Mainz Daily Photo


The first day at school in Germany is quite something.

Kiddies with a year or more under their belts front up on the first day after the summer holidays and get settled in.

New kiddies front up on Tuesday, carrying their school cone filled with goodies and trailing an entourage of brothers, sisters, mums, dads, grans, granddads and sundry hangers-on.

This is a big deal.

People wear suits and some even wear TIES!

They call them ABC-Schütze, which – if you research it – is an etymological hoot.

ABC is self-explanatory, but Schütze (“rifleman” or “shooter”?)


It happened like this: it started off in the 2nd half of the 16C with the Latin word tiro – freshman, rookie, recruit.

Which is fine.

They some bright spark said ” Hey, they must mean tirare or tirer”

Both of which mean “to fire” or “to shoot”

And there you have it.

This entry was published on 8 September, 2015 at 08:00. It’s filed under Language, Mainz and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Procession

  1. Tuesday was the first day back here as well for students. Not having kids myself, I notice it more by how many kids are on their way to school when I leave for the morning.

  2. ABC-Schütze—wish I had known this when I was still teaching!! Great description. The cone is far more creative than a backpack!

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