MooT Question Icon
What drink-type's name means "a spray" in Yiddish?




Etymology, Etymology, and more Etymology
as well as grammar, usage, euphemism, slang, jargon, semantics, linguistics, neologism, idiom, cant, and argot.


A picture of a moot game

The critically-acclaimed board game MooT
consists of tough questions about the nuances of the English language.
To join our mailing list and get
free brain-twisting MooT questions sent to you irregularly,
enter your email address and then press submit.

E-Mail address:




Back to home page



Answer: the spritzer

The word spritzer derives from the German/Yiddish spritz, spray. It denotes a drink composed of wine and soda water.

Feedback


It's a hard question, is an English word Yiddish or German? Yiddish is essentially a group of German dialects, with some distinctive vocabulary. If one knows that a word entered English directly from general German with no Yiddish intermediary, then it is clearly German.

And if it is a word that is common in Yiddish but not German (or wasn't common in German when it came into English), then it is Yiddish. But if it is a word shared by Yiddish and German, and the word is known to have come into English via people who spoke Yiddish, is it then a Yiddish or German word?

In a sense, Yiddish and modern German are dialects of a more recent Germanic language, and English (while being so different as to be called another language) is also of the Germanic family. Who owns a word that is shared by all three?
Steve White
______________________________________________________________

Steve: Don't worry, buddy! Vocabulary isn't like land: English-, German-, and Yiddish-speakers can all rightfully claim ownership of "spritzer" without coming to blows.
jacko at lycos.com
______________________________________________________________

I always thought it was German. We use this exact same word in the former Yugoslavia--I'm from bosnia. Quite a few german loanwords there, but no yiddish ones as far as I know. O wait, maybe it came into American English via immigrant Yiddish speakers, but into the Balkans via German speakers.
subatomiczoo at gmail.com
______________________________________________________________

Isn't it actually derived from German?

[Mootguy: Yes, it is. I was wrong. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word derives from German.]
alejandro.rodriguez.1975 at gmail.com
______________________________________________________________

Copyright 1998-2009 Blair Arts Ltd. All rights reserved.