47 English Words of German Origin
Admittedly some are rather obvious, and some are German loanwords! Enjoy nonetheless:
1. Abseil (German spelling: sich abseilen, a reflexive verb, to rope (seil) oneself (sich) down (ab)); the term abseiling is used in the UK and commonwealth countries, “roping (down)” in various English settings, and “rappelling” in the US.
2. Angst (fear, depression, anger)
3. Bagel (a type of food)
4. Blitz, taken from Blitzkrieg (lightning war). It is a team defensive play in American or Canadian football in which the defense sends more players than the offense can block
5. Cobalt (a metal), from kobold ore (German for goblin ore)
6. Dachshund, literally badger dog; a dog breed (usually referred to as Dackel in German usage)
7. Delicatessen, originally a French loanword
8. Doppelgänger, literally double-goer, also spelled in English as doppelganger; a double or look-alike. However, in English the connotation is that of a ghostly apparition of a duplicate living person.
9. Ersatz, replacement; usually implying an artificial and inferior substitute or imitation
10. Fest, festival
11. Fife (a small type of flute)
12. Flak, Flugabwehrkanone, literally: air-defence cannon, for anti-aircraft artillery or their shells, also used in flak jacket; or in the figurative sense: “drawing flak” = being heavily criticized
13. Foosball, probably from the German word for table football, Tischfußball, although foosball itself is referred to as Kicker in German.
14. Frankfurter; type of sausage from Frankfurt
15. Gesundheit (from “healthy” and “safety”; bless you)
16. Glitch A word for “slip up”, glitch is believed to be a conglomeration of two words, both that meant to slip or slide, around 1962: “glitshen” (Yiddish) and “glitschen” (German).
17. Hamburger, sandwich with a meat patty and garnish from Hamburg
18. Hamster (a small animal)
19. Hinterland (backwoods)
20. Kaput (German spelling: kaputt), out-of-order, broken
21. Kindergarten, literally children’s garden; day-care centre, playschool, preschool
22. Kitsch; cheap, sentimental, gaudy items of popular culture
23. Knapsack (a backpack or book bag)
24. Lager; (literally storage) beer made with bottom-fermenting yeast and stored for some time before serving
25. Muesli, breakfast cereal (Swiss German diminutive of “mues”; (German spelling: Müsli), possibly related to English “mush”)
26. Neanderthal (modern German spelling: Neandertal), for German Neandertaler, meaning “of, from, or pertaining to the Neandertal (“Neander Valley”)”, the site near Düsseldorf where early Homo neanderthalensisfossils were found
27. Noodle, from German Nudel, a type of food; a string of pasta.
28. Pilsener (or Pils, Pilsner), pale lager beer originally from the Czech city of Pilsen (Plzeň)
29. Plunder (taking goods by force)
30. Pretzel (Standard German spelling: Brezel), flour and yeast based pastry
31. Pumpernickel, type of sourdough rye bread, strongly flavoured, dense, and dark in colour. The devil’s fart?
32. Schnapps, distilled beverage (schnaps in German)
33. Spritzer, chilled drink from white wine and soda water (from “spritzen” = to spray or squirt)
34. Strudel, a filled pastry (From Old High German stredan “to :bubble, boil, whirl)
35. Realpolitik, literally practical politics
36. Rucksack, from German ‘der Rücken’ (‘the back’), and “Sack” (bag)
37. Pitchblende (a mineral)
38. Poltergeist, literally noisy ghost; an alleged paranormal phenomenon where objects appear to move of their own accord
39. Poodle, from German Pudel, breed of dog
40. Quartz, from German quarz, possibly from Middle High German “twarc”, which probably originated in Slavic (cf. Czech tvrdý (“hard”),
41. Schadenfreude, joy from pain (literally harm joy); delight at the misfortune of others
42. Seltzer, type of soda, a genericized trademark that derives from the German town Selters, famed for its natural springs
43. Waltz, from German Waltzer, from walzen “to roll, dance,”
44. Wanderlust, the yearning to travel, from German wandern (to hike) and Lust (desire)
45. Wiener. In German, the term Würstchen (the diminuitive form of Wurst) or Wiener Würstchen (Vienna sausage) is used in its place. Used pejoratively, signifying a spineless, weak person
46. Zeitgeist, spirit of the time
47. Zeppelin, type of airshipcnamed after its inventor
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