German Language Stack Exchange is a bilingual question and answer site for speakers of all levels who want to share and increase their knowledge of the German language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am told that the word hart was in the past a substantive (not only an adjective) with the meaning of "glade", like a "forest grade". As an example: Steinhart had the meaning of "the glade of the stones". Can you confirm or deny this?

share|improve this question
Was ist ein glade of stones? Leo sagt Lichtung für glade - was soll eine Steinlichtung sein? – user unknown Jul 13 '13 at 10:09
@downvoters please re-consider your downvotes. The question is on-topic, clearly written, and does show some research effort. Please do not vote carelessly. – Takkat Jul 13 '13 at 11:27

Indeed there used to be a noun "Hart", "Hard", "Hardt" or "Harz" used in the meaning of a forest, or a mountain grown with trees.

Today there are still remnants of this meaning in names of locations, regions or towns. The most known region being "Der Harz", a mountain range in middle Germany.

This may also be the case for the then names of the village and the ruined castle "Steinhart", Bavaria, but the common meaning of the composite adjective "steinhart" is (and presumably always was) hard as stone, which is not related to a forest.

share|improve this answer
I had to think of Hardthöhe immediately... that was one catchy name. I wonder why they never use it anymore – Emanuel Jul 13 '13 at 22:39
yeah - Hardthöhe is another nice example :) – Takkat Jul 14 '13 at 7:35

Your Answer


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.