In translating some of the Middle High German of the Carmina Burana, my edition (piano/vocal edition of Orff's settings published by Schott, 1996) has the following verse:

Suzer rosenvarwer munt, chum uñ mache mich gesunt.

I believe I read somewhere that this was a scribal abbreviation for "und/unde", but I can't remember where and can't find this information again. It would make sense, yielding:

Süßer rosenfarbener Mund, komm und mach mich gesund.

Is this correct? I would also love any references (online or otherwise) confirming this if possible.

ed.: fixed my adjective declension and inserted source edition

  • 2
    Sounds good, except for rosenfarbe, that should be rosenfarbener =color of a rose (not necessarily the same as rosafarben =pink). Commented May 18, 2015 at 0:42
  • 2
    I am not an expert, but immediately after reading the title I thought that it probably means und[e] (or unt[e]). It's very obviously the word missing here, and squiggles above letters to indicate that something following has been dropped is just what medieaval scribes did. This is also how ä for ae, ö for oe, ü for ue came up.
    – user2183
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 6:30

1 Answer 1


It would be nice to tell us your sources too.

Generally speaking I would agree. is surely translated with und.

Yet after some googeling I found some other versions of your quote:


Suozer roservarwer munt,
chum vnde mache mich gesunt!
chum vnde mache mich gesunt,
suozer roservarwer munt!

is according to that page translated like:

Süsser, rosafarbener Mund,
komm und mache mich gesund,
komm und mache mich gesund,
Süsser, rosafarbener Mund.

Yet they weren't using your variant so I had to search for the original which seems to be on Google Books (Bibliothek des Literarischen Vereins in Stuttgart, Literarischer Verein in Stuttgart., 1847): https://books.google.kg/books?id=e6osAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA209&dq=%22chum+un+mache+mich+gesunt%22&hl=de&sa=X&ei=R6RZVa2pGom8swGdyYDoCQ&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22chum%20un%20mache%20mich%20gesunt%22&f=false

Bibliothek des Literarischen Vereins in Stuttgart, Literarischer Verein in Stuttgart., 1847

There seems to be a version by the German composer Carl Orff who translated un with und as well. Yet his writing it without the tilde. Probably only for reasons to write it less confusing.

https://www.atanet.org/publications/beacons_10_pages/page_68.pdf uses unde instead of vnde - which is only due to the Latin similarity of u and v. (Like the first version in this post)

It's difficult to say which which version is the "original" facsimile from the first text which appeared. I imagine it might be either vnde or un - just for practical uses.

  • You say "Generally speaking I would agree." Out of curiosity, what are some other possibilities that "uñ" could stand for?
    – DallaLiyly
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 17:59
  • 1
    In the Middle Ages it was customary to write a u at the beginning of a word as v. This (and the fact that Latin only had v) explains vnd[e]. As for the tilde, it was widely used to stand for omitted characters, in this case the d. Commented May 20, 2015 at 21:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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