In Yiddish, "sich überbeten" means "sich versöhnen". Does anyone know of a similar usage in (possibly archaic) German or in dialect?

1 Answer 1


I don't know anything really similar, I can't exclude that there once was a similar word either.

Grimm's Wörterbuch knows a verb überbitten with the meaning of being successful in asking/pleading someone for something.

dieser wolte nicht mit herausz, endlich liesz er sich überbitten
(He didn't want to leave with the others, but finally he gave in to their pleas ("let himself be over-pled").)

This word isn't in use any more. The dictionary also knows some other words starting with über- in the sense of being sucessful in getting someone to do something by doing something, or overpower someone:

überdreuen/überdrohen: jemanden mit Drohen zu etwas bringen
überdrängen: jemanden durch Drängen zu etwas bringen

There are also some words in modern German where über- is used in this way, and some of them can also be used in a reflexive way, in which case they have the sense of getting over oneself in some way:

(sich/jmdn) überwinden, (sich/jmdn) überzeugen

So while I can't tell you whether the origins of "sich überbeten/iberbetn" have to do with praying (beten), with pleading (bitten), maybe even with bedding (sich betten) or with influences from other languages, to me, the word does seem to make a lot of sense from a German language perspective.

  • Very helpful and informative, thanks. Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 10:57
  • Thus there is no similar usage in (possibly archaic) German or in dialect. What you found in Grimm's Wörterbuch has nothing to do with "sich versöhnen".
    – Paul Frost
    Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 23:24
  • @PaulFrost the fact that there was no obviously fitting word in Grimm's Wörterbuch doesn't mean that there was no similar usage archaic German or in dialect. See the first paragraph. The answer to the actual question is still open.
    – HalvarF
    Commented Jul 14, 2022 at 14:58

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