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.

Which German words have a very interesting etymological history?

Translation:

Welche deutschen Wörter haben eine besonders interessante etymologische Geschichte?

share|improve this question

closed as not constructive by Tim, deceze, Alenanno, ogerard, swegi May 25 '11 at 14:16

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2  
Is this on topic? "Interesting" is rather relative. This site is about opinion, not about facts or use of the language. –  teylyn May 24 '11 at 21:34
    
Voting to close as too subjective. Related meta by OP –  Tim May 24 '11 at 21:40
    
I opened a meta thread: meta.german.stackexchange.com/questions/20/… –  Phira May 24 '11 at 21:58
    
It is certainly too broad. –  ogerard May 25 '11 at 8:28

2 Answers 2

Das Wort 'Handy'. Viele Deutsche glauben, dass dieses Wort aus Englisch kommt. Das ist falsch! Es kommt eigentlich vom 'Handfunkgerät' (hand(held) radio-machine)!

share|improve this answer
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The word "Neanderthaler" comes from the cave in the valley "Neanderthal".

The word "Neanderthal" comes from the word Tal=valley in old spelling and the name of Neander, a composer of church hymns who lived near this valley.

The name "Neander" was the Greek version of the Neander's original name "Neumann" (neu (german) =new ( english) = neo (Greek), mann (german) = man (english) = andr- (Greek) )

So, the word Neanderthaler actually comes from a name meaning "new man".

share|improve this answer

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