The English Language

Borrowed Words From
German

54 Words Listed


German Language Notes

German is an Indo-European language spoken in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Central Europe.

Because German and English are closely related many words are common to the two languages. These are some of the many words that have been borrowed by English and have kept their distinct German character.

The Germans were great chemists during the 19th and early 20th centuries giving English many chemical terms ("bismuth", "quartz"). There are several words from World War II ("gestapo", "Nazi", "rocket"). Some food words are also present ("muffin", "strudel").

Two words associated with the USA are also German: "dollar" and "hamburger".


WordMeaningNotes
abseil    
angst    
Austria from 'Oster Reich', eastern empire European country.
Bismuth white mass Metallic chemical element. One of many chemical terms from German.
blitz    
brake bridle Originally applied to stopping horses.
clock    
clown    
dachshund   A type of dog.
dollar   Named after its place of origin.
Dutch   People and language from the Netherlands.
edelweiss   An Alpine plant.
feldspar   One of many geological terms from German.
flak    
Gestapo   The German secret police, 1933 to 1945.
hamburger   Named after its city of origin.
heroin    
hex    
hinterland    
kindergarten children's garden School for very young children.
lager   Lager in the UK is equivalent to beer in the USA. Beer in the UK is stronger.
larch   A type of tree.
luck    
menthol    
muffin   One of many cake, pastry, snack words from German.
Nazi    
nickel   Named after the Devil (Old Nick).
noodle    
plunder    
poodle   A type of dog.
pretzel   A snack eaten in the USA.
quartz   A type of rock.
rapier    
rocket    
rub    
rucksack    
sauerkraut    
schadenfreude taking delight in the misfortunes of others Used in the UK.
scoop    
shirk scoundrel A person who avoids work or responsibility.
sling    
snorkel    
sod turf Used as a swear word in England (UK).
stroll wander  
strudel   Pastry with apples.
swindle    
tackle apparatus As in 'fishing tackle' (UK).
vandal   Named after a warlike Germanic tribe.
veneer    
waltz   A dance.
waylay    
wrangle    
Yiddish Jewish A dialect of German spoken by the Jewish community.
yodel    

[Borrowed Words (Gaulish)] [Borrowed Words (Greek)]

© 2017, KryssTal


Books From Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com


KryssTal Related Pages

An Indo-European language spoken in Switzerland.

An Indo-European language spoken in Europe, Israel and North America by the Jewish community.

A short history of the world's most widespread language from its Anglo Saxon origins via Norman and Latin influences to Modern English.

The most widely studied family of languages and the family with the largest number of speakers. Languages include English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Russian, Greek, Hindi, Bengali; and the classical languages of Latin, Sanskrit, and Persian.

First names from the Germanic languages.

[Top]