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One quaint usage we have in Yiddish is the suffix -echts which converts a verb to a noun. It is usually used with unsavory items like saliva (speiechts) or a pile of sunflower seed shells (schâllechts). Lubricating grease is schmierechts, and I’ve seen a ragged outfit descirbed as ântuechts. I’ll offer two questions for the group, the first one being: is there an equivalent formation in standard German?

My other question is only vaguely related, but it apparently uses the same suffix. There is a chemical compound associated with bootmaking written approximately as dziegechets. It’s undoubtedly Slavic but I wonder if anyone here recognizes it?

PS I hope nobody minds that I've linked to my own Yiddish musical translation of the epic ballad by I.L. Peretz, "Monish". You can watch the Yiddish subtitles and get some idea of exactly how much German is involved, and also you'll see how I've denoted the vowel shifts..

EDIT: I think I'm going to repost the Monish link as a lead-in to a separate question: would you agree that Yiddish is a dialect of German? I'm going to post that right now...

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, there is an equivalent usage of the suffix in non-dialect standard German, even though there seems to be a vowel change involved:

kehren - Kehricht

This is however an unusual case. For common suffixes when bulding nouns from verbs see this nice overwiew.

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Yes, that's perfect. What dialect is that found in, and can you think of any more examples? –  Marty Green Jan 22 '12 at 12:28
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"Kehricht" is not dialect but its a dying old word. I couldn't find any more examples (but there should be). –  Takkat Jan 22 '12 at 14:49

As for the suffix, you might consider the German "-ung", which replaces the standard verb ending "-en" to change it into a noun, such as changing prüfen to Prüfung and so on.

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Yes, of course Yiddish has "ung" as well. The funny thing about the "echts" ending is that it always seems to make an unsavory substance out of an action. –  Marty Green Jan 22 '12 at 1:21

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