I've heard a German friend use "anschneiden" to mean "fasten a seat belt".

But according to the dictionary, to fasten a seat belt is "zumachen" or "sich anschnallen", while anschneiden means "to cut". So, it could be that it was "anschnallen" and I just heard it wrong.

Does "anschneiden" have such a meaning?

  • If your friend is Bavarian that could be an explanation: In some positions an -l- sound becomes vocalized as something that sounds similar to -ai-. (That doesn't explain the -d- that you heard, though.) – Chris Sep 20 '14 at 15:41

There is no (direct) connection between the verbs anschnallen and anschneiden but there could be an explanation for why you mistook the one for the other:

In some German dialects there are positions where an L-sound gets vocalized. For example, the Bavarian pronunciation of

anschnallen is something like [o:schnåin]

where å denotes a dark a sound and the Bavarian pronunciation of

anschneiden is something like [o:schnain].

(For this custom-made phonemic transcription see for example this Bavarian dictionary.)

So in Bavarian the words anschnallen and anschneiden are pronounced very similarly but the ai diphthongs are different. There may be other regions/dialects where both words have a similar pronunciation.

Possibly your friend is a speaker of one of these dialects that have an L-vocalization, so that in his/her speech both words are similar.

  • To be precise: the transcription of that Bavarian dictionary is neither phonetic nor phonemic but a mixture between typical German graphematic ("sch") transcription and phonemic transcription (å vs a). Please don't read too much into the word phonemic here. :-) – Chris Sep 20 '14 at 21:24
  • Ah, didn't read carefully. For this, slashes would be more appropriate. – user6191 Sep 21 '14 at 1:05
  • @Grantwalzer: Nice cartoon :-). I know that normally in phonemics one would use slashes and in phonetics square brackets. However, I just copied the transcription of the site and added an [o:] for the an- prefix. And as I said: It's not even a 100% phonemic transcription and mixes up normal German spelling habits and some special characters. – Chris Sep 21 '14 at 10:41
  • That's also true. – user6191 Sep 21 '14 at 15:03

"anschneiden" has nothing to with "anschnallen". You must have heard it wrong.

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