Language sometimes has its pitfalls: There are several terms that make you wonder about their so-called political correctness. Among such terms is the greeting "Ski Heil" occasionally used on the slopes!". But is it even allowed to say that, when the word "Heil" may remind one or the other of the dark times in German history? SnowTrex takes a closer look:
The word history of "Heil
The greeting "Heil" goes back to the Latin "Salve", which means "hello". Originally it was intended as a blessing with positive connotations. The word gained a negative meaning gravity by the use in the political context in the National Socialism. The Hitler salutes "Sieg Heil" and "Heil Hitler" expressed the personality cult around the "Fuhrer" and have been banned in Germany and Austria since 1945.
However, this prohibition does not apply to the word "Heil". In parts of Austria, such as Tyrol and Vorarlberg, the term is still quite common even today. People greet each other with "Heil" instead of "Servus" and don’t even think about the fact that the word could have a bad connotation.
Similar greetings: "Waidmanns Heil", "Petri Heil"& Co.
Already in 19. In the nineteenth century, before the Nazi era, similar expressions like "Ski Heil" had become established in the sports world. Traditionally, hunters greet each other with "Waidmanns Heil", anglers with "Petri Heil" and mountaineers with "Berg Heil". "Ski Heil" eventually developed on the slopes as a coined word, expressing nothing more than a wish that the other person would come down the mountain unscathed.
"Ski Heil" in the literature
A nice example of the positive connotation of the term in sports circles is the publication of the writer and mountaineer Walter Pause. In the 1960s and 70s, he published books entitled "Berg Heil – 100 Beautiful Mountain Tours in the Alps" and "Ski Heil – 100 Beautiful Ski Descents in the Alps," which were inspired by the fascination of climbing and. Skiing report.
Conclusion: May one say "Ski Heil" therefore?
Ultimately, it depends on the context in which a term is used. In our case, it is harmless because it is sporting and not politically motivated and does not carry any negative connotation. Among winter sports enthusiasts, a spirited "Ski Heil" should have a positive connotation and is quite welcome as a friendly gesture on the slopes. SnowTrex, in any case, has nothing against it if there is even more friendliness and exchange on the slopes and one can again wish each other "break a leg" in the traditional manner – by the way, a good alternative wish to "Ski Heil" and around origin not at all sarcastic: It comes from the Yiddish derived wish "luck and blessings" ("Hatslokhe u Brokhe").
With this in mind, let’s finish with an entertaining song by the "pensioner band" from the 80s with the beautiful title "Ski heil, Bein kaputt":