamburg halte ich [ˈlʊtvɪç] für vollkommen ausgeschlossen. Und Westfalen ist sicher "westdeutsch". In Südhessen kann ich mir ein kurzes "u" vorstellen, dann aber [ˈlʊdvɪʃ] oder allenfalls noch [ˈlʊdvɪk], aber nicht [ˈlʊtvɪç], weil die Aussprache mit kurzem "u" nur bei Dialektsprechern vorstellbar wäre und im Dialekt gibt es [ç] nicht.
     
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    seitt

    Senior Member
    English/Welsh
    It's just struck me that Luzi-Wuzi represents an interesting sound change which happens in Italian too: /ti/ > /zi/.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    My understanding is that the U in the name Ludwig is short, not long. So wouldn't it also be short in the nickname Luzi-Wuzi?
    In Standard German, the u in Ludwig is long. Austrian German has only one u-sound, which is closed (i.e. the same quality as the standard German long u) and mid-long. The distinction between long and short vowels is neutralised in all Bavarian dialects, including Viennese.
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    one of the few areas, approx. 10% of German speakers.
    I thought that Westdeutsch was the German language as spoken in West Germany. But it seems that you use the word with a different meaning...?

    an interesting sound change which happens in Italian too: /ti/ > /zi/.
    Which words are you thinking of? Please provide a few examples with that change. Or do you mean such a sound change from Latin to Italian?
     
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    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    I thought that Westdeutsch was the German language as spoken in West Germany. But it seems that you use the word with a different meaning...?
    Indeed, yes, it's sometimes complicated.

    "Westdeutschland" is about BRD/DDR, but "westdeutsch / westmiteldeutsch" as geographical or linguistic region (Wikipedia) is a lot smaller:

    Westmitteldeutsches_Mundartgebiet.png
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I thought that Westdeutsch was the German language as spoken in West Germany.
    I don't think there is any meaningful definition of "westdeutsch" is the context of grouping dialects or regional pronunciations. In terms of lexical difference there might be a meaningful definition because the political separation caused some divergence in the lexicon and there are also some older usage differences, which are east-west, like dreiviertel vier vs. viertel vor vier for 15:45. But when it comes to pronunciation and regional accent, it doesn't make sense as the basic dialect divides are north-south and not east-west.

    This is the the entry in the change history in Wiktionary where the association of this pronunciation with "West" has been introduced. It does not seem that the user who made this change has any serious own credentials ("basic knowledge" of German according it their profile) and they did not provide any reference.

    In summary, pronunciations with a short u do exist but I would not take the characterisation "westdeutsch" seriously.
     

    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    u-sound, which is closed (i.e. the same quality as the standard German long u) and mid-long. The distinction between long and short vowels is neutralised in all Bavarian dialects, including Viennese.
    That's the way I pronounce "Ludwig" and the way I'd pronounce "Luzi-Wuzi" - I have never been influenced by any "Bavarian dialect" though.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I have never been influenced by any "Bavarian dialect" though.
    Correct me, if I am wrong, but I remember from earlier discussions that your family background is from SW-Baden? An area that was (with the exception of a small area between Müllheim and Lörrach) know for a few centuries as Vorderösterreich. Having been part of the Habsburger Lande did not seriously impact on local dialect but it may very well have influenced the way regal names where pronounced in educated families.
     

    seitt

    Senior Member
    English/Welsh
    I've just remembered: one of my university friends, whose name was Bob and who identified as a drag queen, was sometimes known as “Bobsy Wobsy”.
    This is almost the exact same formula seen in “Luzi Wuzi”: you add –si to the first syllable of the name and then repeat it but with the initial letter changed to W. Could “Luzi Wuzi” be a nod to Ludwig’s sexuality?
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Could “Luzi Wuzi” be a nod to Ludwig’s sexuality?
    Interesting theory -- but I kind of doubt that!
    He was royal family, the highest level of nobility you could find in Austria and I think that nobody would have dared to create such a nickname back then.
    At first look (with an Austrian eye), Luziwuzi sounds like a term of endearment that you give to a baby. Wuzi is another diminutive form of Wutzerl, and that is a common Austrian term of endearment for a a little baby or toddler. Luzi as a diminutive of Ludwig is just used to match the sound of Wuzi and to make the two words rhyme.

    I just googled a bit and one site suggests that this was a childhood nickname and even his own family called him Luziwuzi. That strongly supports my theory.
    So it's similar in origin to Queen Elizabeth's nickname Lilibet, which was given to her by her father because Lizzy had a hard time pronouncing the name Elizabeth properly when she was a little child.

    ------------------------
    I just found something on Google Books. The book "Das andere Habsburg: Homoerotik im österreichischen Kaiserhaus" claims:
    Man war bei den Habsburgern familienintern immer schnell mit Spitznamen bei der Hand. Für Ludwig Victor kamen in der Kindheit gleich drei in Gebrauch [...] Die Bezeichnungen lauteten "Bubi", "Hetzi" und "Luzivuzi" oder "Luzi-Wuzi".
    Im späteren Leben des Erzherzogs sollte ihm die auch sehr spöttisch klingende letztere Bezeichnung erhalten bleiben, sie sollte als eine Art von Skurrilitäts-Wahrzeichen mit seiner Person bis heute verbunden bleiben.
    This supports your idea that this nickname in fact was used in his later life as a reference to his non-conforming personality and lifestyle. I would guess, though, that this name was only used behind his back. After all, he still was nobility and Austrian society was not really that open at that time.
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    He was royal family, the highest level of nobility you could find in Austria and I think that nobody would have dared to create such a nickname back then.
    "Silly" nicknames have a long tradition in the aristocracy. But of course only to be used within the family.

    I just googled a bit and one site suggests that this was a childhood nickname and even his own family called him Luziwuzi.
    This makes absolute sense. Especially because of this:
    Wuzi is another diminutive form of Wutzerl, and that is a common Austrian term of endearment for a a little baby or toddler.
     
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    seitt

    Senior Member
    English/Welsh
    Perhaps, purely for example, what happened was that Ludwig and all his brothers and cousins etc. were given nicknames of the same kind as small children, but only Ludwig’s nickname survived into adulthood, being reinforced by people’s perceptions of his sexuality.
    Ruzi-Wuzi for Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, would perhaps have sounded good alongside Luzi-Wuzi, but the name would have died a death by the time he was an adult.
    Pure speculation, but hopefully you catch my drift.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    [...] but only Ludwig’s nickname survived into adulthood, being reinforced by people’s perceptions of his sexuality.
    Hmm...are you sure you're not mixing up the 19th century with the 21st??
    I'm rather confident that the general public didn't really know much about Ludwig's proclivities in those days. "Hofprotokoll" would normally not allow any sort negative or disrespectful statement about the royal family. Even if rumours existed, it was not something that you would see in a newspaper or something that would be discussed openly in public.

    Even today in Thailand you have laws that protect the royal family: If you're talking bad or disrespectful about the king or the royal family in public, you'll end up in jail pretty quick! That was no different in 19th century Austria.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Perhaps, purely for example, what happened was that Ludwig and all his brothers and cousins etc. were given nicknames of the same kind as small children, but only Ludwig’s nickname survived into adulthood, being reinforced by people’s perceptions of his sexuality.
    Ruzi-Wuzi for Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, would perhaps have sounded good alongside Luzi-Wuzi, but the name would have died a death by the time he was an adult.
    Pure speculation, but hopefully you catch my drift.
    A sexual connotation is about the last one would associate with Wuzerl or Wuzi in Austrian except for perverts how get sexualy aroused by toddlers.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    A sexual connotation is about the last one would associate with Wuzerl or Wuzi in Austrian except for perverts how get sexualy aroused by toddlers.
    Yes, indeed. In the absence of specific insinuations or context, Wuzerl would probably not be connected to any sexual thought.

    We do also use (primarily in dialect) the base noun Wuzl or Wutzel of the diminutive Wuzerl, but oddly enough that conveys a different meaning. When somebody calls an adult Wutzel it is a mildly pejorative expression of annoyance. A person who did something stupid or irritating might be called Wuzl, Wutzel.

    The use of Wuzerl for adults is normally limited to arguments about strength, ability, importance. For instance, if one guy thinks and claims that he's so much better than somebody else in soccer, he might boast: "Verglichen mit mir bist du doch nur ein Wuzerl im Fußball". (with Wuzerl having the actual meaning of little baby or little insignificant something - in the latter case Wuzerl is used in the sense of "Fussel").
     

    seitt

    Senior Member
    English/Welsh
    Isn't there a big difference between actively inventing a nickname and simply not ceasing to use a nickname that is already in use? I can't imagine the latter causing any problems even in 19th Century Austria.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Isn't there a big difference between actively inventing a nickname and simply not ceasing to use a nickname that is already in use? I can't imagine the latter causing any problems even in 19th Century Austria.
    Well, that may be true for a semantically meaningless nickname.
    For instance, Franz Joseph's wife, the Bavarian princess Elizabeth, was and still is well-known as Sissi -- even after she had become the empress of Austria. Sissi is a popular nickname for Elizabeth and since it has no particular meaning outside of being the short form of Elizabeth, it is ok to keep it as adult. Its use by the general public expresses endearment but not disrespect.

    Luzi-Wuzi on the other hand is only cute and perfectly fine for a toddler or a child. A teenager might be at least displeased if perfect strangers were to call him Luzi-Wuzi, but an adult would surely be right to feel insulted.
    Wuzi or Luzi-Wuzi does express a level of disrespect and it hints that the speaker does not (or may not) have the highest opinion of the addressee, especially when said by a stranger; so that's definitely not acceptable when used for royalty.
     
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