Saturday, August 08, 2015

Vocabulary - German

Words from German populate the English language but surprisingly tend to get overshadowed by words from French, Spanish, Latin etc. But as the list below shows German loanwords are quite interesting. Check out the last one. ;-)

Leitmotif (lahyt-moh-teef)
A theme associated throughout a music drama with a particular person, situation, or idea.
Etymology: Leiten = to lead + Motive

Putsch (pooch)
A secretly plotted, sudden attempt to overthrow a government.
Etymology: Putsch = thrust, blow

Ersatz (ER-zahts, er-ZATS)
Being an imitation or a substitute, usually an inferior one; artificial.
Etymology: Ersetzen = to replace

Zeitgeist (tsahyt-gahyst)
The spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time.
Etymology: Zeit = time + Geist = spirit

Schadenfreude (shahd-n-froi-duh)
Delight at the misfortune of others
Etymology: Schaden = harm + Freude = joy

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