Wednesday, October 19, 2016

German Is Such A Literal Language

You may be aware that Handschuh is the German word for glove.  As should be obvious that is handshoe.

I am reading Robert S. Woodbury's Studies in the History of Machine Tools (1972), and one of the footnotes  in the section on gear cutters references Geschicte des Zahnrades.   Zahn is "tooth" and Rad is "wheel."  What else could you call a gear but a toothwheel?


Sebastian said...

Our penchant for making up new words to describe things, or borrowing new words, come thanks to our Norman overlords circa 1066 to 1154. Ze Germans, and ve were all gute Germans prior to the Normans, don't see any issue taking two or maybe three or four perfectly good words and combining them to describe something new.

DOuglas2 said...

Will said...

Forty years ago, I worked at a motorcycle dealership that included BMW. The Dutch owner was explaining the terminology of the BMW parts system. The literal translation of the fenders was "horseshit deflector".
I was thinking that they probably carried that part name over from horse drawn carriages and wagons. I wonder if the cars still use the same term?