Remember how Figaro advised his lord, going to England, not to waste time learning English? It is enough, they say, to learn two words in English - “damn it” - to support any conversation in London. If you follow this recipe, then in Hamburg, too, two words are enough for "meaningful" communication with local residents. And even simpler - one word spoken with repetition: moin moin. There is a wide palette of meanings.
In general, moin is a North German version of a morning greeting, reduced by juten Morjen (German guten Morgen). But over the course of centuries, other meanings have appeared: good, beautiful, nice, great, well, you give, etc.
Until the 70s of the last century, words like moin were considered vulgar. In Denmark, to which Northern Schleswig was annexed after World War I, it was even banned: “Mojn er forbojn” (cf. German Moin ist verboten). But in recent decades, this word (and even not just a word, but a style of speech) has spread widely along the northern sea coast, penetrated deep into continental Europe, right down to Switzerland.
The special commitment to moin moin is, of course, distinguished by the inhabitants of Hamburg. Even the verb moinsen (“moin”, meaning to often use the word moin), characterizing their speech, has appeared. It should be distinguished: a single moin, like gun moin, is really a good morning wish, and a double moin moin is anything: from greeting at any time of the day to expressing an increased emotional degree for any reason. The reciprocal expression of enthusiasm or praise is moin zurück (so to speak, “to you too”). By the way, instead of these two words we can say shorter: “Moinsen”, which will mean, depending on the circumstances, either “the same to you” or “hello everyone” (cf. Moin zusammen).
This could complete the topic “Everything you need to know in order to communicate with the residents of Hamburg”. Because its deeper coverage will lead you into the jungle of speech culture.
Historically, several languages have developed in Hamburg. The most viable are two: “sandy” (Geest-Platt) and “swamp” (Marsch-Platt). One belonged to the inhabitants of settlements on hard flat soil with a characteristic postglacial layer of sand (in Germany such a landscape is called Geest), the second to residents of the marshy shores of the Lower Elbe (marshy soil - Marsch).
Today's Marsch-Platt is a speech from residents of the Hamburg port area (hence the second name: “Port Platt”, Hafenplatt) and the city center. And Geest-Platt "registered" in the northern regions - in Wandsbek, Amesbüttel and on the other side of the Elbe, in Harburg. Perhaps the most noticeable difference is the use of consonants b and v. “Sandstones” say v where “swamps” say b. In addition, “sandstones” in Moscow say “A”, and “swamps” in Volga “O”. So, the word oben (German top) in the former is transformed into baven, and in the latter in boben.
The differences between the two Hamburgian languages can be traced not only in pronunciation, but also in vocabulary. For example, the verbs töven (Geest-Platt) and teuben (Marsch-Platt) are not very similar to each other, but they have the same meaning: do (German machen).
All this is not just the quirks of street jargon, but significant transformations of a living language, seriously studied by specialists. Suffice to say that the “Dictionary of Hamburg dialects” consists of five thick volumes. Below are some excerpts from it with our comments.
Moin moin! We speak Hamburg
angetütert - drunk, succumbing, Hamburg grog lover
Buddel is like a bottle, and it's really a bottle
(German die Flasche)
Büx, Buxe - trousers, trousers (not to be confused with the wagon “box” or “casket” - both of these words in German will be die Büchse, and trousers - die Hose); but bangbüx is a coward
das - not only the article of the middle gender, but also the frequent replacement of the pronoun es in steady speech; for example: "What time is it?" - “Wie spät ist das?” (instead of “Wie spät ist es?”)
Deern - girl; Straßendeern, Strossndeern - “employee” of the Hamburg Reperbahn
Digga - Old Man, Grandfather
gau - quickly (not to be confused with the old German der Gau - region, region, large area)
man - only once, only once, solely (German einmal, nur), but not a man (German der Mann) and not a man at all (German der Mensch)
klönen - has nothing to do with "small size" (cf. German klein), it really means: chatting, having a lively (informal) conversation
lütt - small, small (German klein)
plietsch - clever, quick-witted (German: schlau, aufgeweckt)
Schiet - at first glance, a word from Hollywood action movies, but it is purely of local origin, it means the same as the general German Scheiße