54 votes

Germans call glucose grape sugar? Origins for this if so?

First the correct translations: "Die Traube" = "bunch of berries", "bunch of grapes" or "cluster" "Die Weintraube" = "bunch of grapes" or "grape" "grape" = "die Weinbeere" (the single berry) or "...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
48 votes
Accepted

Why does "Leidenschaft" mean "passion" while "leiden" means "to suffer"?

There is a very interesting fact about »leiden«, »leid«, »Leid«, »leidlich«, »leider«, »erleiden«, »Beileid«, »beleidigen«, »Leidenschaft« and similar words: They do not derive from the same root. ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
44 votes
Accepted

How widely used is the term Treppenwitz? Is it something that most Germans know?

From my experience, most people have heard of the term, but don't neccessarily know the exact and/or correct meaning. And "Treppenwitz" also isn't regularily used in day-to-day conversations, either.
Henning Kockerbeck's user avatar
39 votes

Why do “Meer” and “See” have swapped meanings from their Dutch counterparts?

The German feminine noun "die See" doesn't mean English "lake" or Dutch "meer". Here are the correct translations: German English Dutch das Meer the sea de zee die See ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
38 votes
Accepted

Why do “Meer” and “See” have swapped meanings from their Dutch counterparts?

In German we have the homophone but differently spellt word 'mehr' in the meaning of more. As to the difference of the Dutch and German for zee and meer vs der See and das Meer: it is true, but not so ...
planetmaker's user avatar
  • 10.5k
34 votes

Feminine noun with suffix -ung that is not the result of a "Verb to Noun process"

I wrote a little Python script (see below) to find candidate words. It takes a dictionary and yields all uppercase words that end on ung unless: there exists a corresponding lowercase word ending on ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
  • 21.9k
31 votes

Why Ölberg and not Olivenberg?

Considering that another name for Olivenbaum is Ölbaum and the biological family is Ölbaumgewächse (Oleaceae), Ölberg with the meaning of “mountain of olive trees” makes sense to me. Ölberg has ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 24k
30 votes
Accepted

Feminine noun with suffix -ung that is not the result of a "Verb to Noun process"

I think that die Zeitung fulfills the criteria.
Björn Friedrich's user avatar
29 votes

Why does "Leidenschaft" mean "passion" while "leiden" means "to suffer"?

Leidenschaft has been coined in the 17th/18th century in analogy to the French passion, which also has a root with the meaning of suffering, compare Passion of Jesus in the Christian religion. ...
Carsten S's user avatar
  • 20.8k
27 votes
Accepted

What is the etymology of "Es gibt" in the sense of "There is"?

There is a gradual development from the Germanic and Old High Germangeban in the meaning of to give to the peculiar abstract usage es gibt which only occured in New High German. There is quite an ...
Takkat's user avatar
  • 70.4k
23 votes

Why does "Leidenschaft" mean "passion" while "leiden" means "to suffer"?

This actually makes perfect sense, as the English word "passion" itself comes from the Greek verb πασχω meaning "to suffer" - so this probably has more to do with English losing this connotation, than ...
Ap31's user avatar
  • 339
22 votes
Accepted

Origin of the word "Abenteuer"?

das Abenteuer In 12th century the Old French word aventure was imported into the German language. In Middle High German it soon became aventiure and soon (still in Middle High German) v turned ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Hatte die Deutsche Sprache einst Adverbien wie im Englischen?

Wie fast immer ist es irreführend, vom Englischen auszugehen; außerdem ist die Darstellung der Situation im Englischen zu sehr vereinfacht. Das Phänomen, daß im heutigen Englisch die meisten Adverbien ...
David Vogt's user avatar
  • 26.4k
17 votes
Accepted

Was ist die Bedeutung von "Nieder-" in "Niedersachsen" und ähnlichen

Das bedeutet in der Regel, dass das so bezeichnete Gebiet tiefer liegt als das Gebiet, das mit der Vorsilbe »Ober-« bezeichnet ist. Beispiel: Die beiden österreichischen Bundesländer Niederösterreich ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Why does vormachen mean lying?

"vormachen" has several meanings. In the meaning you refer to, "vormachen" is used transitively and "vor" is the equivalent of English "pre", as in "...
Tim's user avatar
  • 355
16 votes
Accepted

What is the reason why the translation of “Speed” is “Geschwindigkeit”?

From their etymology both adjectives geschwind, and schnell used to have a common meaning of being strong, and agile in Old High German, presumably coming from usage for describing a man fighting. ...
Takkat's user avatar
  • 70.4k
16 votes
Accepted

Why Mitternacht, not Mittnacht

The word Mitternacht is some centuries younger than Mittwoch and Mittag. Mitternacht derives from 14th century phrases such as vor mitter nahte (‘before middle night’), where mitter is an adjective in ...
chirlu's user avatar
  • 19.7k
16 votes

Why Ölberg and not Olivenberg?

I cannot prove the following, but would assume it makes sense. The Lutherian bible was translated into German 1545 - Most probably no one in the intended audience would have had an idea what an "...
tofro's user avatar
  • 64.1k
16 votes
Accepted

Why Ölberg and not Olivenberg?

The German Ölberg is a gravely wrong translation of the Greek name for the Mount of Olives ὄρος τῶν ἐλαιῶν (oros ton elaion). The Greek version is absolutely unambiguous when spoken, or written with ...
Adam Bittlingmayer's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Origin of the Bavarian "In oana dua" ("all the time")

This also exists in standard German as in einer Tour see Redensarten-Index, so it's your third choice.
guidot's user avatar
  • 28.2k
16 votes

Why does "Leidenschaft" mean "passion" while "leiden" means "to suffer"?

Both the German Leiden and the English passion were originally used in the context of Christ's physical sufferings on the Cross. Only later was the connotation of a strong emotion or desire added to ...
Takkat's user avatar
  • 70.4k
16 votes
Accepted

Why "Fahrkarte", "Flugkarte" but "BahnCard"?

"Fahrkarte" and "Flugkarte" (never heard that; usually, it is "Flugticket") are usual general nouns. "BahnCard" is a product offered by the company Deutsche Bahn, which does not denote your ticket ...
Florian Albrecht's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Origin of "weiß"

"weiß" is an irregular conjugation of the verb "wissen", which indeed means "to know". Looking up "wissen" at Wiktionary, gives us that the word comes from the Proto-Indo-European "wóyde". "weiß" can ...
Rutger Rauws's user avatar
16 votes

What is the origin of the word "Arzt"?

You are looking for the etymology of the word 'Arzt'. Once you know what you're looking for, Google is a quick helper. According to wiktionary, the word dates back to ancient Greece, but some people ...
infinitezero's user avatar
  • 18.4k
16 votes

Why are observatories called Sternwarten?

Warte does not refer the Verb warten (i. e., to wait), but it is a noun synonymous to Sichtpunkt, Wachpunkt, Beobachtungspunkt, Observatorium (i. e., observatory, observation ward). Therefore, ...
Björn Friedrich's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Why are observatories called Sternwarten?

The singular is Sternwarte; Sternwarten is the plural and it's mostly a coincidence that warten is a verb in its own right. Warte has several meanings, but perhaps the most relevant is "position ...
RDBury's user avatar
  • 11.3k
15 votes

Schrieb man früher "Beet" statt "Bett"?

Der Duden sagt Folgendes: mittelhochdeutsch bet(te), althochdeutsch betti, auch: Beet; ursprüngliche Bezeichnung für das mit Stroh und Fellen gepolsterte Lager entlang den Wänden des germanischen ...
Giraffe's user avatar
  • 624
15 votes

Rechts vor Links!

Hubert hat die Herkunft der politischen Färbung von rechts und links bereits schön erklärt, aber im Verkehrsaspekt möchte ich gesondert antworten: Du kannst Deinen Kindern bedenkenlos "Rechts vor ...
hiergiltdiestfu's user avatar
15 votes

Why Ölberg and not Olivenberg?

As you can see from your examples, Öl is a more archaic usage. The substance known as "oil" was originally only derived from olives (which was constrained to the Mediterranean area in those days). ...
frIT's user avatar
  • 401

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible