I’m looking for a word that comes from the old Germanic language. Not just the word Penis since that is derived from Latin.

  • 5
    Possible duplicate of Colloquial expression for “penis”. The (former) literal meaning of Latin penis ‘tail’ is (Germanic) Schwanz in German and that is actually a common synonym.
    – Crissov
    May 28, 2016 at 17:11
  • 1
    @Crissov I don't think that this is a duplicate because this question asks for a clear Germanic word, while the other question asks how a penis is called in normal day live, which could result in the same word but doesn't have to.
    – Armin
    May 28, 2016 at 18:09
  • 1
    Can you please narrow down your question with respect to the register of the desired word and similar. In particular, are metaphorical euphemisms and similar okay?
    – Wrzlprmft
    May 28, 2016 at 18:50
  • Or did you maybe want to ask for a German cognate?
    – Jan
    May 29, 2016 at 16:56

3 Answers 3


Looking at the trusty Indo-European etymology dictionary, there used to be a German term, but its use has died out.

The root for penis is

Proto-IE: *pes-

Meaning: penis

Old Indian: pásas- n. `penis'

Old Greek: péos n. `das männliche Glied'

Slavic: *opesъkā (Czech opeska `praeputium')

Germanic: *fás-Vl=, *fís-Vl=

Latin: pēnis, -is m. `Schwanz; männliches Glied'

Russ. meaning: penis

Drilling down into the Germanic roots leads to

Proto-Germanic: *fásVl=, *físVl=

Meaning: penis

Old High German: faselt 'penis'

Middle High German: visel, vësel st. m. 'penis'; vasel st. m. 'der fortpflanzung dienendes männliches vieh, zuchtstier, -eber u. dgl.', st. n. 'das junge, die nachkommenschaft; gezücht, gesinde'

Low German: fisel 'penis'

Translating the German explanation:

Male animal used for breeding, bull, hog, etc; also young, litter, progeny

I can only speculate whether the colloquial terms Piesel and pieseln, the latter meaning urinating, are related as the link doesn't say. Seeing as the shifts in Germanic languages generally went from *p to *f (one of Grimm's Laws IIRC), I'd rather suspect that these are borrowed from the Latin/Romance.

  • 7
    Now I'm really worried about the actual meaning of "Fähnlein Fieselschweif".
    – dirkt
    May 29, 2016 at 7:28
  • @dirkt Thanks for that! Now I'll never get it out of my head!
    – user21173
    May 29, 2016 at 7:29
  • Just great! 4 upvotes in a few hours. At this rate my most upvoted answer on German will be penis-related! >.<
    – user21173
    May 29, 2016 at 7:46
  • @Marakai Welcome to the Internet, mon! May 30, 2016 at 7:20
  • 1
    This is a surprisingly interesting answer to a puerile question.
    – wogsland
    Mar 12, 2017 at 16:53

There isn't one.

That, of course is an exaggeration, but there isn't a candidate for your requirements among the most commonly used neutral synonyms. That isn't uncommon, and it's not necessarily to do with any taboos either. German doesn't have a native word for 'leg' either, so 'Bein' is used, which properly means 'bone'.

To be sure, there are many, many synonyms, in fact perhaps more than for most nouns. But there isn't one single-word synonym that is clearly germanic and clearly the standard usage. Perhaps the closest thing is the expression "das männliche Glied" (the male member).

  • 1
    Clearly Germanic and fitting the meaning: Schwanz, Zipfel. Granted, both have other meanings, too, but that wasn’t specified in the question. Also Haxe or Schenkel for leg work pretty well … Yes, they did originate from other meanings but languages change. –1.
    – Jan
    May 28, 2016 at 20:52

"Schniedelwutz" is a german word meaning "penis".

  • Dieses Wort hat Otto Walkes dem deutschen Wortschatz hinzugefügt indem er zwei bestehende Wörter zusammengefügt hat: Der Schniedel (ohne Wutz) war ein Synonym für die Schnecke (das Kriechtier). Der Wutz leitet sich vom Verb wuzeln (mit langem u) ab: Beim Wuzeln z.B. Tabak so lange zwischen den Händen hin- und hergerollt, bis daraus eine Zigarre entsteht. Man kann auch Teig zu kurzen dicken Nudeln wuzeln. Das Ergebnis ist ein Wuzel (langes u), also etwas das ungefähr die Form eines Fingers hat. Der davon abgeleitete Wutz (mit kurzem u) bezeichnet etwas kleines, dickes (z.B. ein Baby). Sep 1, 2016 at 5:03

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