As a person with very little knowledge of German, I found the word for Ostrich to be a bit of a surprise. What's the etymology? Does the following function as any sort of pun?

Herr Strauss verkauft Strauße und Sträuße in Österreich.

  • @xehpuk: so ist es vielleicht schon ein wenig witzig, siehe Edit ;)
    – Takkat
    Jul 4, 2014 at 10:09
  • Streusel is yet another unrelated word. If the streets are icy in winter someone may ask someone else what to do with the salt they just handed them and they may reply: „Streu’s!“.
    – Crissov
    Jul 6, 2014 at 14:04

2 Answers 2


All those words even though apparently similar do not share a common etymology. Austria is an entirely different word in German (Österreich), hence it will not work as a pun here.

Here's some background on the etymology:

Strauß (animal)

Both, the English ostrich and the German Strauß are derived from Latin avis struthio where the English letter O, a remnant of avis, was not preserved in the German counterpart.

Strauß (flowers)

The German expression Strauß in the meaning of a bouquet derives from Old High German strūʒahi (shrubbery).


Both are related in their meaning, from Latin Marchia austriaca (eastern borderland) and Old High German ostar rīhhi (eastern empire).

Strauß/Strauss (family name)

This is a common family name in Germany and Austria, probably having different roots (genealogy would be beyond the scope here).

Strauß (strive)

»Einen Strauß ausfechten« is dated for »to fight«.



Ornithologie: afrikanischer Laufvogel (Struthio camelus) der gleichnamigen Familie von Vögeln (Struthionidæ)

mittelhochdeutsch struz(e), althochdeutsch struz, aus lateinisch struthio → la, dieses aus altgriechisch stroútheios (στρούθειος) → grc, jeweils gleichbedeutend

Also on the very same page, you'll see that it's not related to Blumenstrauß, meaning a bunch of flowers.

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