The sentence:

Der Föhn, der andernorts wie ein Wasserfall die Berge hinabdonnert und orkanartig durch die Täler braust, ...

The dictionary tells me Föhn means blow dryer, but the sentence suggests that Föhn can also mean wind or gust or something of that nature. Is it safe to make that assumption or am I missing something?

1 Answer 1


The Föhn in your case is a dry and warm, often gusty strong downslope wind in the Alps.

It's a weather phenomenon that is observed in mountainous area and possibly has its name from Favonius, the Roman personification of a favourable wind.

  • 8
    The hairdryer is named after this warm wind. It was a brandname of Electrolux and originally was written without h (»Fön«), a variation was »Foen«. Before the orthographic reform of 1996 Fön was the correct spelling for the hairdryer, while the wind always was written with h (»Föhn«). After 1996 only Föhn is correct for both, the wind and the hairdryer. Dec 3, 2017 at 7:29
  • 3
    @Hubert Or perhaps more neutrally expressed: "after 1996 only Föhn is considered correct by those who adhere to the new rules of orthography issued then for the use in schools and public administration"? Dec 4, 2017 at 13:02
  • @HubertSchölnast Are you sure? duden.de/rechtschreibung/Foen suggests that Fön is ok as well.
    – glglgl
    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:20
  • @glglgl: Yes, I am sure, and Duden agrees with me. The entry you found is explicitly marked with the sign ® which means, that this entry is about a Registered trademark, i.e. this entry is about the Hairdryer by Electrolux. In the section Bedeutung is a link to Föhn (2). If you follow this link and read entry 2, you can read "elektrisches Gerät zum Trocknen des Haars". So, all in all Duden says: You can use Fön and Föhn for the hairdryer, but the wind is only Föhn. And this is exactly what I said 2 years ago. Aug 21, 2019 at 5:07
  • @HubertSchölnast I read your sentence from 2017 as "only Föhn is correct for both" while Duden says "You can use Fön and Föhn for the hairdryer". So the latter seems to apply.
    – glglgl
    Aug 21, 2019 at 6:00

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.