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Gemütlichkeit. Hard to say. Easy to enjoy.

Published Thursday, March 24, 2022 2:00pm

So you're at Wurstfest feeling proud you finally sang "Ein Prosit" instead of "I'm frozen" and then here comes "Gemütlichkeit." You'd not be alone if you chose that time to cough or take a drink from your cup to avoid butchering the word.

Arguments rage to this day over how to pronounce Gemütlichkeit. Some pronounce it "Gi-MEET-lee-kite." Others insist it's "Gi-MOOT-lish-kite." Some just sing "Give me a bite" while looking at their neighbor's Kartoffelpuffers. For our part, I believe the second version is most correct. Native German speakers can contact me at with complaints. I'll check that inbox at 8am every February 30th.

However, the pronunciation of Gemütlichkeit is less important than what it is. It's what you experience when you're sitting in a Biergarten with friends all around and a Dunkel in your hand. It's holding hands with someone while you watch the sky turn red over the Hill Country during another perfect Texas sunset. And it's the smiles you share with others after making it through the tube chute upright. Gemütlichkeit is friendliness. Gemütlichkeit is togetherness. Gemütlichkeit is that warm feeling you get amongst friends.

To me, Gemütlichkeit describes New Braunfels perfectly – no matter how you pronounce it.