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I wonder if the Yiddish word "Säegermacher" (Seegermacher?) has a German origin. It seems obvious that it must, but I can't see it.

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Thanks, Void and Without Form. That's definitely it. I had thought of zeiger but I know of know other instance where the initial consonant changes from a z to an s, so I had discounted it. But if it is already idomatic for watch hand, then that's another matter. (The misleading spelling was my own attempt to romanize the Yiddish; in the original spelling there is no hint of the etymology.) – Marty Green Oct 2 '11 at 10:19
Of course, the vowel shift from zeiger to zéiger is very normal in Yiddish, but I generally assumed it derived from an older form of the German vowel, so I don't expect to see it in newer words associated with technology. On the other hand, pendulum clocks have existed for many hundreds of years, and their pointers were probably also called Uhrzeigers. – Marty Green Oct 2 '11 at 10:27
up vote 9 down vote accepted

I suppose it's connected with „Zeigermacher“ - „Uhrzeiger“ is the german word for 'watch hand'. Google gives several sources for watchmakers being called Zeigermacher, too.

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Thanks, tohuwawohu, for upgrading your comment to an answer. I have left my replies to your answer in the comment field of the original question where I posted them while the question was still locked down. – Marty Green Oct 2 '11 at 14:09
@Marty Why was the question closed? – Phira Oct 3 '11 at 22:37
I guess some people don't like to think of Yiddish as a dialect of German. – Marty Green Oct 3 '11 at 22:47

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