Take the 2-minute tour ×
German Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of German wanting to discuss the finer points of the language and translation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

As I understand it, Hochzeit means "wedding", and Hochmut means "pride", while hoch means "high".

Often, words with a common shared prefix are at least somewhat similar in meaning. But I can't relate Hochzeit and Hochmut to each other, nor can I relate either of them to the prefix hoch-. Why the disconnect?

share|improve this question
3  
Why do you assume there's a specific connection between these words? Is there a certain context? Not every word with the same prefix is related except that they have the same prefix. In this case the only connection may be they each reflect some elevated or outstanding extreme condition of the root words. –  Kevin Jul 1 '12 at 15:17
    
@Kevin: See Ansgar's answer. It is a good one. Even your comment, "each reflect some elevated or outstanding extreme condition of the root words" is quite a good answer. –  Tom Au Jul 1 '12 at 16:15
    
I hope you got what you're looking for. :-) Although this principle can apply in most cases, be aware that words do change meanings and usage over time, and sometimes a whole new word and meaning can result that gets away from the individual roots. –  Kevin Jul 1 '12 at 17:14
    
@Kevin: "words do change meanings and usage over time, and sometimes a whole new word and meaning can result that gets away from the individual roots." That's what I'm looking to explore on this site. –  Tom Au Jul 1 '12 at 18:33
    
@Kevin: See in particular the last part of the question, "not can I relate either of them to the prefix hoch". The latter is clearly possible, and for me that's the main point of the question. –  Hendrik Vogt Jul 2 '12 at 7:21
add comment

3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Both relate to hoch, although not quite literally. A wedding is a high time, a time of great joy; and Hochmut is a high (nowadays usually: too high) self-esteem. Mut means courage, but there is a older meaning (cf. Gemüt) that can be translated as frame of mind.

share|improve this answer
1  
OK, "Hochzeit" or "high time" has a connection, although tenuous, to wedding, and similarly Hochmut, to pride or esteem. Both (somewhat) to hoch, but not to each other. –  Tom Au Jul 1 '12 at 16:17
3  
Its only from the 17. Century that "Hochzeit" is used for a wedding, which is the exclusive meaning in modern German. Before that any high ranked feast was a "hōchgezīt". Note the common etymology with Old English "hēahtīd". –  Takkat Jul 1 '12 at 18:39
add comment

Not only that they do not have a connection in context, no, you do not even pronounce the prefixes the same way, despite the fact both are spelled the same.

In 'Hochmut' you would rather accent the 'o' like 'Hoooochmut' and in 'Hochzeit' you would accent the 'o' less, so that the 'ch' is emphasized.

But that's only a subtle difference.

share|improve this answer
    
"you do not even pronounce the prefixes the same way, despite the fact both are spelled the same." That's good to know. +1.Learning things like this is why I asked the question. –  Tom Au Jul 1 '12 at 18:31
add comment

In the spoken language "Hochzeit" (pronounching the o) and "Hochzeit" (pronouncing the ch) are different words.

  • "Hochzeit" pronouncing the "ch" means exclusivly a wedding, no other implications.
  • "Hochzeit" pronouncing the "o" means a time where something had a high standing, similar to "Goldene Zeit" (golden age) or "Blütezeit" (heyday). "Die Hochzeit der deutschen Kultur" could be describing a time where the german culture was very highly regarded.

The first meaning probably evolved from the second but has by itself nothing to do with the prefix "Hoch-".

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.