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Title: Pennsylvania Dutch: A Dialect of South German With an Infusion of English

Author: Samuel Stehman Haldeman

Editor: Alexander John Ellis

Release date: March 5, 2015 [eBook #48417]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by David Starner, Matthias Grammel and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
book was produced from images made available by the
HathiTrust Digital Library.)


[p. i]


[p. iii]










All Rights reserved.

[p. iv]


[p. v]


While I was engaged with the third part of my Early English Pronunciation, Prof. Haldeman sent me a reprint of some humorous letters by Rauch, entitled Pennsylvanish Deitsh. De Campain Breefa fum Pit Schwefflebrenner un de Bevvy, si alty, gepublished olly woch in "Father Abraham." Perceiving at once the analogy between this debased German with English intermixture, and Chaucer's debased Anglo-saxon with Norman intermixture, I requested and obtained such further information as enabled me to give an account of this singular modern reproduction of the manner in which our English language itself was built up, and insert it in the introduction to my chapter on Chaucer's pronunciation, Early English Pronunciation, pp. 652-663. But I felt it would be a loss to Philology if this curious living example of a mixture of languages were dismissed with such a cursory notice, and I therefore requested Prof. Haldeman, who by birth and residence, philological and phonetic knowledge, was so well fitted for the task, to draw up a more extended notice, as a paper to be read before the Philological Society of London. Hence arose the following little treatise, of which I, for my own part, can only regret the brevity. But the Philological Society, having recently exhausted most of its resources by undertaking the publication of several extra volumes, was unable to issue another of such length, and hence the present Essay appears independently. Owing to his absence from England and my own connexion with the paper, which I communicated and read to the Philological Society, on 3 June, 1870, Prof. [p. vi] Haldeman requested me to superintend the printing of his essay, and add anything that might occur to me. This will account for a few footnotes signed with my name. The Professor was fortunately able to examine one revise himself, so that, though I am mainly responsible for the press work, I hope that the errors may be very slight.

Sufficient importance does not seem to have been hitherto attached to watching the growth and change of living languages. We have devoted our philological energies to the study of dead tongues which we could not pronounce, and have therefore been compelled to compare by letters rather than by sounds, and which we know only in the form impressed upon them by scholars of various times. The form in which they were originally written is for ever concealed. The form in which they appear in the earliest manuscripts has practically never been published, but has to be painfully collected from a mass of various readings. The form we know is a critical, conjectural form, patched up by men distinguished for scholarship, but for the most part entirely ignorant of the laws which govern the changes of speech. The very orthography is medieval. We are thus enabled to see as little of the real genesis of language, in form, in sound, in grammatical and logical construction, in short in the real pith of philological investigation—the relation of thought to speech-sounds—as the study of a full-grown salmon would enable us to judge of the marvellous development of that beautiful fish. Such studies as the present will, I hope, serve among others to stimulate exertion in the new direction. We cannot learn life by studying fossils alone.

Alex. J. Ellis.     

     23 April, 1872.

[p. vii]


I. People, History, Location, Condition, pp. 1-6.
II. Phonology, pp. 7-16.
    § 1. Use of the Alphabet, p. 7.
    § 2. Vowels, p. 8.
    § 3. Dipthongs, p. 9.
    § 4. Nasal Vowels and Dipthongs, p. 10.
    § 5. Consonants, p. 11.
    § 6. Stein or Schtein? p. 12.
    § 7. Vowel changes, p. 13.
    § 8. Dipthong changes, p. 14.
    § 9. Words lengthened, p. 15.
    § 10. Words shortened, p. 15.
III. Vocabulary (of peculiar words), pp. 17-23.
IV. Gender, pp. 24-27.
    § 1. Gender of English Words in Pennsylvania German, p. 24.
    § 2. The German Genders, p. 26.
V.   § 1. The English Infusion, p. 28.
    § 2. Newspapers, p. 29.
VI. Syntax, pp. 34-40.
VII. Comparisons with other Dialects, pp. 41-48.
    § 1. PG. not Swiss, p. 41.   PG. Poem, p. 42.
    § 2. PG. not Bavarian.   Specimen, with PG. translation, p. 43.
    § 3. PG. not Suabian, p. 44.   Curious colloquy, p. 44.
    § 4. PG. not Alsatian, p. 45.   German-French example, p. 46.
    § 5. PG. is akin to several South German Dialects, p. 46.   Examples, p. 47.
[p. viii] VIII. Examples of PG., pp. 49-56.
    § 1. Wiider aa˛geschmiirt! (Prose), p. 49.
    § 2. Wii kummt ſ? (Prose), p. 52.
    § 3. Will widd'r Biiwǝli sei˛ (Verse), p. 55.
    § 4. Anglicised German (Prose), p. 56.
IX. English influenced by German, pp. 57-63.
    § 1. German words introduced, p. 57.
    § 2. Family names modified, p. 60.
X. Imperfect English, pp. 64-69.
    § 1. Broken English, p. 64.
    § 2. The Breitmann Ballads, p. 66.

[p. 1]




The reciprocal influence of languages affords an interesting subject of investigation, and it is the object of this essay to present an outline of a dialect which has been formed within a century, and which continues to be spoken, subject to the influences which developed it. Of such languages, English, Wallachian, and Hindûstânî, are familiar examples.

Like other languages, the dialect of German known as Pennsylvania Dutch presents variations due to the limited intercourse of a widely-scattered agricultural population, and to the several dialects brought from abroad, chiefly from the region of the Upper Rhine, and the Neckar, the latter furnishing the Suabian or Rhenish Bavarian element. The language is therefore South German, as brought in by emigrants from Rhenish Bavaria, Baden, Alsace (Alsatia), Würtemberg, German Swisserland, and Darmstadt. There were also natives from other regions, with certain French Neutrals deported from Nova Scotia to various parts of the United States, including the county (Lancaster) where the materials for this essay have been collected. These, and probably some families with French names from Alsace, are indicated by a few proper names, like Roberdeau, Lebo, Deshong and Shunk (both for Dejean), and an occasional word like júschtaménnt (in German spelling), the French justement, but which a native might take for a condensation of just-an-dem-ende.

[p. 2]

Welsh names like Jenkins, Evans, Owen, Foulke, Griffith, Morgan, and Jones occur, with the township names of Brecknock, Caernarvon, Lampeter, Leacock ('Lea' as lay), and in the next county of Chester—Gwinedd and Tredyffrin; but there seems to have been no fusion between Welsh and German, probably because the Welsh may have spoken English. Local names like Hanōver, Heidelberg and Manheim, indicate whence some of the early residents came.

The French-American ville appears in German Pennsylvania, in Bechtelville, Engelsville, Greshville, Lederachsville, Scherksville, Schwenksville, Silberlingsville, Wernersville, Zieglerville; paralleled by the English town in Kutztown, Mertztown, Schäfferstown, Straustown; burg in Ickesburg, Landisburg, Rehrersburg; and the German dorf has a representative in Womelsdorf.

Pennsylvania German does not occur in the counties along the northern border of the state, but it has extended into Maryland, Western Virginia, Ohio, and farther west; and it has some representatives in western New York, and even in Canada. In many of the cities of the United States, such as Pittsburg, Chica’go, Cincinnăt’ĭ, and Saint Louis, recent large accessions from Germany have brought in true German, and to such an extent that the German population of the city of New York is said to exceed that of every European city except Berlin and Vienna. The newer teutonic population differs from the older in living to a great extent in the towns, where they are consumers of beer and tobacco—luxuries to which the older stock and their descendants were and are but little addicted. The numerous allusions to the 'Fatherland' to be met with, belong to the foreign Germans—the natives caring no more for Germany than for other parts of Europe, for they are completely naturalised, notwithstanding their language.

Several thousand Germans had entered Pennsylvania before the year 1689, when a steady stream of emigration set in, and it is stated that their number was 100,000 in 1742, and 280,000 in 1763. They occupied a region which has located the Pennsylvania dialect chiefly to the south-east of the Alleghenies, [p. 3] excluding several counties near Philadelphia. Germantown, six miles from Philadelphia, although settled by Germans, seems to have lost its German character. The language under the name of 'Pennsylvania Dutch' is used by a large part of the country population, and may be constantly heard in the county towns of Easton on the Delaware, Reading (i.e. red-ing) on the Schuylkill, Allentown on the Lehigh, Harrisburg (the State capital) on the Susquehanna, Lebanon, Lancaster, and York.

A fair proportion of the emigrants, including the clergy, were educated, and education has never been neglected among them. The excellent female boarding school of the Moravians were well supported, not only by the people of the interior, but also by the English-speaking population of the large cities, and of the Southern States—a support which prevented the German accent of some of the teachers from being imitated by the native teutonic pupils—for the education was in English, although German and French were taught. Booksellers find it to their advantage to advertise the current German and English literature in the numerous German journals of the interior, and there is a Deutsch-Amerikanisches Conversations Lexicon in course of publication, which gives the following statistics of one of the German counties.

"The German element is strongly and properly represented in Allentown, and in Lehigh county generally, where the German language has retained its greatest purity, and so strong is this element, that in the city itself there are but few persons who speak English exclusively. An evidence of this is found in the fact that in seventy of the eighty Christian congregations in the county, some of which are over one hundred years old, Divine service is conducted in the German language. Allentown has seven German churches: (two Lutheran, one Reformed, two Methodist, one United Brethren, and one Catholic); and nine German journals, of which are published weekly—Der Unabhängige[1] Republikaner (fifty-nine years old), Der Friedensbote (fifty-seven years old), Der Lecha County Patriot (forty-three years old), Der Weltbote (fifteen years old, with 12,000 subscribers), and Die Lutherische Zeitschrift. The Stadt-und Land-Bote is a daily, the Jugendfreund semi-monthly, with twenty thousand subscribers; and Pastor Brobst's Theologische Monatshefte is monthly. Since the beginning of the year 1869, the German language has been taught in the public schools."[2] The Reading Adler is in its seventy-fourth, and the Lancaster Volksfreund in its sixty-second year.—Dec. 1869.

[p. 4]

The convenient quarto German almanacs (with a printed page of about five and a half by seven and a half inches in size), were preferred to the duodecimo English almanacs, even among the non-Germans, until the appearance of English almanacs in the German format about the year 1825.

The early settlers were extensive purchasers and occupiers of land, and being thus widely scattered, and having but few good roads, the uniformity of the language is greater than might have been supposed possible. These people seldom became merchants and lawyers, and in the list of attorneys admitted in Lancaster County, commencing with the year 1729, the names are English until 1769, when Hubley and Weitzel appear. From 1793 to 1804, of fifty-two names, three are German; from 1825 to 1835, twenty-four names give Reigart and Long (the latter anglicised). After 1860 the proportion is greater, for among the nine attorneys admitted in 1866, we find the German names of Urich, Loop, Kauffman, Reinœhl, Seltzer, and Miller. At the first school I attended as a child, there were but three English family names, and in the playground, English and German games were practised, such as 'blumsak' (G. plumpsack), 'Prisoner's base,' and 'Hink'l-wai[3] was graabscht du do?' which was never played with the colloquy translated.

Pennsylvania Dutch (so called because Germans call themselves Deutsch[4]) is known as a dialect which has been corrupted or enriched by English words and idioms under a pure or modified pronunciation, and spoken by natives, some of them knowing no other language, but most of them speaking or understanding English. Many speak both languages vernacularly, with the pure sounds of each, as in distinguishing German tōd [p. 5] (death) from English toad; or English winter from German winter, with a different w, a lengthened n, a flat t, and a trilled r—four distinctions which are natural to my own speech. Children, even when very young, may speak English entirely with their parents, and German with their grandparents, and of two house-painters (father and son) the father always speaks German and the son English, whether speaking together, or with others. The males of a family being more abroad than the females, learn English more readily, and while the father, mother, daughters, and servants may speak German, father and son may speak English together naturally, and not with a view to have two languages, as in Russia. Foreign Germans who go into the interior usually fall into the local dialect in about a year, and one remarked that he did so that he might not be misunderstood. Some of these, after a residence of fifteen or twenty years, speak scarcely a sentence of English, and an itinerant piano-tuner, whose business has during many years taken him over the country, says that he has not found a knowledge of English necessary.

The English who preceded the Germans in Pennsylvania brought their names of objects with them, calling a thrush with a red breast a robin; naming a bird not akin to any thrush a blackbird; and assigning to a yellow bird the name of goldfinch, but adopting a few aboriginal names like racoon, hackee and possum. The Germans did this to some extent, for blackbird saying 'schtaar' (G. staar,[5] starling,) for the goldfinch (oriole) 'goldamschl,' for the thrush (G. drossel) 'druschl,' for a woodpecker 'specht' (the German name), and for a crow 'krap.'

The ground-squirrel is named 'fensǝmeissli' (fence-mouselin, fence being English); a large grey squirrel is called 'eech-haas' (for eich-hase, oak-hare); and in Austria a squirrel is akatzel and achkatzel (oak-kitten). The burrowing marmot (Arctomys monax), known as ground-hog, is called 'grun'daks' (from a fancied analogy with the German dachs or badger) and [p. 6] in York County 'grundsau,' a translation of the English name. The English patridge (partridge, Dutch patrijs) is Germanised into 'pattǝreesǝli'—also called 'feld-hinkli' (little field-chicken),—hinkl being universally used for chicken or chickens.

The usual perversions by otōsis occur, as in the city of Baltimore, where foreign Germans say 'Ablass' for Annapolis and 'Kälber Strasze' (Street of Calves) for Calvert Street—but the citizens themselves have replaced the vowel of what with that of fat, in the first syllable of this name; and the people of New York now pronounce 'Beekman Street' with the syllable beak instead of bake according to the earlier practice.

A German botanist gave 'Gandoge' as the locality of an American plant; a package sent by express to 'Sevaber' (an English name), and a letter posted to the town of 'Scur E Quss, Nu Yourck,' arrived safely; and I have seen a handboard directing the traveller to the English-named town of 'Bintgrof.' As these present no special difficulty, they are not explained.

English rickets for 'rachîtis' is a familiar example of otōsis, and it appears in the following names of drugs furnished by a native druggist who speaks both languages, and who was able to determine the whole from the original prescriptions.

Allaways, Barrickgerrick, Sider in de ment, Essig of Iseck, Hirim Packer, Cinment, Cienpepper, Sension, Saintcun, Opien, High cyrap, Seno and mano miset, Sking, Coroces suplement, Red presepeite, Ammeline, Lockwouth, Absom's salts, Mick nisey, Corgel, Chebubs, By crematarter potash, Balderyon, Lower beans, Cots Shyneel.


[1] Un-ab-häng-ig, un-off-hang-ing, in-de-pend-ent, Polish nie-za-wis-ty.

[2] Allentown has just completed one of the finest public school buildings in Eastern Pennsylvania.—Newspaper, February, 1870.

[3] As if 'hühn-kel weihe' chicken hawk, 'wai' rhyming with boy.

[4] In an article on (the) "Pennsylvania Dutch" in the 'Atlantic Monthly' (Boston, Mass., Oct., 1869, p. 473), it is asserted that "the tongue which these people speak is not German, nor do they expect you to call it so." On the contrary, the language is strictly a German dialect, as these pages prove. The mistake has arisen from the popular confusion between the terms Dutch and German, which are synonymous with many. In Albany (New York) they speak of the Double Dutch Church, which seems to have been formed by the fusion of a 'German Reformed' with a 'Dutch Reformed' congregation. These are different denominations, now greatly anglicised. In 1867 the Rev. J. C. Dutcher was a Dutch Reformed pastor in New York.

[5] Words in single quotations are Pennsylvania German. The system of spelling is described in the next chapter. High German words are commonly in italics, or marked G.

[p. 7]


Phonology of Pennsylvania Dutch.

§ 1. Use of the Alphabet.

In his "Key into the Languages of America," London, 1643, Roger Williams says that "the life of all language is pronuntiation"—and in the comparison of dialects it deserves especial attention. To enable the reader the more readily to understand these pages, and to compare the words with literary German, the principles of German orthography will be used as far as they are consistent, but every letter or combination is in every case to be pronounced according to the power here indicated—except in literal quotations, where the originals are followed. A single vowel letter is always to be read short, and when doubled it must have the same sound, but lengthened—but as a single vowel letter is often read long in German, and as short vowels are often indicated by doubling a consonant letter, this absurd mode is sometimes used to prevent mispronunciation through carelessness.[6] The 's' is also sometimes doubled to prevent it from becoming English 'z' with readers who, in careless moods, might rhyme 'as' (as) with has instead of fosse. In a PG. poem of Rachel Bahn, commencing with—

"Wie soothing vocal music is! Wie herrlich un wie schoe!"

[p. 8]

most English readers would be likely to rhyme 'is' with phiz instead of hiss, which will be prevented by writing 'iss,' etc.

Although I have visited various counties of the State at distant intervals, the facts given here pertain chiefly to a single locality, so that if it is stated, for example, that 's' with its English sound in 'misery' does not occur, or that 'kǝp' (head) is used to the exclusion of haupt, it is not intended to assert that such a sound as z, or such a word as haupt, have not a local existence. In fact, although they are not recorded here, English z, w, and v, may be common enough. A German confounds met and mat, cheer and jeer, and when he becomes able to pronounce them all, he not unfrequently creates a new difficulty, and for cherry says jărry (rhyming carry), and after he has acquired sounds like English z, w, and v, they might readily slip into his German speech.

The letter b and its spirant (German w) both occur, and the latter often replaces b, in one region 'ich haw' (I have) replaces 'ich hab,' German ich habe, and 'nit' replaces 'net' (not), German nicht. The vowels of up and ope interchange, as in 'kǝch' or 'koch' (cook) 'nǝch' or 'noch' (yet); and it is difficult to determine whether the prefixes ge-and be-have the vowel of bet or but. Lastly, the nasal vowels are by some speakers pronounced pure. Should discrepancies be found upon these points, they are to be attributed rather to the dialect than to the writer—or to the two conjointly.

§ 2. The Vowels.

E. indicates English; G. German; SG. South German; PG. Pennsylvania German (or 'Dutch');.a preceding dot indicates what would be a capital letter in common print. It is used where capital forms have not been selected, as for æ.

a in what, not; PG. kat (G. gehabt) had; kats cat.

aa (ah[7]) in fall, orb; PG. haas hare; paar pair; haan (G. hahn) cock; tsaam (G. zaum) bridle.

a in aisle, height, out. In a few cases it is written â. See under the dipthongs.

[p. 9]

æ (ä, e[1]) in fat; hær (G. Herr) Sir; dær (and d'r, G. der) the; hærn (G. hirn) brain; schtærn, pl. schtærnǝ (G. stern) star; mær (G. mähre) mare; ærscht (G. erst) first; wærts-haus (G. wirtshaus) inn.

ææ (ä, äh) in baa, the preceding vowel lengthened.[8] PG. bæær (G. bär) bear; kæær E. car.

e (ä, ö) in bet; PG. bet bed; net (G. nicht) not; apnémǝ (G. abnahme decline) PG. a wasting disease; het (G. hätte had), which, with some other words, will sometimes be written with ä (hätt) to aid the reader. In a few cases it is lengthened (as in thêre), when it is written ê, as in French.

ee (ä, äh, eh, ö) in ale; PG. meel (G. mehl) meal; eel (G. öl) oil.

ǝ (e, o, a) in but, mention;[9] PG. kǝp (G. kopf) head; lǝs (G. lasz) let, hawǝ (a short, G. haben) to have.

i (ü, ie, ö) in finny; niks (G. nichts) nothing; tsrik (G. zurück) back; míglich (G. möglich) possible; lít'rlich (G. liederlich) riotous.

ii (ih, ie, ü) in feel; fiil (G. viel) much; dii (G. die) the; riiwǝ (G. rübe) turnip; wiischt (G. wüst, ü long) nasty. It is the French î, which is sometimes used in these pages.

o in o-mit; los loose; hofnung hope. English o pronounced quickly.

oo in door, home; wool (G. wohl) well; groo (G. grau) grey.

u in full, foot; mus (G. musz) must; fun (G. von) of.

uu (uh) in fool; kuu (G. kuh) cow; guut (G. gut) good.

The true 'a' of arm does not occur, except approximately in the initial of au and ei. The proper sounds of ä, ö, ü are absent, and if these letters are used in a few cases to enable the reader to recognise words, the two former will be restricted to syllables having the vowel sound in met, and 'ü' to such as have that in fit.

§ 3. The Dipthongs.

ei (eu) in height, aisle, German ei, with the initial 'a' (italic) of Mr. Ellis (in his Early English Pronunciation), 'eu' has the same power in PG.

ai in boy, oil; somewhat rare, but present in the names Boyer, Moyer (from Meyer), ai (G. ei) egg; ajǝr (aajǝr, aijǝr) eggs; hai (G. heu) hay; bai (sounding like E. boy, and from E.) pie; wai (G. weihe) hawk. Literary German has it in 'bäume' trees, and 'eu' (which is properly ǝi) is usually confounded with it in German.

ǝi, which Mr. Ellis (ibid.) gives as the power of English 'ai' (aisle) in London, occurs in the PG. exclamation 'hǝi,' used in driving cows, and naturalised in the vicinal English. Slavonic has (in German spelling) huj, and Hungarian hü, used in driving swine. Compare Schmidt, Westerwäld. Idiot., p. 276.

[p. 10]

au in house; G. haus, PG. haus. English 'ou' is thus pronounced in adopted words like 'County,' or 'Caunty,' 'Township' or 'Taunschip.'

Care must be taken not to confound the initial of these pairs, for G. and PG. 'eis' (ice) and 'aus' (out) have the same initial vowel, while 'aistǝr' would spell oyster.

§ 4. Nasal Vowels and Dipthongs.

PG. is not a harsh dialect, like Swiss. It has, however, the Suabian feature of nasal vowels,[10] but to a less extent. They will be indicated with (˛) a modification of the Polish mode. This nasality replaces a lost n (but not a lost m), and it does not pervert the vowel or dipthong, as in the French un, vin, as compared with une, vinaigre. Nor does it affect all vowels which have been followed by n, for most of them remain pure. Nasal 'ee' (in they, French é) is very common, but does not occur in French, and French un does not occur in PG. Being unaware of the existence of this feature, the writers of the dialect neglect it in the printed examples, which makes it difficult for a foreigner to comprehend them, because a word like 'aa' (the English syllable awe) would stand for G. auch (also), and when nasal (aa˛) for G. an (on); and 'schtee' would represent both the German stehe and stein, as in saying 'I stand on the stone'—

G. Ich stehe auf dem stein.—PG. ich schtee uf m schtee˛.

The following words afford examples:—

aa˛-fang-ǝ (G. anfangen) to begin; alée˛ (G. alleín) alone; schee˛ (G. schön) handsome; bee˛ (G. bein, pl. beine) leg, legs; kee˛ (G. kein) none; grii˛ (G. grün) green; duu˛ (G. thun) to do. Was hǝt ær geduu˛? (G. Was hat er gethan?) what has he done? mei˛ (G. mein, meine) my; dei˛ (G. dein) thy; nei˛ (G. hinein) within; ei˛ being the only nasal dipthong.

The obscurity arising from a neglect of the nasal vowels appears in the following lines—

"Die amshel singt so huebsch un' feih,  Die lerch sie duht ihr lied ah neih;" ... "Awhaemle duht mich eppes noh."—Rachel Bahn.

Final n is not always rejected, but remains in many words, among which are—'in' in; 'bin' am; 'un' and; 'iin'(him) [p. 11] G. ihn (but hii˛ for G. hin thither); 'fun' (from) G. von; 'wan' (when); 'hen' (have) G. haben; 'kan' (can); 'schun' (already) G. schon.

German infinitives in-en end in-ǝ in PG., a vowel not subject to nasality, so that when G. gehen (to go) remains a dissyllable it is 'gee'ǝ,' but when monosyllabised it becomes 'gee˛'—this vowel being nasalisable. Similarly, G. zu stehen (to stand) becomes 'tsu schteeǝ' and 'tsu schtee˛;' G. zu thun (to do) may be 'tsu tuu˛'—'tsu tuuǝ' or (with n preserved) 'tsu tuunǝ,' and G. gehen (to go) may have the same phases.

§ 5. The Consonants.

The Germanism of confusing b, p; t, d; k, g, is present in PG. and they are pronounced flat, that is, with more of the surface of the organs in contact than in English—a characteristic which distinguishes German from languages of the Dutch and Low-Saxon (Plattdeutsch) type.[11] This must be remembered in reading the examples, in which the ordinary usage of these letters will be nearly followed.

The consonants are b, ch, d, f, g (in get, give), gh, h, j (English y), k, l, m, n, ng, p, r (trilled), s (in seal, not as in miser), sch (in ship), t, w (a kind of v made with the lips alone). 'ch' has the two usual variations as in recht and buch, and its sonant equivalent 'gh' (written with 'g' in German) presents the same two phases, as in G. regen and bogen. 'ng' before a [p. 12] vowel as in singer, hence 'finger' is fing-er and not fing-ger. 'n' before 'k' is like 'ng,' as in G. links (on the left), which is pronounced like an English syllable. Vowels to be repeated are indicated by a hyphen, as in ge-ennǝrt (altered), nei-ichkeit (novelty).

Should letters be wanted for English j, z, v, w, the first may have dzh, and the others italic z, v, w, with ks for x.

As the reader of English who speaks PG. can learn the German alphabetic powers in half an hour, PG. should be written on a German basis, and not according to the vagaries of English spelling, with its uncertainty and reckless sacrifice of analogy. In print, PG. should appear in the ordinary roman type, in which so many German books are now published.[12]

§ 6. Stein or Schtein?

The sequents sp, st, are perhaps universally converted into 'schp' and 'scht' in PG., as in 'geescht' for gehest, 'hascht' for hast, 'Kaschp'r' for Caspar, 'schtee˛' for stein, and 'schpeck' for speck, all of which are genuine German, as distinguished from Saxon, Anglo-saxon, and Hollandish, because S is incompatible before labials (w, m, p) and dentals (l, n, t) in High German. Hence, where Dutch has zwijn, smidt, and speelen, German has schwein, schmidt, and schpielen; and for Dutch forms like slijm, snee, and steen, German has schleim, schnee, and schtein; but as the German uses the conventional spellings 'spielen' and 'stein,' he is apt to fancy that a law of speech is of less importance than the flourishes of a writing-master, or the practice of a printing-office, even when his own speech should teach him the law.

That German has this feature practically, is proved by the fact that words apparently in sp-, st-, become schp-, scht-, when adopted into Russian, although this language has initial sp-, st-,—a transfer of speech rather than of spelling, which is as old as the thirteenth century, when the Old High German [p. 13] 'spiliman' (an actor) went into Old Slavonic as (using German spelling) 'schpiljman,' where 'spiljman' would have been more in accordance with the genius of the language.

§ 7. Vowel Changes.

Altho the pronunciation of many words is strictly as in High German, there are the following important variations. German a becomes normally the vowel of what and fall, but it has the Swiss characteristic of closing to 'o,' as in 'ool' (eel) G. aal; 'ee˛ mool' (once) G. ein mal; 'woor' (true) G. wahr; 'joor' (year) G. jahr; 'frooghǝ' (to ask) G. fragen; 'frook' (a question) G. frage; 'doo' (there) G. da; 'schloofǝ' (to sleep) G. schlafen; 'schtroos' (street) G. strasze; 'nooch' (towards) G. nach; 'hoor' (hair) G. haar, but 'paar' (pair) and others do not change.

The vowel of fat occurs in 'kschær' (harness) G. geschirr; 'hærpscht' (autumn) G. herbst; færtl (fourth) G. viertel; kærl (fellow) G. kerl.

German 'o' becomes 'u,' as in 'kumǝ' (u short, see § 2) to come, Austrian kuma, G. kommen; 'schun' (already) G. schon; 'fun' (of) G. von; 'wuunǝ' (to reside) G. wohnen; 'wuu' (where) G. wo; 'sun' (sun) Austr. sunn, G. sonne; 'suu˛' and 'suun' (son) G. sohn; 'númitaag' and 'nómidaak' (afternoon) G. nachmittag; 'dunǝrschtaag' (thursday) G. donnerstag; 'hunich' (honey) G. honig.

German 'ei' is often 'ee,' as in 'heem' (home) G. heim; 'deel' (part) G. theil; 'seef' (soap) G. seife; 'bleech' (pale) G. bleich; eens (one) G. eins; 'tswee' (two) G. zwei.

Irregular forms appear in 'maulwarf' (mole) G. maulwurf; 'blĕs' (pale, rhyming lace) G. blass; 'siffer' (tippler) G. säufer; 'schpoot' (late) G. spät, ä long; 'm'r wellǝ' (we will) G. wir wollen; 'dii úmeesǝ' (the ant) G. die ameise; 'ep,' 'eb' (whether) G. ob; 'dærfǝ' (to dare) G. dürfen; 'færichtǝrlich' (frightful) G. fürchterlich; 'ich færicht mich dat [or dart, G. dort] anǝ tsu gee˛.' I fear me to go yonder.

'Dat anǝ' is for G. dort hin, 'anǝ' being a Swiss adverb [p. 14] made of G. an (on, towards). 'dat' is not common in PG. and it may have been brought from abroad, as it occurs in Suabian—

"Aepfel hott ma dott gsia, wie d' Kirbiss bey üss;" (Radlof, 2, 10.)—(Man hat dort gesehen) Apples have been seen there like (G. Kürbisse, PG. kærǝpsǝ) pumpkins with us.

The foregoing 'anǝ' appears in Swiss "ume und anne" (thither and hither) where 'ume,' Austr. 'uma,' is from G. um (about). Stalder refers 'anne' to G. an-hin, and Swiss 'abe' to ab-hin. Schmid (Schwäb. Wb., p. 23) has ane, dortane, dettane. Schmeller (Bayer. Wb. 1869, p. 91) cites Graff (1, 499), for Ohg. ostana (from the East), and Grimm (3, 205).

While PG. 'alt' and 'kalt' (old, cold, a in what) have the comparatives 'eltǝr' 'keltǝr,' the influence of r in 'karts' (short), G. kurz, and 'hart' (hard), produces 'kærtsǝr' and 'hærtǝr,' instead of G. kürzer and härter. Long a becomes long u in G. samen (seed), PG. 'suumǝ.'

§ 8. Dipthong Changes.

German 'au' sometimes becomes 'aa' (in call), as in PG. 'laafǝ' (to walk) G. laufen; 'glaabǝ' (to believe) G. glauben; 'kaafǝ' (to buy) G. kaufen; 'tsaam' (bridle) G. zaum; 'traam' (dream) G. traum; 'fraa' (wife, woman) G. frau, PG. pl. 'weiwǝr,' because, as the German plural of frauen could not well make 'fraaǝ,' the plural of weib was preferred.

German 'au' remains in PG. 'plaum' (plum) G. pflaume; 'daum' (thumb); 'haufǝ' (heap); 'saufǝ' (to sup); 'haus' (house); 'taub' (dove) G. taube; 'aus' (out); 'fauscht' (fist).

German 'au' becomes 'oo' (Eng. floor) in PG. 'groo' (grey) an earlier form of G. grau; 'bloo' (blue) G. blau; and the name 'Stauffer' is sometimes pronounced 'stoof'r.'

In the plural, 'au' becomes 'ei,' as in PG. 'haus,' pl. 'heiser;' 'maus' pl. 'meis;' 'laus' pl. 'leis;' 'maul' (mouth) pl. 'meiler' G. pl. mäuler; 'gaul,' pl. 'geil,' G. pl. gäule (horses); 'sau' (sow, hog), pl. 'sei,' G. pl. säue, sauen.

When 'au' has become 'aa' the German plural äu becomes 'ee,' as in 'beem' (trees) G. bäume; 'tseem' (bridles) G. zäume.

[p. 15]

'Floo,' G. floh (flea) pl. 'flee' for G. flöhe, is due to the fact that German long ö is replaced by ee.

German au is u in the earlier PG. 'uf' (up) G. auf, found in Swisserland and other localities; but 'haus' is not hūs, and 'maul' is not mūl as in Swiss.

§ 9. Words lengthened.

Some monosyllables are dissyllabised under the influence of trilled r, and of l (which is akin to r), as in 'Jar’ik' (York); 'Jær'ik,' German Georg (George), perhaps the only example of the Berlin change of G to (German) J.

    PG.     G.     E.       PG.     G.     E.
schtar'ik stark strong   dar'ich durch through
mar'ikt markt market   kar'ǝp korb basket
ær'ǝwǝt arbeit work   bær'ik berg hill
kær'ich kirche church   mil'ich milch milk
karrich karren cart   kal'ich kalk lime
geenǝ gehen to go   genunk genug enough
reeghǝrǝ regnen to rain   wammǝs wamms jacket

PG. g'seenǝ (seen) G. gesehen, occurs in South German, as in the following (Radlof 2, 100), which closely resembles PG.

.... vun der Zit an het me niks me vun em g'sehne un g'hört. From that time on, ('mĕ' G. man) one (hat) has seen and heard nothing ('mē' G. mehr) more of him.

G. Es fängt an zu regnen und zu schneien. PG. es fangt (not fängt) aa˛ tsu reeghǝrǝ un tsu schneeǝ. It begins to rain and to snow.

§ 10. Words shortened.

Condensation is effected by absorption, as of d by n in 'wunǝr' (wonder) G. wunder; and of f by p in 'kǝp' (head) G. kopf;—by the elision of consonants (an Austrian feature) as in 'wet' (would) G. wollte; 'net' (not) G. nicht.

By elision of vowels (particularly final e) as in 'schuul' (school) G. schule, 'tsammǝ' (together) G. zusammen; and by shortening vowels, as in 'siw'ǝ' (seven) G. sieben; 'gew'ǝ' (to give) G. gēben; G. heurathen (to marry), Suab. heuren, PG. 'heiǝrǝ'; G. gleich (like) PG. 'glei'; 'tsimlich' (tolerable) G. ziemlich.

[p. 16]

    PG.     G.     E.       PG.     G.     E.
niks nichts nothing   mr sin wir sind we are
wet wollte would   géscht'r gestern yesterday
set sollte should   nemmǝ nehmen to take
knǝp knopf button   nam'itag nachmittag afternoon
knep knöpfe buttons   geblíwǝ geblieben remained
kich küche kitchen   jets[13] jetzt now
kuuchǝ kūchen cake   parr'ǝ pfarrer preacher
wǝch woche week   oowǝt abend evening
wǝchǝ wochen weeks   weipsleit weibsleute women
kiw'l kübel bucket   rei˛ herein herein
blos blase bladder   nei˛ hinein hither-in
meim meinem to my   draa˛ daran thereon
anǝr ander other   eltscht älteste oldest
nanǝr einander each other   tswíwlǝ zwiebeln onions
unǝr unter under   hend hände hands
drunǝ darunter ther'under   plets plätze places
nunǝr hinunter down there   nummǝ[13] nun mehr only
dro'wǝ daroben above   nimmǝ[13] nimmer never
driw'ǝ darüber ther'over   mee[13] mehr more
drin darin ther'in   noo darnach ther'after
ruff darauf there up   pluuk pflūg plow
nuff hinauf up there   pliighǝ plfüge plows
sind sünde sin   kalénǝr kalénder cálendar

As G. 'ü' becomes 'i' in PG., G. lügen (to tell a lie) and liegen (to lie down—both having the first vowel long) might be confused, but the latter is shortened in PG., as in 'ær likt' (he lies down) 'ær liikt' (he tells a lie).

PG. Was wi't? What wilst thou? G. Was willst du?
Woo't weepe? Woo't fight? Woo't teare thy ſelfe?[14]
Ich wil fischǝ gee˛. I will go to fish.
Ich hab kschriwwǝ. I have (geschrieben) written.
Sin mr net keiǝrt? Are we not married?   G. Sind wir nicht geheirathet? (or verheirathet.)

Infinitive-n is rejected, as in the Swiss and Suabian dialects. In an Austrian dialect it is rejected when m, n, or ng precedes, as in singa, rena, nehma, for singen, rennen, nehmen.—Castelli, Wörterbuch, 1847, p. 31.

The length of some vowels is doubtful, as in 'rot' or 'root' (red, like English rŏte or rōde), 'so' or 'soo,' 'nochbǝr' or 'noochbǝr,' 'ǝmol' or 'ǝmool,' 'ja' or 'jaa,' 'sii' or 'sĭ' (she, they, ĭ in deceĭt, not in sit). Compare English 'Sēe!' and 'Sĕe thêre!'

Accent in PG. agrees with that of High German. When indicated, as in danóot or danoot' (for the 'oo' represent a single vowel, as in Eng. floor), it is to afford aid to the reader not familiar with German accent.


[6] For example, as the vowel of German schaf is long, the PG. word 'schafleit,' which occurs in a quoted passage farther on, would be likely to be read 'schaafleit' (sheep-people or shepherds) instead of 'schaffleit' (work-people), although it is stated that in the spelling used, a vowel must not be made long unless its letter is doubled. "This tendency, and a trick of reading words like nisbut, relation, qismut, fortune, as if written nizbut, qizmut, should be carefully guarded against.... Even is, as, rusm, will, in spite of the caveat, ... become again in his mouth iz, az, ruzm, rather than the iss, auss, russm, intended."—Gilchrist, 1806.

[7] High German letters which represent PG. sounds are in parentheses.

[8] The long vowel used by native speakers in Bath, Somersetshire, England.

[9] These two powers are not quite the same.

[10] Indicated in 1860 in my Analytic Orthography, §§ 661-3, and in my note to A. J. Ellis's Early English Pronunciation, 1869, p. 655, note 2, col. 2. "The lost final n is commonly recalled by a nasal vowel."

[11] The real physiological generation of these flat consonants is very difficult for an Englishman to understand. Dr. C. L. Merkel, of Leipzig, a middle-German, confesses that for a long time he did not understand the pure b, d, not having heard them in his neighbourhood. He distinguishes (Physiologie der Menschlichen Sprache, Leipzig, 1866, pp. 146-156), 1. The "soft shut sounds" or mediæ, characterized by an attempt to utter voice before the closure is released, 2. "the half-hard shut sounds" or tenues implosivæ, characterized by a sound produced by compressing the air in the mouth by the elevation of the larynx, the glottis being closed, which "therefore acts like a piston," followed by the sudden opening of the mouth and glottis, allowing the vowel to pass, (this is his description of the flat sounds, which he says Brücke, a Low-Saxon, reckons among his mediæ), 3. "the hard explosive shut sounds," characterized by a shut mouth and open glottis through which the unvocalised breath is forced against the closing barrier more strongly than in the last case, but without pressure from the diaphragm, 4. "the aspirated or sharpened explosive sound," in which the last pressure occurs with a jerk. The compound English distinction, p, b; t, d; k, g, seem almost impossible for a middle and south-German to understand.—A. J. E.

[12] On the inconsistencies of Rauch's Orthography on an English basis, see my note 2, p. 655 of Ellis's Early English Pronunciation.

[13] Swiss forms.

[14] Hamlet, act 5, sc. 1, speech 106; folio 1623, tragedies, p. 278, col. 2.

[p. 17]



The vocabulary of PG. has but few synonyms, a single word being used where High German has several, as 'plats' (place) for G. platz and ort. Of the German words for horse (pferd, ross, gaul, etc.), 'gaul' is universal in speech, ross seems not to be known, and pferd is almost restricted to print.[15] A colt is not called füllen as in German, but 'hutsch,' with a diminutival 'hutschli' (in Suabian hutschel, hutschele, Westerwald husz, Lusatian huszche.)

A pig is not ferkel (Lat. porc-ell-us, Welsh porch-ell) but 'seili' (from sau), and children call it 'wuts' (Suab. butzel) a repetition of this being used (as well in vicinal English) in calling these animals. 'Kalb' (calf, pl. 'kelwǝr') is named by children 'hamǝli'[16] when a suckling. Cows are called with 'kum see! see! see hamǝli! see!' and when close at hand with 'suk suk suk' (as in forsook)—used also in the English of the locality.[17]

Of G. knabe (boy) and bube, pl. buben, PG. takes the latter as 'buu,' pl. 'buuwǝ;' and of the G. haupt and kopf (head) it prefers the latter as 'kǝp.' Of the verbs schmeissen and werfen (to throw), kriegen and bekommen (to obtain), hocken and sitzen (to sit), schwetzen and sprechen (to talk), erzählen and sagen (to tell), PG. uses 'schmeissǝ,' 'kriighǝ,' 'hǝkǝ,' 'schwetsǝ' and 'saaghǝ' almost exclusively.

[p. 18]

The suffix -lein, condensed to -li and -l, is the universal diminutival, as in Swisserland and South Germany—a small house being called 'heissli' and not häus-chen, and a girl 'meedl' and not mädchen. It is, however, very often associated with the adjective klee (little) G. klein, as in PG. 'ǝ klee˛ bichli' (a little book).

German kartoffeln (potatoes) is rejected for G. grundbirnen[18] under the form of 'krumpiirǝ,' where 'krum' is accepted by some as krumm (crooked), while some regard the latter part as meaning pears, and others as berries.

F'rleícht, Fileícht (perhaps, G. vielleicht) are in use, but the former seems the more common.

Sauǝrampl, G. sauerampfer (sorrel, Rumex).

Rewwǝr, Krik, Krikli (Eng. river, creek) have thrust aside G. flusz and bach.

Laafǝ (to walk; G. laufen to run, and to walk).

Schpring-ǝ (to run, a Swiss usage. G. springen, to leap, spring, gush).

Petsǝ (to pinch), Alsace pfetsǝ, Swiss pfätzen, Suab. pfetzen.

Tref (Suab., a knock, blow). PG. 'ich tref dich' (I strike thee).

Schmuts (a hearty kiss). Swiss, Suab., in G. schmatz.

Un'ich (under), G. unter, occurs in provincial German as unn-ig and unt-ig; hinnig occurs also, PG. 'hinnich,' as in 'hinnich d'r diir' behind the door.

Wii m'r donaus glǝffǝ sin, bin ich hinnich iin nooch glǝffǝ. As we walked out, I walked behind him.

For 'hinnich,' Alsatian has hing-ǝ, as in 'M'r geen hing-ǝ [nach den] noo dǝ goortǝ noo'—We go along behind the garden.

Uumǝt, oomǝt, Austr. omad, Swiss amet, G. das grummet (aftermath). Suab. ämt, emt, ömd, aumad; Bavar. âmad.

Arik, arrig (much, very), Swiss arig, G. arg (bad, cunning).

PG. Ich hab net gwist [Suab. gwest] dass es so arrik reeghǝrt. I did not suppose it to be raining so hard.

Artlich (tolerably) is the Swiss artlich and artig.

Ewwǝ, G. adv. ēben (really, even, just), but it is PG. 'eewǝ' when it is the adj. even.

Ich hab ewwǝ net gwist for sure eb ær ǝ fraa hǝt ǝdǝr net. (Rauch.) I did not even know 'for sure' if he has a wife or not.

ámanat, adv. metathesised and adapted from G. an einem Orte (at a place), a dative for an accusative an einen Ort (in a place) as used here. In the example, 'anǝ' is G. an inflected, and of zu schícken is omitted, as sometimes done in PG.

[p. 19]

... wan als ǝ briif kummt f'r ámanat anǝ schikǝ ... (Rauch.) When ever a letter comes for to send on—to be sent on.

Henkweidǝ (weeping willow). G. Hängebirke, is hanging birch.

Tappǝr (quickly), as in Schpring tappǝr run quick! be in a hurry—thus used in Westerwald, and as very in Silesia. G. tapfer (brave, bravely), E. dapper.

Meenǝr (more), Meenscht (most), for G. mehr, meist, are réferable to mancher and a hypothetic mannigste. 'Mee' and 'mee˛' (more), Swiss—"Was wett i meh?" What would I more. "Nimme meh," never more. PG. 'Was wet ich mee? Nimmi mee.' (See Ellis, Early English Pronunciation, p. 663, note 39.)

Schtrublich, schtruwlich. G. struppig (bristly, rough), Swiss strublig, PG. 'schtruwlich' (disordered, uncombed, as hair). English of the locality stroobly.

Neewich; SG. nebensich, Wetterau (upper Hessia) nêbig, G. neben (beside).

"Naevvich der mommy ruht er now [Eng. now]
In sellem Gottes-acker[19] dort,
Shraegs[20] fun der Kreutz Creek Kerrich nuf, [hinauf.]
Uft denk ich doch an seller ort!"—Rachel Bahn.

Hensching, G. handschue (gloves, Sw. händschen) becomes a new word with 'hen' for hände (hands), the ä umlaut being used to pluralise, but the word is singular also, and, to particularise, a glove proper is 'fing-er hensching' and a mitten 'fauscht-hensching.' This termination is given to 'pærsching' a peach.

Sidder (since), Swiss sider, sitter; Suabian and Silesian sider; Scotch, etc., sithens.

Schpel (a pin), SG. die spelle (a better word than G. stecknadel); Dutch speld (with d educed from l); Lat. SPIcuLa.

Botsǝr (masc. a tail-less hen), Holstein, buttars. Provincial G. butzig (stumpy).

Mallikǝp (i.e. thick-headed, a tadpole). Swiss mollig, molli (stout, blunt); Suabian mollig (fleshy). Alsatian muurkrǝntl (tadpole) from muur, G. moder, Eng. mud. The PG. of western New York has taken the New England word polliwog.

Blech (tin, a tin cup); dim. 'blechli.' Blechiche Bool (a tin bowl, i.e. a dipper, a convenient word which seems not to have been introduced). In Pennsylvanian English, a tin cup is a tin.

[p. 20]

In old English, 'than' represented than and then, and PG. has 'dann' for both G. dann (then) and denn (for); and also 'wann' for wann (when) and wenn (if), as in Rachel Bahn's lines—

"Doch guckt 's ah recht huebsch un' nice Doch gukt 's aa recht hipsch un 'neis'
Wann all die Baehm sin so foll ice—" Wan al dii beem sin so fǝl eis—
Yet it looks (auch) also right fair and 'nice' When all the trees are so full of ice.

"Forn bild der reinheit is 's doh, F'r 'n bild dǝr reinheit[21] iss ǝs doo,
In fact, mer kenne sehne noh, 'in fækt,' m'r kennǝ seenǝ noo,
Dass unser Hertz'[22] so rein muss seih, dass unser hærts so rein[21] muss sei˛,
Wann in des Reich mer welle neih." wann in des reich m'r wellǝ nei˛.

For a picture of purity is it (da) here, 'in fact' (wir können sehen darnach) we can perceive therefrom, that our heart must be as pure, (wenn in das reich wir wollen hinein) If we would enter into the kingdom.

Baschtǝ (to husk maize), from 'bascht,' G. bast (soft inner bark, E. bast), applied in PG. to the husk of Indian corn.—Rachel Bahn (1869) thus uses it—

"Die leut sie hocke 's welshcorn ab, Dii leit sii hackǝ 's welschkarn ap,
'S is 'n rechte guhte crop, 's iss 'n rechte guute 'crap,' (fem.)
Un' wann's daer genunk werd sei, un wan 's dærr genunk wært sei˛,
Noh bashte sies un' fahres eih." noo baschtǝ sii 's un faarǝ 's ei˛.

The people they (ab-hacken) chop off ('s, das) the maize, (es ist) it is a right good 'crop,' and when (es) it becomes (dürr genug) dry enough, they (darnach) afterwards husk it and (fahren) haul it in.

Greisslich (to be disagreeably affected). SG. grüselig, G. gräszlich (horrible), E. grisly.

Noo, danoo', danoot', nord, G. darnach (then, subsequently).

Bendl (a string), schuubendl (shoe-string). Swiss bändel.

Schteiper, n. (Lat. stîpes), a prop, as of timber. G. nautical term steiper, a stanchion. Schteiperǝ, v.t. to prop; to set a prop.

Fǝrhúttǝlǝ, v. intrans. 'Ich bin f'r-huttlt,' (I am confused, perplexed.) 'Ich denk dii bissnǝss iss 'n bissli f'r-huttlt.' (I think the 'business' is a bit mixed up.) G. verhūdeln (to spoil, bungle.)

Paanhaas, as if, G. pfanne-hase (pan-hare). Maize flour boiled in the metsel-soup, afterwards fried and seasoned like a hare. (Compare Welsh rabbit.) The word is used in English, conjointly with scrapple.

Loos (a sow), as in Swiss and Suabian.

Laad, fem. (coffin), toodlaad, toodǝlaad, as in Alsace. G. die lade (chest, box, case). PG. bettlaad, Suab. bettlade, for G. bettgestell (bedstead).

[p. 21]

Schtreel, m. (a comb), Swiss, Alsatian, Suab. der strähl. But G. striegel, PG. striegel, PG. strigl, is a currycomb.

Aarsch, the butt end of an egg, as in Suabian.

Falsch (angry), as in Swiss, Bavarian, and Austrian. PG. Sel hǝt mich falsch g'macht. That made me angry.

Hoochtsich, Alsat. hoochtsitt, G. hochzeit (a wedding).

Heemǝln, Swiss heimeln (to cause a longing, to cause home feelings).

"Wie hämelt mich do alles a'! Wii heemlt mich doo allǝs aa˛!
Ich steh, un denk, un guck; ich schtee, un denk, un gukk;
Un was ich schier vergessa hab, un was ich schiir f'rgessǝ hab,
Kummt wider z'rück, wie aus seim Grab, kummt widd'r tsrik, wii aus seim graab,
Un steht do wie e' Spook!"   Harb. un schteet doo wii ǝ schpukk!

(G. Wie alles da anheimelt mich) How all here impresses me with home, I stand, and think, and look; and what I had almost forgotten, comes back again as out of its grave, and stands here like a ghost.

Drǝp, pl. drep (simpleton, poor soul). "O du armer Tropff!" (Suabian). Radlof, 2, 10. "Die arma Drep!"—Harbaugh.

Schwalme (Swiss, for G. schwalbe, a swallow).

Jaa (O. Eng. yes), is used in answer to affirmative questions.

Joo (O. Eng. yea), is used in answer to negative questions. See Ch. viii. § 1, ¶ 12, and § 3, ¶ 2.

"Sin dii sachǝ dei˛? Jaa, sii sin." (Are the things thine? Yes, they are.) "Sin dii sachǝ net dei˛? Joo, sii sin." (Are the things not thine. Yea, they are.) "Bischt du net g'sund? Joo, ich bin."[23] (Are you not well? Yea, I am well.)

saagt, G. sagt (he says): secht, as if G. sägt, for sagte (he said), as if it were a strong verb.

Gleich, to like, be fond of, Eng. to like, but perhaps not Eng. See Ch. viii., ¶ 3. PG. ær gleicht 's geld—he loves money.

Glei, adv. (soon).—ær kummt glei—he comes (will be here) directly. Swiss gly and gleich have the same meaning.

Abartich, bartich, Ch. viii., § 3, ¶ 6 (adj. unusual, strange); (adv. especially). G. abartig degenerate.

"Der duckter sogt eara complaint wær ... conclommereashen im kup, so dos se so unfergleichlich schwitza mus in der nacht, abbordich wan se tsu gedeckt is mit em fedder bet."—Rauch, Feb. 1, 1870. The doctor asserts her 'complaint' to be ... 'conglomeration' in the head, so that she must sweat uncommonly in the night, Particularly when she is covered [tsu is accented] in with the feather bed.

Biibi, piipi, biibǝli; Swiss bibi, bibeli, bidli (a young chicken). Used also to call fowls—the second form in the vicinal English, in which a male fowl is often called a hé-biddy.

[p. 22]

The Swiss use in PG. of the genitive form des of the article, instead of the neuter nominative das, causes little or no confusion, because this genitive is not required, and its new use prevents confusion between das and dasz. Where German uses des, as in Der Gaul des (or meines) Nachbars (the horse of the, or my, neighbor), PG. uses a dative form—

... dem (or meim for meinem) nochbǝr sei˛ gaul (the neighbor his horse). See the quotation (p. 28) from Schöpf.

PG. inflects most of its verbs regularly, as in 'gedenkt' for G. gedacht, from denken (to think). In the following list, the German infinitive, as backen (to bake), is followed by the third person of the present indicative (er) bäckt, PG. (ær) 'bakt' (he bakes). The PG. infinitive of blasen, braten, fragen, rathen, dürfen, verderben, is 'bloosǝ, brootǝ, frooghǝ, rootǝ, dærfǝ, f'rdærwǝ.' 'bloosǝ' (to blow) and 'nemmǝ' (to take) occur below, in the extract from Miss Bahn.

    G.     G.     PG.       G.     G.     PG.
blasen blow, bläst bloost   lesen read, liest leest
braten bake, brät broot   lassen let, läszt lǝsst
brechen break, bricht brecht   messen measure, miszt messt
dreschen thrash, drischt drescht   nehmen take, nimmt nemmt
dürfen dare, darf dærf   rathen advise, räth root
fahren drive, fährt faart   saufen tipple, säuft sauft
fallen fall, fällt fallt   schelten scold, schilt schelt
fragen ask, frägt frookt   schlafen sleep, schläft schlooft
essen eat, iszt esst   schwellen swell, schwillt schwellt
fressen devour, friszt fresst   sehen see, sieht seet
geben give, giebt gept   stehlen steal, stiehlt schteelt
graben dig, gräbt graapt   tragen carry, trägt traagt
helfen help, hilft helft   verderben spoil, verdirbt f'rdærpt
laufen run, läuft laaft   vergessen forget, vergiszt f'rgesst
"Der wind, horch yusht, wie er drum bloss'd,... D'r wint, harich juscht wii ær drum bloost,...
Gar nix for ihm fersichert is, Gaar niks f'r iim f'rsichǝrt iss,
Er nemmt sei aegner waek ær nemmt sei, eegnǝr week,
Dorch ennich rissly geht er neih, darich ennich rissli geet ær nei,
Un geht ah nuf die staek." un geet aa 'nuf dii schteek.

The wind, just listen how it therefore (an expletive) blows, ... quite nothing is secure for (on account of) him, he takes his (eigener weg) own way; through (einig, einiges) any crack he goes (hinein) in, and goes also (hinauf) up the (stiege) stair.

The reader of PG. may be puzzled with 'ma' as used in "ous so ma subject ... mit ma neia Rail Road" (Rauch); 'fun mǝ' or 'fun ǝmǝ,' Ger. dative von einem, Old High German 'vone einemo;' G. dem, Ohg. 'demo;' G. meinem, Gothic [p. 23] 'meinamma,' which accounts for the final PG. vowel. Miss Bahn writes it 'mah'—

"'S is noch so 'n anre glaener drup, 's iss noch so 'n anre gleenǝr drǝp,
Mit so mah grosse dicke kup, mit soo mǝ grossǝ dikkǝ kǝp,
Der doh uf English screech-owl haest, dær doo uf eng-lisch 'skriitsch-aul' heest,
Der midde drin hut ah sei nesht." dær middǝ drin hǝt aa sei nescht.

There is yet such another little fellow, with such a large thick head, this here in English is called 'screech-owl,' the middle therein [of the tree] has also its nest.

Remarking on "grosse dicke kup" in the second line, my reverend friend Ziegler sends me the following declensions of the united article and adjective. The dative is used for the genitive, as will appear in the chapter on Syntax.

Nom., Accus. ǝn ('n) grosser dicker kopp,
Dat., Gen. ǝmǝ ('mǝ) grossǝ dickǝ kopp.

Nom. der root wei˛  . . . . .  iss guut.    The red wine is good.
Gen. dem rootǝ wei˛  . . . . .  sei˛ farb is schee˛.
Dat. dem rootǝ wei˛  . . . . .  hab ich 's tsu fǝrdankǝ.
Acc. dii rootǝ wei˛  . . . . .  hat ær gedrunkǝ.

Nom. dii rootǝ wei˛  . . . . .  sin guut.    The red wines are good.
Gen. dennǝ rootǝ wei˛  . . . . .  iir farb etc. (G. der rothen Weine Farbe ist schön.)
Dat. dennǝ rootǝ wei˛  . . . . .  hab ich 's etc. (G. den rothen Weinen.)
Acc. dii rootǝ wei˛  . . . . .  hat ær, etc.


[15] Of words not occurring in print, the Swiss, Bavarian, and Suabian form bruntsen replaces harnen and its synonyms.

[16] Seemingly akin to Swiss ammeli, mammeli (a child's sucking-glass), whence mämmelen (to like to drink). G. amme (a wet-nurse), in Bavaria, also a mother.

[17] PG. des kalb sukt (this calf sucks,) G. saugt.

[18] This name seems to have been originally applied to the crooked tubers of the Jerusalem artichoke, and humming-bird was probably applied to moths of the genus Sphinx (named from the form of the larva) before the bird bearing this name was known in Europe.

[19] Scarcely legitimate, the PG. word for a grave-yard being kærich-hof.

[20] Diagonally.

[21] By analogy these words should be rei˛ and rei˛heit, but as they are scarcely PG. they are given as High German.

[22] This word is correct without the elisive mark, which perverts the syntax.

[23] The Rev. D. Ziegler.

[p. 24]



§ 1. Gender of English Words in Pennsylvania German.

German gender and declension might be said to be in a state of barbarism, were it not that some of the languages of savages have refinements which are wanting in the tongues of civilised people. German gender being in a high degree arbitrary and irrational, there seem but few principles applicable to introduced words, and yet, the linguistic instinct produces a measure of uniformity. The clear distinction in modern English between a spring and a well, does not exist between the German der quell (and die quelle, PG. 'dii qkel') and der brunnen, but German has der spring also, which may be used alone, or compounded in springquell or springquelle. Influenced by English, PG. uses 'dii schpring' for a natural spring of water, keeping 'd'r brunnǝ' for a well, 'tsig-brunnǝ' for a draw-well with a windlas and bucket—but also 'laafǝndǝ brunnǝ' for a spring.

As a German says 'dii' for the English article the, which he hears applied to everything singular and plural, and as this die is his own feminine and plural article, he will be likely to say 'dii fens' for the fence, 'dii set' (set, of tools, etc.), 'dii faundri' (foundry), 'dii bænk' (bank of a stream), 'dii færm' (farm), 'dii plantaaschǝ' (plantation), 'dii témǝti' (timothy hay), 'dii portsch,' 'dii schtæmp' ('stämp' in print, for G. der stempel), 'dii watsch' (timepiece), 'dii bel hat geringt' (the 'bell' has 'rung'), "Stohrstube ... mit einer offenen Front," (Store-room with an open front), "die Fronte[24] des Hauses" (the 'front' of the house), "Die Sanitäts Board," "Eine Lot Stroh," "Eine Lotte Grund," etc. All of these are feminine [p. 25] in PG., together with the English nouns alley, road, borough, square (of a town), fair, forge, creek (a stream), climate, bowl, vendue, court (at law), law, lawsuit, jury, yard (of a house),—

Als Herr Yost ... einen groszen Neufundländer Hund in seiner Yard[1] anders anbinden wollte, fiel ihn das Thier an ... der Hund wieder an ihn sprang, und ihn gegen die Fenz[25] drängte, ... Der Pennsylvanier, Lebanon, Pa. Sept. 1, 1869.

Of the masculine gender are river (PG. 'rewǝr'), bargain, crop, beef (but 'gedörtes beef' makes it neuter), carpet, turnpike (or pike), store, gravel, shop, smith-shop, shed, and of course words like squire, lawyer, and "assignie."

Of the neuter gender are "das främ" (frame), "das flaur" (flour, influenced by G. das mehl), das screen, das photograph, das piano, das supper, das buggy.

Wishing to know the gender of the preceding English words in another county, the list was sent to the Rev. Daniel Ziegler, of York, Pa., who assigns the same genders to them, adding der settee, die umbréll, die parasol, die bréssǝnt (prison), das lampblack, das picter (picture), das candy, das cash, das lumber (building timber), das scantling, das pavement, das township.[26]

German die butter (butter) is masculine in PG. as in South Germany and Austria; and die forelle (the trout) is PG. 'dær fǝrél.' G. die tunke (gravy) is neuter under the form 'tunkǝs' in PG., which makes the yard measure feminine, although in Germany (and in print here), it has been adopted as masculine.

Variations in grammatic gender are to be expected under the degenderising influence of English, but at present the [p. 26] German genders usually remain, as in der stuhl (chair), der pflug (plough, PG. 'pluuk'), der trichter (funnel, PG. 'trechtǝr'), der kork (cork, PG. karik), der indigo, der schwamm (spunge), die egge (harrow, PG. 'eek,' sometimes 'êk'), die bank (bench), die wiese (meadow, PG. 'wiss'), die kiste (chest or chist, PG. kist), das tūch (cloth), das messing (brass, PG. 'mĕs,' like Eng. mace), das füllsel (stuffing, PG. 'filtsl').

§ 2. The German Genders.

In various aboriginal languages of America there are two genders, the animate and the inanimate—with a vital instead of a sexual polarity; and while German can and does associate gender and sex, its departure from this system is marked by objects conspicuously sexual, which may be of the neuter gender, and by sexless objects of the three genders.

It is easy to see why das kind (the child) is neuter, but under the ordinary view of the rise of grammatic gender, it is not easy to see why, in modern German, der leib (body) should be masculine, and das weib (woman, wife) of the same gender as the child—why die liebe (love) should be feminine, and der friede (peace) masculine. In German, the genders are incongruous, in English they are congruous, the masculine and feminine being correlatives, with correlative relations to the neuter also, and by dropping the false nomenclature of the German genders, we may be able to get a more philosophic view of them as they now exist, independently of the Old High German system of gender and declension, which accounts for their later condition.

If we adopt strong for the German masculine gender, there would be nothing gained if the feminine were called weak, but with the first as strong, the second as soft, and the third as dull, we would have three terms which do not suggest correlation or sex, and we might see nothing irrational in the fact that man might be of the strong, and woman of the dull gender; and that peace might be strong, and love soft.

[p. 27]

Of the strong gender are mann, dieb, freund, mord, mund, hase (of energetic action), aal, salm, fisch, tisch ([Greek: diskos]), käse (CASEUS), schnee, klei, stock, fink (a strong-billed bird), apfel (naturally harsh), stahl, stiefel, schuh, strumpf, fusz, keil, bart, baum, daum, dorn,[27] punkt, stich, beginn, rubin, diamant, klump, kummer, verstand, name, tag, halm (a rough material), floh, krebs, skorpion, hummer, hals, fels, saft, bau, rath, werth, zoll, flusz, Rhein, raub, acker, bogen.

Of the soft gender are birne, hand, historie (Lat. -IA), liebe, hoffnung, wohnung, stadt, burg (implying also jurisdiction), sonne, gluth, milch, rahm, amsel, drossel, butter, feder, gans, maus, ratte, luft, frucht, nacht, macht (as if personified), armuth, kraft, furcht, kunst, haut, frau, wurst, schnur, bahn, marsch, welt.

Of the dull gender are weib, grab, brod,[28] blei, eisen, gold, silber, zinn, (but der zink,) geld, feld, land, vieh, pferd (the type being agricultural), rind, joch, pech, haar, auge, bein, dorf, ding, mensch, mädchen, volk, hirn, leben, wort, buch, gesetz, herz, gemach, loth, glück, werk, beil, messer, schwert, glas, fenster, feuer, licht, wetter, wasser, bier, malz, kraut, lamm, ei, haupt, kalb, loch.


[24] Such italics for English words are no part of the original.

[25] This mode of indicating words is used to avoid corrupting the text with italics.

[26] As this essay is passing through the press, I add the following examples, which are all in print.

Der charter, deed (legal), humbug, lunch or lunsch, ein delikater Saurkraut-Lunch. Revenuetarif, crowd, fight, molasses, Select-Council, crop (fem. with Miss Bahn). Im Juli—schreit der Whipper-will.

Die jail, legislatur, Grandjury or grand Jury, ward (of a city), lane, toll, gate, pike or peik, bill (legislative), Cornetband or Cornet Band, eine grosze Box (of medicine), gefängniszbox, platform, manufactory, shelfing, counter.

Das County, committee or comite, picnic, screen (coal-screen), law (also fem.), trial, verdikt, basin (reservoir), Groszes Raffle für Turkeys und Gänse,.... ausgeraffelt werden.

[27] From a Gothic masculine in -us,—das horn being from a Gothic neuter in -n.

[28] Primitive bread was probably rather heavy than light—if a mnemonic view may be taken.

[p. 28]


§ 1. The English Infusion.

Pennsylvania German has long been recognised as a dialect with certain English words, which are sometimes inflected in the German manner. Sportive examples were quoted in the last century, and one is occasionally cited as characteristic, which occurs in Joh. Dav. Schöpf's Travels (1783-4) published at Erlangen, in 1788, and thus quoted by Radlof,[29] but in German characters:—

"Mein Stallion ist über die Fehnsz getscheumpt, und hat dem Nachbor sein whiet abscheulich gedämatscht." (My stallion jumped over the fence and horribly damaged my neighbor's wheat.)

This example is probably spurious and a joke, because PG. 'hengscht' and 'weetsǝ' (instead of stallion and wheat) are in common use—for the Pennsylvania farmer uses German terms for introduced European objects, and if he calls rye 'karn' (G. korn), instead of roggen, this itself is a German name for what is in some localities regarded as corn by excellence. Another example of Schöpf has 'geklaret land' (cleared land), and 'barghen' (bargain), which are correct.

The German brings with him a vocabulary which is not quite adapted to the objects around him, and he improves his language by dropping such of his words as have an indefinite meaning, replacing them with terms which have an exact and scientific value, where High German is weak and indefinite—having failed to Latinise its vocabulary at the revival of learning. The Pennsylvanian uses 'fenss' or 'fents' (not "fehnsz") for the English fence, because the German zaun is equally a hedge; he uses 'flaur' (or 'flauer' Eng. flour) as well as the German mehl, because the latter is equivalent to English meal; he seizes upon bargain as better than anything in his vernacular; [p. 29] and he restricts G. wagen (with the sound of 'waghǝ') to wagon, adopting a variation like "bändwagen" for a vehicle used by a musical band, using 'kerritsch' ("carriagemacher") for the English carriage, altho 'kutsch' (G. kutsche) is also in use. He adopts English expressions for clearing land and speaks of a clearing (which he makes feminine) because the destruction of forests by chopping and burning is not a European practice. Railroads were probably built in America before they were in use in Germany, and in Pennsylvania, our English name was imitated in 'reelroot' ('Plankenroad' is in print) or, as in many other cases, the word was translated into "riegelweg." At a later date the foreign name "eisenbahn" was brought in by later immigrants—and "riegel-bahn" is in use.

§ 2. Newspapers.

The Pennsylvania German appreciates humor, and to avoid the humorous and often illegitimate use of English words, the first examples in these pages will be selected from the advertisements of about a dozen different newspapers, all printed in the barbarous German character, and published at distant points in Pennsylvania. In such compositions, the attention of the public is called to common objects in a vocabulary which can be accepted without hesitation, and in a style somewhat above the colloquial, in which a horse is called 'gaul' and not pferd ('pfært') as usual in print. The spelling is sometimes English and sometimes more or less Germanised, without much affecting the pronunciation, as in "store" (a retail shop[30]) or "stohr" (buchstore, storehalter, stohrhaus), which are equally 'schtoor'; "frame," (främe, främ, frähm), are equally the English frame; "schap" (shap, schop, schopp, shop, pl. schöp); "township" (townschip, taunschip); "county" and "caunty"; "turnpike" and "turnpeik"; "cash" and "casch."

In some localities, English names of streets like King, Queen, High, Water, Chesnut Street, are used in German speech and print, and in others, Königstrasze, Quienstrasze, Highstrasze, Wasserstrasze and Chesnutstrasze, are preferred.

[p. 30]

As parenthetic words like (Dry Goods) occur in the originals, explanations will be [in brackets], and attention will be called to strictly English words by putting them in italics.

The "Pennsylvanische Staats-Zeitung" (published at Harrisburg, the State Capital) claims a larger circulation than any English journal of that city, and the number for Nov. 25, 1869, will be quoted here in the original spelling. Here, where English introduced words might be expected throughout, certain French words are adopted from the German dictionaries, such as reparaturen, delikatessen, lagerbier salon (also saloon),[31] etablissement, engagiren, quotiren, instruiren, autorisiren, ordonnanz. Others are rather English than French, as pavements, arrangements, publikationspreisen, textbücher, jury, city, controle ( ... so wie dasz die City alleinige Controle über denselben Committee....), connektion, construktion, order, governör, provisionen, groceries.

Beste Familien-Mehl, in Fässern [in another journal—Roggenflauer per bärrel—preim flaur] superfine per Bärrel; Prime weitzen; Roggen [rye] per Buschel. Korn [maize or indian corn, properly called Welschkorn in the same column under the quoted Lancaster prices, where "Korn" means rye.] Hafer; Middlings; Shorts.

In the Price-current we find—

Fische ... Rock [Labrax lineatus]; Pike [for Hecht, pl. Hechte, a known term]; Halibut; Haddock; Sturgeon; Trout; White Perch [Labrax albus, vel mucronatus]; Weisze Fische [Coregonus albus]; Härringe; Catfische [Pimelodus, more commonly called 'katsǝfisch'].

Fleische ... Roast Beef per Pfund; Rump Steaks; Surloin; Hammelfleisch; Schweinfleisch; Gedörrtes Beef [Getrocknetes Rindsfleisch is quoted from Pittsburg]; Beef Schinken; ... Mess Pork; ... Schmalz in kegs; Lard-Oel; Butter (roll ... print) [with 'roll' and 'print' in Roman type]; Molasses [commonly called mǝlássich]; Süszkartoffeln [a translation of sweet-potatoes, instead of bataten]; Schellbarks [nuts of the shell-bark hickory]; Aepfelbutter (Latwerg) [G. Latwerge, PG. látwærik, translated from E. apple-butter].

In the humorous department we find—

Ein ähnliches Räthsel wie sell eine, war scho [schon] früher im Päper; ... Sie sind gemuvt?[32] Very well, ... Sell isch e guat's[33] Plätzel ... sellem Joseph am Eck[34] lasse mer nix [lassen wir nichts] zu leids thun; ...

[p. 31]

The next examples are condensed from journals of various localities, all printed in the German character. The spelling and use of italics as before.

Der Grosze Wohlfeile Dry Goods Store. Jetzt eröffnet: Direkt von New York; Bärgens in Weiszgütern und Ellenwaaren (Dry Goods), Gemischte Mohairs; Schöne Dress Ginghams; Long Cloth [another has Langes Tuch].

Country Orders werden mit promptheit ausgeführt ... Groszhandels oder Wholesäle Preisen zu Retailen oder einzelnen [others have "im groszen und kleinen," "Groz und Klein-Verkauf"] ... Ingrain oder Blumiger Kärpet; ... Entry und Treppen [stair] Carpets; Cottage-Carpets; Floor Oel-Tücher [another has Boden-Oeltücher]; Marseilles und Honeycomb Quilts; Matting, weisz und bunt.

Allgemeine Stohrgüter; Tücher fur Ladies Cloaks [another has Damen Cloakstoffe.] ... Lädies Dress-Goods [others have Dreszgüter, Dresz-Anzüge, Dreszwaaren]; Fäncy-Waaren; Ueberdecken; Quilts und Tisch-Diapers; Napkins; Ticking beim Stück; Carriage Trimmings; Extra grosze gequilte comfortables; Blänkets; Counter Paints [counterpanes]; Dry Goods für Frühjahr und Sommer. Kein Humbug.

Millinery Waaren; Ladies-, Misses-, und Kinder Stroh und Fäncy Bonnets und Flats; Corsetten; Hoops [others have Hoopsröcke, and Hoopskirts in neuer Shapes]; Haar Zöpfen; Rollen; Braids; Puffs; Dress-Trimmings. Unsere "Fits" sind vollkommen. Yankee-Notions [another has Notionen]. Shelfing und Counter für einen Stohr.

Pelzwaaren jeder Art, ... Zobel; Chinchilla; Ermin; Siberien-Squirrel; Fitch; Wasser-Mink.

Wholesale und Retail Händler in Aechten Rye Whiskeys von verschiedenen Bränden, Ausländischen und Einheimischen Brändies, Weinen, Gin [G. Wachholderbranntwein], feiner Claret, Scotch Ale, Fancy Liquors, Pine Apfel Syrup, Cherry Wein und Kirschen Brandy, Demijohns und Botteln von allen Gröszen.

Neue Scale Pianoes, mit eisernen Gestellen, overstrung Base und Agraffe Bridge. Ein schönes Second Hand Piano. Instrumenten zu groszen Bärgen ... Rotary Valve[1] und Side Action[35] Instrumente [wind instruments].

Eisen-Store [Eisen-Stohr, Hartewaaren, Hardwaaren, Eisenwaaren] Küchen Ränges; Extra Grätes; Furnäces; Bar-Room-Oefen; Air-Tight und alle Sorten Parlor Oefen; Heating-Oefen [also Heiz-Oefen]; Brilliant Gas Burner; tragbare Heaters, und Gasbrenner; Feuer-bricks; Springs; geforged und gerolltes eisen; Schäfting; Safes; Meisel [properly meiszeln] in Setts; Razor Straps und Hones; pullys; Carvingmesser, Butschermesser; Varnisch [for Firniss]; Neues Kohlenscreen; Boiler von allen Sorten; Braszarbeit; Kaffeemühlen ... verschiedene Haushaltgeräthschaften ... welche Retail oder Wholesale zu den billigsten Preisen verkauft werden ... Sie garantiren völlige Satisfaction.

Porzellan-Waaren Stohr: Queenswaaren; Dinner Sets; Toilet Sets; Toy Thee Sets; Chamber Sets; Schüszeln mit Deckel; Bowlen (Bowls) aller Arten; Pitchers aller Arten; Suppen Tureens ... all die letzten Styles [Styl is also in use]. Ein groszer Vorrath Waiters und Thee-Trays ... Haus-Furnisching Waaren ... Vasen ... Chimney Tops.

[p. 32]

Schuhstore: India-Rubber, Lasting und Button Schuhe; hoch polisch Gaiters für frauen ... Kid Schuhe ... Schlippers.

Juwellen, Watschen und Uhren auf Hand [also 'an Hand' for vorräthig]; Watschen in goldenen und silbernen Cäsen [another has Repeating-Taschenuhr, for Repetiruhr]; Watschen-ketten; Damen goldene Bräcelet Setts; Studs; Sleeveknöpfe; Messern [for Messer].

Möbel-Waarenlager: Auswahl aller Arten Möbel ... Bureaus [also Burös, Buros, Büros]; Sideboards [Seidbord, Desk]; Dining-Tische; Lounges; Settees; [also Setties]; Wardrobes [also Garderobe-Artikel, and Kleiderschrank, the proper term]. Cänesitz Stühle; Fenster-blenden [and Blinds]; What-Nots; Spiegel mit Gold-Främs; Springbetten ... Parlor, Chamber, und Küchen Möbeln ... und alle andern Artikel welche in Möbel-Stohrs zu finden sind.

Bauholzhof [others have Lumber-yard and Bretterhof] ... Alle Sorten von Bauholz wohl geseasonet [also vollkommen ausgetrocknet]; Wetterboarding; Weiszpein [for Fichte] und Hemlock [for Tanne] Joists und Scäntling [another has Hardwood Skäntling] jeder Grösze; Bill-Stuffs; Fenzstoffen [for pl. stoffe, others have Fensing and Fenspfosten]; Flooring [also Flurbretter]; Panel Lumber; Poplarboards [also Pappel]; Pickets [also Pälings, both for Pfähle] von allen längen.

Buchdruckerei ... Job Schriften; Programms; Circulars; Tickets; Karten; Blänks; Handbills; Pamphlete; Billheads; ... an seinem alten Ständ.

Oeffentliche Vendu [and Vendue—"Vendue Creier und Auktionär."] ... Eine Bauerie [also Farm, and Plantasche] zu verkaufen ... 110 Acker, 70 geklart [and geklärt] gelegen in Londonderry Taunschip, Lebanon [often Libanon] County, an der Strasze führend vom Palmyra Landing-Platze nach der Jonestaun Road, grenzend an den Lebanon Valley Riegelweg [and Rigelweg—a verbal translation of Railway. Others have—"Es grenzt an die Libanon Valley Rail Road," and "Libanon Thal Eisenbahn."] 2 meilen vom Stockyard [location for cattle]. Die Verbesserungen sind ein groszes weddergebordetes [Eng. weather-boarded; another has "Främ Haus wettergebordet"] Främhaus [Frähmscheuer, Bankscheuer, Frame-Arbeitshop] neu tapezirt [papered] ... mit fünf Stuben auf dem zweiten Floor; Garret [others have Dachstube, and Dachzimmer] Küche und Keller. Eine Cisterne [also Cistern] mit 33 Hogsheads; Kohlenbin unter dem pävement ... Eine Baulotte [building lot of ground] 50 Fusz front [also—die Fronte, and frontirend.] Schmiedschap [Wagenschoppen]; Wagensched [zwei Wagenschäde] mit Cribs [and Krippen, Welschkornkrieb, Kornkribbe, Kornkribb]; Logscheuer [also Block-Wohnhaus, Logfrämehaus, blöckernes Haus]; mit Stein Basement [another has "Stallhoch Steinmauer"—the height of the stables of stone].

Das Land ist vom besten Gravel [also Gravel-Land, Flint, Kalkstein, Kalchstein, Feuerstein], und unter guten Fenzen [and Fensen, alles unter Fenz, gut eingefenzt].—Laufendes Wasser geht durch den Scheuerhof [also Scheueryard]. Es ist bequem zu Postofficen, Kirchen, Schulen, Mühlen, Stohres, und Handwerkern.

[p. 33]

Ein 6-jähriger brauner Gaul; ... ein junges Baypferd; ein Sorrelpferd; ein Fallingtop-Buggy; ein Rockaway; ein Springwagen [hucksterwagen]; ein Stohrwagen mit drei Springs; eine Sweep Power Dreschmaschine; eine Set Stägegeschirr; Yankiegeschirr; Frontgeschirre [for horses in front]. Welschkornscheller [also Welschkornschäler, Welschkornscräper, Welschkornausmacher, handscheller]; Schneidbox; Wagenbox [and Wagenbody]; Molasses-Faktry; Mückengeschirre [Fliegen-Geschirre, Fliegennetze]; 1 Lot Hausen's [housings for horses]; Windmühle, [translation of windmill, for Kornschwinge]; 1 Sink [kitchen sink-bench]; Martingales; Checkleinen; Cirkel-Säge [another has Circularsäge] mit Främ und Sträp.

Einige Pflanzgrundbeeren von Prince Alberts Sorte.


[29] Mustersaal aller teutschen Mundarten, ... Bonn, 1822, vol. 2, p. 361. By a type error, m of getscheumpt was omitted. See also Dr. Mombert's History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1869, p. 373.

[30] See note 1 on next page.

[31] Any place where liquor is retailed is called a saloon, and in a certain town a cabin with a single room is labeled DON JUAN WALLING'S SIGN EMPORIUM.

[32] 'You have removed' (your residence), but the third person plural is not thus used in PG.

[33] G. ein gutes, but the Austrian extension gūăt is not PG.

[34] Neuter for feminine, as in Bavarian and Austrian.

[35] These four words are printed in Roman type.

[p. 34]



The confusion of forms in the declension of German articles, pronouns, and adjectives, as given in print, is avoided in dialects, and on the upper Rhine all classes use the masculine nominative der for the accusative den, thus making a step towards rational grammar—the feminine die and the neuter das being equally nominative and accusative. According to Radlof, from Swisserland to Holland, on both sides of the Rhine, there is scarcely a locality where the nominative is distinguished from the accusative and the dative, and he cites as examples—"ich trinke rother Wein" (for rothen); "ich habe der Esel gesehen" (for den Esel); "ich sitze auf der Baum" (for dem Baum).[37] In PG. this rother for rothen is sometimes cut down to "root" the common PG. neuter form, particularly with the definite article, as in—

Ich trink d'r root wei˛. I drink the red wine.
Was f'r wei˛ wit [willst du] trinke? What kind of wine willst drink?
Ich trink tschenǝrli rooter wei˛.[36] I 'generally' drink red wine.

[p. 35]

G. Wir geben guten Lohn.  PG. M'r gewwǝ guutǝr loo˛.    We give good wages.

ǝn guutǝr freind (n guuti fraa, n guut haus) is n guut ding.    A good friend (masc.), wife (fem.), house (neut.) is a good thing (neut.).

Sellǝr mann hǝt mei, huut allǝs ufgebrǝchǝ.    That man has broken (meinen) my hat (alles auf) all up.

Ich bin naus in dǝr hoof un bin unsǝrǝr kats uf dǝr schwants getrettǝ, selli hǝt mich gekratst.  (Nsp.) I went (hinaus) out, in (G. den Hof, m.) the yard, and trod on (G. den Schwanz) the tail of our cat, she scratched me.

... weil ich mich geschämmt hab, bin ich uf dǝr schpeichǝr geschniikt oone ǝn wǝrt tsu saaghǝ.    (Nsp.) While I shamed myself, I 'sneaked' up to (den) the loft without a word to say.

G. Das Wetter ist den ganzen Tag schön gewesen.    PG. s wettǝr iss d'r gants (or gans) daak schee˛ gwest.    The weather has been fine the entire day.

G. Ich gehe in den Keller.  PG. Ich gee in dǝr kellǝr.    I am going into the cellar.

In the next, Stuhl being masculine, the nominative der is used for the dative dem, but the accusative ihn ('n) is preserved—

ær hǝt uf d'r schtuul k'hǝkt, un hǝt n f'rbrǝchǝ.    He sat on the chair and has broken it.

G. Liebe deinen Nächsten, als dich selbst.    Love thy neighbor as thyself.     PG. Liib dei˛ nochbǝr ass wii dich selwer.

G. Lēgĕ das Buch auf dēn Tisch.    Lay the book on the table.    PG. Leeg s buch uf d'r tisch.

Here, if 'den tisch' were used in PG. it would rather mean 'this table,' because there is a tendency to use articles as demonstratives, saying 'dær' for G. dieser, and 'sellǝr' (G. selbiger) for G. jener,—'sel' (G. selbiges) being its neuter, and 'selli' (G. selbige) its feminine and plural. This 'sel' is found in Swisserland, and other parts of the Rhine region. Its Alsatian form tsel, with initial t, shows that it is akin to G. dasselbe. Notwithstanding its resemblance in form and function to Provensal sel or cel, French celui, celle, they are without etymologic relation. See Ch. VII., §2. p. 43, and §4, p. 45; and Ellis, Early English Pronunciation, p. 662, note 15.

'Das' (the) and 'es' (it) have a tendency to confusion under the short form 's used for both. 'Dass' (that) remains, and [p. 36] the neuter nominative article is changed from G. das to PG. 'des' as in 'des buch' (the book)—but as 'des buch' may mean this book, the function of the article is performed by reducing this 'des' to 's, as in—

's buch iss mei˛    the book is mine—des buch iss mei˛    THIS book is mine.

"Donn hab ich gedenkt [not gedacht], des is doch now ordlich plain deitsch," ... (Rauch.[38])    Then I thought, This is at-any-rate 'now' tolerably 'plain' Dutch.

Dær mann iss krankǝr (not kränker) wie d'r annǝr.    This man is sicker than the other.    (G. als der andere.)

G. Ein Mann und eine Frau waren hier diesen Morgen.    A man and a woman were here this morning.    PG. Es war ǝn mann un ǝn fraa hiir den márighǝ. There was a man and a woman here this morning.

G. Ich wünsche dass er komme.    I wish that he come.    PG. Ich wǝtt (or wott, for wollte) dass ær deet [G. thät] kummǝ.    I would that he would come. Swiss—I wett, asz er chäm.    Stalder, 1, 112.

Swiss asz for dass is often used in PG., as in—

Wann ich geglaabt hätt 'ass er mich net betsaalt (or betsaalǝ deet), so hätt ich 'm gar net gebárikt (or gebaricht).    If I had believed that he would not pay me, I would (gar nicht) not at all have (geborgt) trusted him.

Wann ich gedenkt [not G. gedacht] hätt 'ass es net woor wæær, dann hätt ich 's net geglaabt.    If I had not supposed it to be true, I would not have (geglaubt) believed it.

G. Wäre er reich, er würde nicht betteln.    Were he rich he would not beg.     G. Wenn er reich wäre, so würde er nicht betteln.    PG. Wann ær reich wæær, deet ær net bettǝln.    If he were rich, he would not beg.

PG., like Swiss,[39] dislikes the imperfect tense, and prefers G. Ich habe gedacht (I have thought), to G. Ich dachte (I thought), which gives forms like—

Wii ich n gesee˛ hab, hab ich gedenkt ær wært k'sund.    As I saw him (having seen him) I thought he would get well.

Ich bin gangǝ I have gone; not G. Ich gieng I went, nor gegangen ygone.

Whan myn houſbond is fro the world i-gon,—Chaucer, (Wright's ed.) l. 5629.
With menſtralcy and noyſe that was (y-)maked, l. 2526.

Bet is to be (y-)weddid than to brynne. l. 5634.

[p. 37]

PG. has also 'kummǝ' (has come) for G. gekommen, showing a tendency to follow a law which caused ge-(y-, i-) to be dropped in English. The practice seems to have started with gekommen and gegangen, because they are much used, and their initial guttural absorbs the guttural g- or k- of the prefix. In an Austrian dialect,[40] ge- disappears before b, p, d, t, z, as in "Ih bin kumma" (I have come), PG. Ich bin kummǝ.

PG. Ich hab s [G. gekauft] kaaft im schtoor. I bought it at the 'store.' Hǝscht mei˛ briif krikt? Hast (G. gekriegt) received my letter? Ich schreib n briif. I write a letter.

"Der Charle hat jung geheiert un hat e fleiszige Fra krickt," Wollenweber, p. 78.   D'r 'Tschærli' hǝt jung k'eiǝrt un hǝt ǝ fleissighǝ fraa krikt.

'Charley' married young and got an industrious wife.

G. Es regne.    It may rain.    PG. s maak (G. mag) reeghǝrǝ.

G. Es regnete.    It might rain.    PG. s kennt (G. könnt) reeghǝrǝ.

G. Es habe geregnet.    It may have rained.    PG. s kennt reeghǝ hawwǝ.

PG. has the Swiss als (hitherto, formerly, always), a form in which it is not shortened into a's, as in—

ær hǝt als ksaat ær wær (or wæær) miir niks schuldich. (Ziegler).    He has hitherto said he is to-me nothing indebted.

Mr. Rauch, in his partly English spelling, has—

"Er hut aw behawpt das mer set sich net rula lussa bi seiner fraw, un das de weiver nix wissa fun denna sacha, un das es kens fun eara bisness is we an monn vote odder we oft er als drinkt."   .ær hǝt aa behaapt dass mǝr set sich net 'ruulǝ' lǝssǝ bei seinǝr fraa, un dass dii weiwǝr niks wissǝ fun dennǝ sachǝ, un dass es kens fun eerǝ 'bissnǝss' iss wii ǝn mann 'woot,' ǝdǝr wii ǝft ær als drinkt.

He (has) maintained that one should not (lassen) let (sich) one's-self be 'ruled' by one's wife, and that the (weiber nichts wissen) women know nothing of such things, and that it is (keines von ihre) none of their 'business' how a man 'votes,' or how oft he (als) ALWAYS drinks.

In the following Suabian example (Radlof 2, 17) als is a form of G. alles (all), and schmieren is used as in PG. for to pay off, to trick.

Kurz! i will olls eba macha
Daſz oim 's Herz im Leib mu'ſz lacha;
I will au de Tuifel ſchmiera,
Daſz er Niemâ kan verführa,
Hack' ihm boyde Hörner o,
Daſz er nimma ſtecha ka-.
  In short, I will make all so even
that the heart in one's body must laugh;
I will also trick [den] the devil
that he none can lead astray—
chop for him both his horns off
that he cannot thrust again.

PG. 'dass' for als (with the sense of as), and 'dass wan' G. als wenn (South German of Breisgau as wenn) for as if, seems peculiar. The German adverbial particles admit of a [p. 38] wide range of meaning, and in Low Austrian certain inversions occur, as aussa (aus-her) for G. heraus; aussi (aus-hin), also in old Bavarian, for G. hinaus, which would allow PG. 'dass' to be referred to als dasz or da(r)als.[41] But independently of this surmise, the cutting down of the pronouns des (G. das) and es to 's and als to ass, makes it as easy to accept dass for als, as 'd of English 'I'd rather,' for had instead of would. Farther, as da has als for one of its meanings, this dass may be da with the adverbial suffix -s.[42]

"des land is aw frei for mich so goot das for dich."—Rauch, p. 32   ... des land is aa frei f'r mich soo guut dass f'r dich.

This (not the) country is (auch) also free for me as well as for thee.

"net wennicher dos sivva hunnert for dich un mich"....—Rauch, 1869.   ... net wennichǝr dass siwǝ hunǝrt f'r dich un mich.

Not less than seven hundred for thee and me.

"Er will hawa dos ich bei eam aw roof in Filldelfy, un dut dos wanns tsu meiner advantage wær wann ich kumm."—Rauch, Aug. 16, '69.   'ær will hawǝ dass ich bei iim aa˛ruuf in Fildelfi, un duut dass wann s tsu meinǝr 'atfæntitsch' wær wann ich kumm.

He will have that I (bei) at-the-house-of him [G. anrufen, perverted to an English idiom] call-on in Phildelphi [the common pronunciation] and (he) does as if it (were) would be to my 'advantage' if I come.[43]

"Selly froke hut mich awer sheer gorly schwitza macha, un ich hob g'feeld yusht grawd das wann ich mich full heaser hulder tæ g'suffa het un g'mixd mit tansy, katzakraut un bebbermint."—Rauch, Aug. 9, 1869.   Selli frook hǝt mich schĭr gaarli schwitsǝ machǝ, und ich hab kfiilt juscht graad dass wann ich mich fǝl heesǝr huldǝr tee ksǝffǝ het un 'gmikst' mit 'tænsi' [s not as z] katsǝkraut un 'bebbǝrmint.'

[Dieselbe Frage] That question however almost [G. gar] quite made me sweat, and I felt just exactly as if I had (G. gesoffen) drunk myself full of hot (G. Holder) elder tea, and 'mixed' with 'tansy' catnip and 'peppermint'.

"'s scheint m'r wærklich as wann du im sinn hätscht in deinǝ altǝ daaghǝ noch n Dichter tsu gewǝ (tsu wærrǝ). Awǝr ich færricht 's iss tsu schpot; du hätscht ǝ paar joor friiǝr aa˛fange sollǝ, dann wær viileicht ebbǝs draus [G. worden] warrǝ."[44] It appears to me really as if you intended in your old days yet to become a poet. But I fear it is too late; you should have commenced a few years earlier, then perhaps something might have come of it.

[p. 39]

The next is from the description of a willow-tree with the 'nesht' (pl. of G. nast[45]) branches broken by ice.[46]

"Er guckt net gans so stattlich meh, Er guckt net gans so gross un' schoe Das wie er hut die anner woch Wu'r all sei nesht hut katte noch."   .ær gukt net gans soo schtattlich mee ær gukt net gans soo gross un schee, dass wii ær hǝt dii anǝr woch wuu 'r all sei˛ nescht hǝt kattǝ noch.

It (nicht mehr) no more looks quite so stately, it looks not (ganz) quite so large and fine, AS THAT it did the (andere) other week, (wo er where he) when it (hat gehabt) has had all its boughs.

At present PG. is exhibiting a tendency to drop G. zu (to), the sign of the so-called infinitive, altho in the following examples perhaps most speakers would use it.

Wann fangscht aa˛ [tsu] schaffǝ?    When do you begin [to] work?

Ich hab aa˛fangǝ schaffǝ.    I have begun (to) work.

... fiil annǝri hen hart prowiirt sich farnǝ naus schaffǝ.    (Rauch.)

Many others (have) tried hard (to) work themselves (G. vorn) forward.

[p. 40]

"De mæd ... hen kea so kleany bonnets g'hat di nix sin for hitz odder kelt; es wara rechtshaffene bonnets, das mer aw sea hut kenne ohna de brill uf du."—Nsp.   Dii meed hen kee˛ soo klee˛ni 'bannǝts' katt dii niks sin f'r hits ǝd'r kelt; ǝs waarǝ rechtschaffǝnǝ 'bannǝts,' dass m'r aa seeǝ hǝt kennǝ, oone dii brill uf [tsu] duu˛.

The girls (haben gehabt) had no such small 'bonnets' (die) which are nothing for heat or (kälte) cold; there were honest 'bonnets' that (mir) one (auch) also could see without putting the spectacles on.

PG. Sometimes distinguishes between the present tense and the aorist, as in Swiss—"er thuot choh" (he does come)—

Sellǝr hund knarrt.    That dog growls (has a habit of growling).

Sellǝr hund tuut (G. thut) knarrǝ. That dog is now growling.

D'r mann tuut essa—ær iss am essǝ. The man is eating—he is at eating.

PG. does not use equivalents to neither and nor.

G. Er ist weder reich noch arm. He is neither rich nor poor. PG. ær iss net reich un net aarm.

E. He is either sick or lazy. PG. ær iss krank ǝdǝr faul. (Or, adopting either and its idiom) ǝr iss 'iitǝr' krank ǝdǝr faul.

In a case like the last, no matter how well the speaker knows English, he must not pronounce a word like 'either' in the English mode, because it would be an offense against the natural rhetoric of the dialect.


[36] ... "Von der Schweiz an zu beiden seiten des Rheines hinab bis an Hollands gränzen, giebt es kaum einige Gegenden, wo man den Koch vom Kellner, den Herrn vom Knechte, den Hammer vom Amboſze, d.i. den Werfall (Nominativ) vom Wenfalle (Accusativ) und dem Wemfalle (Dativ) richtig zu unterscheiden vermöchte. Bald hört man nehmlich: "ich trinke rother Wein" bald: "ich habe der Esel gesehen" bald: "ich sitze auf der Baum." s.f."—Dr. Joh. Gottl. Radlof, Mustersaal aller teutschen Mundarten, ... Bonn, 1822; 2, 90.

Stalder (Schweiz. Idiotikon, 1812) gives the accusatives of der and ein as agreeing with the nominative, and under ein (1, 37) he has—Acc. wie der Nom., welches überhaupt zu bemerken ist.

When I read extracts from this Treatise before the Philological Society on 3 June, 1870, Prof. Goldstücker and Dr. E. Mall, the latter an Alsatian, both considered that this presumed substitution of the nominative for the accusative or dative case must be a misapprehension. Dr. Mall declared himself totally unaware of it. Both considered that it must have resulted from the disappearance of the inflectional -m, -n (the latter of which is the rule certainly in the Rhine region), and the degradation of the preceding e vowel into [e]. This would account for "ich trinke rother Wein," considering rother to mean 'rootǝ,' but would not account for "ich habe der Esel gesehen," in which the r must be taken as trilled, unless we consider that first den was made into 'dǝ,' and then the 'r' evolved as in the Cockney's 'idea-r of things.' Hence the original passages on which the assertions in the text are founded, have been added.—Alex. J. Ellis.

[37] "Dii Jarik Kaunti leit, wann sii furn rootǝ wei, schwätzǝ, saaghǝ g'weenlich—"Ich trink rootǝr wei." Wann sii awǝr kee rootǝr hen, dann trinkǝ sii weisser wann sii n kriighǝ kennǝ." The Rev. D. Ziegler, letter of Jan. 15, 1870 (literatim).

[38] In a spelling based upon English, and not fully phonetic. See Ellis, Early English Pronunciation, pp. 654-661.

[39] Stalder (1, 46) says that the imperfects war, hatte, sagte, kam, rufte, kaufte, would be scarcely understood in Swisserland.

[40] Castelli, Wörterbuch, Wien, 1847, p. 30.

[41] Suabian condenses da unten to dunda. The Rev. D. Ziegler suggests that this 'dass' may have arisen from a d, as of 'grad' (G. gerade) before 'as' of als, as in—ær schwätzt grad as wann [G. wenn] ær reich wær. (He speaks just as if he were rich.)

[42] See Hald. Affixes. p. 213.

[43] The present tense ('wann ich kumm') is used here for the G. subjunctive wenn ich käme.

[44] The Rev. D. Ziegler, transliterated by himself.

[45] The usual German is ast, pl. äste. Schmeller (Mundarten Bayerns, art. 610) notices the following examples of this initial n in Bavarian dialects; his phonetical spelling is given in italics, and interpreted into the present in brackets: der Nà'n [Noon] 'Àthen: Nàst [nost] Ast; die Nàſ'n [noozn] 'Àsen; Naſſ·l [nassl] Assel; Nárb [narb] Arb; Neichté [neichte] Eichte; Nuǝrǝ’ [Nuǝrǝ] Urhab; Nueſch [Nuesch] Uesch. In art. 545 he also gives the form ǝ Lueſsch, and in art. 636, the form ẽRàuſ·n, for Uesch, a gutter, and 'A'sen, a beam or joist. Nárb is the staple on the door, which carries the padlock; Eicht is a little while. The following are examples of omitted initial n, (ib. art. 611); dǝr 'Apoleon Napoleon; 'idǝ' nider, 'Ánkinet Nanquinet; 'Impfǝburg Nymphenburg; ganz 'atürli' natürlich; 'ében, 'iǝbm neben; 'achǝr, 'achǝ’ nachher; 'E'st, 'iǝſt Nest. St. Antwein und St. Nantwein, Aventin Chron. Edit. v. 1566, fol. 470.—Compare the English added initial n in nickname (nekename for ekename, see Pr. Parv.), niggot, nugget for ingot; newt for eft, ewt; nawl for awl; nunkle for uncle; Nan, Ned, Noll, for Anne, Edward, Oliver:—and the omitted initial n in adder (old edres and neddres), apron for napron, eyas for nias.—A. J. Ellis.

[46] Poems. By Rachel Bahn. York, Pa. 1869. Containing twenty pages of "Poems in Pennsylvania Dutch." Noticed by me in Trübner's American and Oriental Literary Record, Jan. 24, 1870, p. 634. The following may be consulted also:

Gemälde aus dem Pennsylvanischen Volksleben ... von L. A. Wollenweber. Philadelphia und Leipzig. Schäfer und Konradi, 1869.

Harbaugh's Harfe. Gedichte in Pennsylvanisch-Deutscher Mundart. Philadelphia, Reformed Church Publication Board, 1870.

On the German Vernacular of Pennsylvania. By S. S. Haldeman. Trans. Am. Philological Association, 1869-70.

Lancaster Pa. Weekly Enterprise (newspaper), with a weekly article by Mr. Rauch.

Der Waffenlose Wächter (monthly newspaper). Gap P.O., Lancaster Co. Pa.

Early English Pronunciation, ... by Alexander J. Ellis, F.R.S., F.S.A. London, 1871. Twelve pages (652-65) are devoted to Pennsylvania German.

P'älzische G'schichte' ... von Franz von Kobell. München, 1863. In the main, this little volume of 'Palatinate Stories' comes nearer to Pennsylvania German than any other I have seen.

[p. 41]


Comparisons with other Dialects.

§ 1. PG. not Swiss.

PG. is not Swiss, altho it has a number of Swiss characteristics, and the line (Radlof, 2, 68)—

"Was isch säll für e sufere kärli?"

is very near its PG. form—

Was isch sel f'r ǝ saubǝr kærli? What sort of cleanly fellow is that?

PG. has both 'ær iss' and 'ær isch' (he is) according to the locality, of which the latter may be less common. The Rev. D. Ziegler (a native, like myself) refers the 'isch' variety to the Mennonite and Dunker population, and as there were many Dunkers (or Tunkers) where my early years were passed, I heard more of this than of the other.

The indicative mood present tense of haben and sein are, with some variations, as follows (Stalder, 1, 47-50)—

Swiss. PG. Swiss. PG.
i hah; ich hab, hap, I have. i bi; ich bin, I am.
de hest; du hǝscht, thou hast. de bisch, bist; du bischt, thou art.
er hed, hett; ær hat, he has. er isch, ist; ær iss, isch, he is.
mer hend; m'r hen, we have. mer sind; m'r sin, we are.
der hend; d'r hent, you have. der sind; d'r sint, you are.
sj hend; sii hen, they have. sj sind; sii sin, they are.

Here the dative singular mir (to me) is used in the nominative plural instead of wir (we), and also in impersonal expressions; and the dative singular dir (to thee) is similarly used for Ihr (you), as in 'd'r sint' for G. Ihr seid (you are). G. Ihr habet (you have) has forced its t upon the first and third persons plural of the Swiss forms; and in PG. the second person is sometimes forced upon the third, as in the following, from the Wollenweber's Gemälde (in the German character), 1869, p. 124,—

[p. 42]

For äbout 32 Johr z'rick, do hent unsre ... Schaffleut ... im Stenbruch geschafft, un sten gebroche, for de grosze Damm zu fixe.   'Fr ǝbaut' tswee-un-dreissich joor tsrik, do hent unsre ... schaffleit ... im schtee˛bruch geschafft, un schtee˛ gebrǝchǝ f'r di grosse 'damm' tsu fixǝ.

'For about' thirty-two years back, here have our laborers worked in the quarry, and quarried stone to 'fix' the big 'dam.' (Here the English fix and dam are used, instead of G. fixîren, and der damm.)

Here the first for may be regarded as English, but the second occurs in the Palatinate—"for den Herr Ring sehr ungünschtig" (Kobell), for Mr. Ring very unfavorable—"for sei Lügerei,"—for his truthlessness.

The next is extracted from a poem by Tobias Witmer, dated from the State of New York, June 1, 1869, printed in the 'Father Abraham' English newspaper, in roman type, and reprinted Feb. 18, 1870. The original spelling is that of Mr. Rauch, and is not reproduced. Dialectic words are spaced, and English words are here put in italics. The translation is rather free.

Geburts-Daak—An mei˛ Alti.

Oo wass is schennǝr uf dǝr welt
dass blimlin, root un weiss?
un bloo un geel,[47] im ærblǝ[48] felt
wass sin sii doch so neis!

Ich wees noch guut, in seller tseit
hab ich niks liiwǝrs duu˛[49]
dass in dii wissǝ—lang un breit
so blimlin ksuucht wii duu.
Doch iss ǝs schun ǝ lang-i tseit
sid'r ích dart ín dem felt,
dii blimlin ksuucht, uf lang un breit,
un uf dei˛ bussǝm kschpellt.
D'r hent ǝmool ǝ gærtl kat—
mei˛ schwestǝrli un duu;
ich hab s pripeerd mit hak un schpaat
dii blummǝ nei˛ tsu duu˛;
un wuu ich hab im grossi schweel,
dii kii dart hinnǝ ksuucht,
[p. 43] dii leedi-schlippǝrss, weiss un geel,
hab ich mit, heem gebracht,
un hab sii in sel gærtl plantst
bei nacht, in muundǝs licht:
d'r hent s net gwist, bis juscht æt wantst[51]
hent diir s gegest s war mich.
  Birthday—To my Wife.

Oh what is finer in the world
than flowrets red and white?
and blue and yellow in the field
how beautiful and bright.
I know yet well that in that time,
nought would I rather do,
than in the meadows long and wide
such flowrets seek as you.
Yet it is quite a lengthened time,
since I in yonder field,
sought out the flowers far and wide,
and on thy bosom pinned.
You also had a garden bed—
you and my sister fair,
which I prepared with hoe and spade
to set the flowers there;
and where I in the ample vale[50]
the cattle there had sought,
the lady-slippers, gold, and pale,
with me I homeward brought,
and in that garden bed at night
I set them when the moon was light.
You did not know who it could be,
but all at once you thought of me.

§ 2. PG. not Bavarian.

PG., Bavarian, Austrian and Suabian have the vowel of fall, and nasal vowels. In Pangkofer's Gedichte in Altbayerischer Mundart, are the PG. words 'aa' also; 'bissel' a little; 'ebbas,' G. etwas something; 'do is' there is; 'glei' (also Austrian) soon; 'sunst,' G. sonst besides; 'frumm,' G. fromm kind; 'kloo' claw; 'kumma,' G. gekommen come; Ohg. 'coman' and 'cuman' to come; 'mir' we, for G. wir; 'sel' G. dasselbe that-same; but PG. has not 'mi' me; 'di' thee; 'hoarn' horn; 'hout' has; 'thuan' to do; 'g'spoasz,' sport; 'oamal' once; 'zwoa' two, G. zwei, PG. 'tswee'; wei, PG. 'weip' wife; zon, PG. 'tsum' to the.

The following example of upper Bavarian is given by Klein,[52] beside which a PG. version is placed for comparison.

"Schau, nachbe', wàs mei' freud' is,—
In suntàe', in der frûe,
Gern lûs' i' in mei'n gâârt'l
'n kircheläut'n zue.

"Dà is 's so still und hâemli',
Kâe' lärm, kâe g'schrâe kimmt 'nei':
In'n himmi kà's nit schöner
W' as in mei'n gâârt'l sei'."
  Sii nochbǝr wass mei, freet iss!
Am sundaak marrghǝ frii,
Gærn hæær[53] ich in mei˛m gærtli
Dii kærchǝ-bellǝ hii˛.[54]

Do 's iss so schtill un heemlich,
Kee˛ jacht, kee˛ kschrei kummt nei˛;
Im himml kann s net schee˛nǝr
Wii s in mei˛m gærtl sei.

See neighbor, what my joy is, on Sunday in the morn;    I listen in my garden, to the church-bell ring.    Here it is so still and calm, no turmoil, no strife comes within; in heaven (kann es nicht) it cannot be fairer than (es) it is in my little garden.

[p. 44]

§ 3. PG. not Suabian.

The Pennsylvania Germans have traditional stories against the Suabians, although their population is in part derived from the upper (Pfalz) Palatinate; and some Suabians settled in Northumberland County, Pa., the evidence of which remains in the name of a stream, Schwaben (or Swope) Creek.

PG. resembles Suabian in using 'e, eǝ' for ö, and 'ii' for ü—in the loss of infinitive -n,—in turning final -n into a nasal vowel (as in sei˛ for seyn), and in saying 'du bischt,' 'du kannscht,' etc. (for G. du bist), 'du witt' for du willst; 'nimme' for nicht mehr; 'glei' for gleich in the sense of soon—but the adjective 'gleich' (similar) remains. PG. does not turn o into au, as in Suabian 'braut,' 'hauch,' for brot, hoch; nor cut down G. ich habe to 'i ha'; it does not add elements, as in 'bois' for G. bös, PG. 'bees,' 'bluat' for G. blut, 'reacht' for recht, 'kuine' for keine, and 'stuinige fealder' for steinige felder, a peculiarity of Suabian, Alsatian, Swiss, Bavarian and its kin Austrian. PG. has archaic 'hees' (hot) for G. heisz, but nothing like Bavarian haǝs.

Difference of pronunciation causes confusion of speech between speakers of different dialects, as shown by Dr. Rapp in his Physiolōgie der Sprache, 4, 131. In the 'Fliegende Blätter' (13, 158) there is a dialogue called 'Ein Deutsch-Böhme' (a German Bohemian), between a Bauer and a Städter—but a Swiss speaker is now added, with the rejoinder to his remark.

Bauer. Wie is de Suppe so hāsz!
Städter. Man sagt ja nicht hāsz, sondern heisz. Has [G. hase, PG. haas hare] nennt man das Thier....
Bauer. Dös hāszt bei uns Hōs!
Städter. Das ist wieder falsch. Hōs bedeutet jenes Kleidungsstück, womit Eure langen Beine bedeckt sind.
Bauer. Dös hāszt Hus!
Schweitzer. Aber mer sind jets im Huus.
Bauer. Dös iss 'n Haus!

Diminutives in PG. and Suabian are made with-li; both use 'des' for das, 'uffm' for auf dem, 'biirǝ' for birnen, 'g'hat' or 'kat' for gehabt, 'suu˛' for sohn, 'schoof' for schâf, 'Schwop' for Schwâbe, 'als' for alles, and 'as' for als.

[p. 45]

§ 4. PG. not Alsatian.

In the very German county of Berks there is an Elsass township, which indicates an Alsatian influence. As a German province of France,[55] two languages are in use, and are taught in the schools, but the French is Germanised in pronunciation, as may be verified among the Alsatian and German servants of Paris. Being akin to Swiss and Suabian, PG. has some points in common with this dialect, without being influenced by French.

Alsatian differs from PG. in having i haa for 'ich hab,' tsel for 'sei' (G. derselbe), bluǝt for 'bluut,' ūss for 'aus,' hūs for 'haus,' tsiit for 'tseit,' bisch for 'bischt,' biim for 'bei'm,' morje for 'marrghǝ.'

PG. and Alsatian turn some b-s to w, they have the vowels of fall, what, up, and have 'prowiirǝ' for probiren, 'ass' for als, 'do' for da, 'joo' for ja, 'joor' for jahr, 'hoor' for haar, 'fun' for von, 'isch' for ist, 'jets' for jetzt, 'uff' for auf, 'druff' for dorauf, 'uff'm' for auf dem, 'raus' for daraus, 'draan' for daran, 'iwwǝr' for über, 'dno' for darnach; PG. 'ǝffǝ,' Alsat. 'offǝ,' G. ofen; 'bal' for bald, 'm'r' for wir, 'm'r muss' for man musz, 'mee' for mehr, 'welli' for welche; 'was batt s' (what boots it).

The following lines (Radlof, 2, 110) are extracted from a piece of Alsatian which well illustrates the concurrent use of two languages. The French should be read in the German mode. Other French words occur in Radlof's examples, such as allong allons, tur tour, schalu jaloux, anterpoo entrepôt, bangenet baïonnette. The original of the following is in German (gothic) and French (roman) print according to the language, here imitated by roman and italic types. The speaker is telling a friend how she was addressed by a stranger:

[p. 46]

So kummt ä Wälscher her, und macht mit Kumblemente,
Und redt mich gradzu an.—Mach er kein Spargemente,[56]
Hab i glich zu ihm g'sait. Losz Er, was ich 'ne bitt,
Mich mine Waih fortgehn; ich kenn de Herre nit.
»Sans avoir, frout er mich, l'honneur de vous connaître,
Vous êtes seule ici, voulez-vous me permettre
De vous offrir mon bras pour vous accompagner?«
Allez, Mousié, sa ich, allez-vous promener,
Und spar Er sich die müh; Er musz sich nit trumpire,
Ich bin von dene nit die mer am Arm kann führe.[57]
»Vous êtes bien cruelle, arrêtez un moment
Sait er, und kummt soglich mit sine Santimang....
Zu diene, hab i g'sait; losz Er mich aber gehn,
Min Ehr erlaubt mir nit noch länger do zu stehn.
»Je n'insisterai pas, mais veuillez bien m'apprendre,
Si demain en ces lieux vous daignerez vous rendre.«
Behüt mich Gott davor! i gib kein rendez-vus.
Adié, mousié, adié, je ne vus [sic] verrai plus.

Translation.—Thus comes a Frenchman up and proceeds with compliments, and (an-redet) accosts me (gerade zu) directly.    Make no formalities,[56] I said to him at once.    Let me, what I beg ('ne, G. ihn) him, continue (meinen weg) my way—I know not the (herren) gentlemen.    "Without having," he (frägt) asked me, "the honor of knowing you, you are alone here, will you permit me to offer you my arm to accompany you?"    Go, sir, (sagte) said I, Proceed with your walk—and spare himself the trouble; he must not deceive himself, I am not of those who can be conducted on the arm.[57]    "You are very cruel, stay a moment," says he—and comes at once with his sentiment....    At your service, I said, he should let me go, my honor would not allow me to stand there longer.    "I do not insist, but will you kindly inform me, if to-morrow in these places you will deign to return."    Preserve me heaven from it!    I give no rendez-vous; adieu, sir, adieu, I will not see you more.

§ 5. PG. is akin to several South German Dialects.

Like Suabia, the name of Pfalz has disappeared from the map of Europe, and what was once the Lower Palatinate, is now to be looked for chiefly in Baden, Bavaria, and Darmstadt.

[p. 47]

It was partly bounded by Alsatia, Baden, and Würtemberg, and Manheim was the chief city. A few examples, condensed from Kobel, will show the nearness of its dialect to PG.

So nehmt er dann desz Album desz uff 'm Tisch gelege is. So takes he then the album that is laid on the table. So is 'm glei' ei'gfalle'. So it soon happened to him. Guck emol, do is er, mer kennt 'n. Look once, here he is, one knows him. Wei is er dann do drzu kumme? How then has he come? Desz will ich Ihne sage. That I will tell you. Mer hot nix mehr vun 'm g'hört. Nothing more has been heard of him. Mir habe [PG. mr hen] alls minanner 'gesse. We ate all together. Juscht am selle Tag is e' Gascht a'kumme. Precisely on that day a guest arrived. Mit eme finschtre' Gesicht. With a dark face. Sacha macha for die Leut. To make things for people. Bsunners especially; ghat had; drbei thereby; schun already; sunscht nix besides nothing; drvun thereof; eens one; zwee two; keens none; unner under; druff on; johr year; wohr true; kummt rei [PG. rei] come in; ne no; jetz' now; gedenkt supposed; fraa woman; kopp head; weesz knows; meeschter master; e' gut' kind a good child.

The South German dialect of Breisgau has G. er hilft (he helps, PG. ær helft), g'seit (as in Alsatia) for gesagt, PG. 'ksaat,' us for G. and PG. 'aus,' i for ich, herrli for herrlich, (PG. hærrlich), wön for wollen, zît (as in Alsatia) for zeit, aue for augen (eyes, PG. aughǝ, Alsat. auǝ), de for du, gen for gegeben (given, PG. gewwǝ, sometimes suppressing ge-, to which attention has been called). Besides gen, the following Allemanic example (Radlof, 2, 99) contains wore for geworden, and uskratzt for ausgekratzt

"Se han kurzwilt un Narrethei triebe, un am End isch der Hirt keck wore, un het em Mümmele e Schmützle gen, un se het em seldrum d'Aue nit uskratzt."

They trifled and fooled, and finally the shepherd (ist keck geworden) became bold, and (hat gegeben) gave (dem) to the water nymph a kiss, and she did not (dasselbe darum) on-that-account ('em' for ihm) scratch out his eyes.

In the following examples, the Breisgauish and PG. are probably more nearly allied than might be supposed from a comparison of the spelling. The Alsatian and PG. are in the same alphabet.


Breisgau. Alsace. PG. English.
regeboge, râjǝbâu-ǝ, reeghǝbooghǝ, rainbow.
wo, von,
wu, vun, wuu, fun, wuu, fun, where, of.
da, mal,
do, mol, doo, mool, doo, mool, here, times.
schof, schoof, schoof, sheep.
schlafen, schlofe, schloofǝ, schloofǝ, to sleep.
und, gelt, un, gel, un, gel, un, gel, and, truly!
wohnen, wuhne, woonǝ, wuunǝ, to reside.
kommen, kumme, kummǝ, kummǝ, to come.
gesehen, g'sehne, g'sên, kseenǝ, seen.
jahr, auch, johr, au, joor, au, joor, aa, year, also.
nachbar, nochber, nochbǝr, nochbǝr, neighbor.
nicht, nichts, nit, nix, net, niks, net, niks, not, nothing.
selbiger, seller, tsellǝr, sellǝr, that one.
[p. 48] es ist jetzt, 's isch jetz, ǝs isch jetz, s isch jetz, it is now.
etwas, ebbes, eppǝs, ebbǝs, eppǝs, something.
nunmehr, nummee, (nimmǝ), nummi, now.
darunter, runter, (nuntǝr), runtǝr, under.
als, einem, as, eme, as, ǝmǝ, as, mǝ, as, to a.
man kann, mer kann, m'r kann, mǝr kann, one can.
sie haben, sie hen, han, sii haan, sii hen, they have.
wir sind, mer sin, m'r sin, m'r sin, we are.
weiszt, wescht, weischt, weescht, knowest.
das, hat, des, het, des, hot, des, hǝt, the, has.

In the next three lines of Breisgauish (Radlof, 2, 95) words which agree more or less with PG. are in italic—

"Do isch au kei Plätzle meh,   Here is also no spot more,
Wu i könnt mi Haupt[58] hinlege,   where I might my head repose,
Wenn i vun der Arbet geh."   when I from my work depart.

The following (Radlof, 2, 92) is also in the Breisgau dialect:

Siehsch de, Kind, de Regeboge,...
Gel, das isch e Pracht vun Farbe,...
Noeh het jetz mit de Sine
E Johannisfirle g'macht,
Un in Herrlikeit un Pracht
Isch der Herr debi erschine,
Un zum Noeh het er g'sproche:
Guck, e Zeiche setz i fest,
Wil de Fride mit mer hest,
's Wort des hab i niemol broche
Un de Herr het's Wort au g'halte,
Den der Regeboge steht,
Wenn Gott au im Wetter geht,
Un er loszt de Zorn nit walte.
  Seest thou child the rainbow,...
truly it is a glory of color,...
Noah has now with (the) his [people]
made a (midsummer) Johannes-fire[59]
and in splendor and glory
the Lord (dabei) thereat appeared,
and to Noah has he spoken:
Behold, a sign I firmly set
whilst thou (hast) keepst peace with me,
the word—that have I never broken
and the Lord has the word also kept,
for the rainbow stands
whenever God goes in the tempest,
and he (läszt) allows not (den) the anger to rule.


[47] G. gelb, Ohg. gelo, Swiss, etc., gäl yellow.

[48] Not PG. ærpsǝ, G. erbsen (peas), but a form of erdbeere (strawberry).

[49] G. Ich habe nichts lieber gethan. (G. adj. and adv. lieber, adverbialised with -s.) Nothing would I rather have done.

[50] The word is "schwœhl" in the original—probably borrowed from the local English word swale. Wuu, G. wo, where. The author was born in 1816, at Niagara, in a small colony which had emigrated from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania—his father in 1811. The colony received additions about the year 1830.

[51] = at once. Dr. Jones, 1701, gives 'wæns, wænst' as the English pronunciation in Shropshire and some parts of Wales. Buchanan, 1766, gives 'wæns' as correct English.—A. J. Ellis.

[52] Die Sprache der Luxemburger. Luxemburg, 1855.

[53] This word varies to heer, and horch may be used.

[54] Here hii˛ is given for the rhyme, the proper word being G. da, PG. 'doo.' On this account the Rev. D. Ziegler makes the following variation on my version—

Sii noochbǝr was mei, freet iss,
Wann ich im gærtli schtee,
Gærn heer ich frii am sundaak
Dii kærchǝbellǝ geh.

[55] This was written before the Franco-German war which re-annexed Alsatia to Germany. When I read out the first example in Chapter VIII. (Wiidǝr aa˛geschmiirt), to the Philological Society, on communicating this paper, 3 June, 1870, Dr. E. Mall, an Alsatian, who was present, remarked that it reminded him throughout of his native dialect, of which he thoroughly recognized the pronunciation. I may remark that I have never heard PG. pronounced, although I have heard Austrian, Saxon, Rhenish, Bavarian, and Swiss dialects, and read solely by the phonetic orthography here given.—A. J. Ellis.

[56] F. E. Petri (Handbuch der Fremdwörter, 1845) explains Spargimént or Spargemént as "ein ausgestreutes Gerücht, Ausgesprenge, Geträtsch oder Gerede; Aussprengsel," in short, gossip or idle talk, evidently from Latin spargere.—A. J. Ellis.

[57] Compare Goethe's Faust

Faust. Mein schönes Fräulein, darf ich wagen,
Meinen Arm und Geleit Ihr anzutragen?

Margarete. Bin weder Fräulein, weder schön,
Kann ungeleitet nach Hause gehn.—A. J. E.

[58] Scarcely PG., 'kǝp' (G. kopf) being used.

[59] See Pulleyn's Etym. Compendium, 1853, at BONE-FIRES. [See also, Jacob Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, pp. 567-597, for fires generally, and pp. 583-593, for these Midsummer fires in particular.—A. J. Ellis.]

[p. 49]



§ 1. Wiidǝr aa˛geschmiirt.

¶ 1. Dass dii meed ǝn wunnǝrbaarǝr schtǝff sin, wen [wann?] sii f'r mennǝ ausgrukǝ, wærd iir aa schun ausgefunnǝ hawǝ. Sii sin so schlippǝrich wii ǝn fisch, un wan m'r meent m'r hätt eens fescht, dan knabbǝrt 's schun an nǝr annǝrǝ ang'l.

Tricked again.That the maidens are a wondrous matter if they (ausgucken) look out for husbands (werdet Ihr) will you (auch) also have (schon) already discovered. They are as slippery as a fish, and when one supposes (subjunctive er hätte) he might have one fast, (it nibbles) there is already nibbling at (einer andern) another hook.

¶ 2. Ich hab eich do schun foor 'sǝm' tseit tsrik f'rtseelt, wii ich mit d'r 'Hænnǝ' ei˛kummǝ bin, un was f'r 'kælkǝleesch'nss' dass ich gemacht hab f'r n 'schtoor' úftsusétsǝ an dem alti Schniipikl seinǝr kreits-schtross.

I have recounted (euch) to you here 'some' time ago, how I paid attentions to 'Hannah,' and the 'calculations' that I made to set up [an English idiom] a 'store' at old Schniepickel's Crossroads.

¶ 3. 'Well,' selli tseit hab ich mich bei d'r 'Hænnǝ' wiischt aa˛geschmiirt gefunnǝ (kfunnǝ), f'r ich hab gemeent, dass sii niimand sunscht 'gleichǝ,' un liiwǝr drei moonat lang gebrootǝnǝ rattǝ fressǝ deet, wii an eenighǝr annǝrǝr kærl tsu denkǝ—

'Well,' that time I found myself badly[60] tricked with 'Hannah,' for I believed that she 'liked' nobody else, and (thät lieber fressen) would rather devour fried rats three months long, than to think on any other fellow;

¶ 4. un dii 'seem' tseit hat sii dem 'Sæm' Hinnǝrbee˛ 'kumpanii' gewwǝ, un tsu annǝri ksaat, sii wǝtt sich liiwǝr ufhenkǝ un [p. 50] d'r hals mit d'r hǝls-seeg apschneidǝ, as so ǝn alt 'griinharn' wii mich heiǝrǝ.

and the 'same' time she gave 'Sam' Hinterbein 'company' and said to others, she would rather hang herself and cut off the neck with the wood-saw (als) than to marry such an old greenhorn as me.

¶ 5. Du kannscht diir denkǝ, dass mich sel f'rtsernt hǝt un dass ich mei˛ 'plæns' weeghǝ schtoorhaltǝ an dem kreitsweek pletslich ge-ennǝrt hab.

You can imagine to yourself that that (verzürnt) angered me, and that (plötzlich) suddenly I (habe geändert) changed my plans about storekeeping at the Crossway.

¶ 6. Ich hab mich dann ǝn bissl rúmgegúkt un gefúnnǝ dass drǝwǝ an d'r 'Passǝm krik' ǝn 'neisi opning' f'r n tíchtighǝr 'schmærtǝr' kærl wii ich eenǝr bin, wær.

I then looked me (ein biszchen herum) a little round and (gefunden) found that (droben) up on 'Possum creek' was a 'nice opening' for a (tüchtig tight) capable 'smart' fellow, as I am one.

¶ 7. Dart am ek wuunt d'r alt 'Eeb' Windbeissǝr uf m groosi schtik land; dem sei˛ 'Meeri' hǝt m'r 'ǝbaut' aa˛kschtannǝ, un allǝs sunscht dart rum hǝt m'r recht guut gefállǝ (kfallǝ), juscht hǝt dii 'Meeri' so gaar eewich fiil schweschtǝr un briidǝr, dass als kee˛ plats f'r uns tswee im haus waar, un in dii scheir geeǝ musstǝ, wann m'r mit ǝn-annǝr schwetsǝ wǝttǝ.

There on the corner lives old 'Abe' Windbeisser on a large piece (of) land; whose 'Mary about' pleased me, and all (sonst dort herum) besides there-about pleased me right well, only Mary had (gar ewig so viel) quite ever so many sisters and brothers, that (there) was always no place for us two in the house, and (we) must go in the barn when we would speak with oneanother.

¶ 8. Sell hǝt m'r 'ǝf-koors' net so árik aa˛kschtannǝ, awǝr (aawǝr) dii Meeri hǝt gemeent des wær niks, m'r misst sich ewwǝ tsu helfǝ wissǝ.

That 'of-course' was not so very agreeable to me, but Mary considered that to be nothing; one must know (eben) exactly how to help one's self.

¶ 9. En tseit lang iss 'nau' allǝs guut gangǝ, meini 'kælkǝleeschǝnss' waarǝ wiidǝr 'reddi' un dii Meeri hǝt mir tsu f'rschteeǝ gewwǝ, dass ich eenichǝ tseit mit iirǝm daadi schwetsǝ un dann d'r parrǝr [and parrǝ] beschtéllǝ kennt.

[p. 51]

(For) some time 'now' all went well, my 'calculations' were again 'ready,' and Mary had given me to understand that any time I could speak with her (Swiss dädi) father, and then engage the minister.

¶ 10. 'Well,' d'r neekscht sundaak, ich hab iim ksaat dass ich un sei˛ Meeri unsǝr meind ufgemacht hättǝ tsu heiǝrǝ, un froog iin ep ær eenich eppǝs [or ebbǝs] dageeghǝ hätt. Nee˛, secht ær, ich hab niks dageeghǝ, aawǝr hǝscht du dann dii 'Mændǝ' heit kseene?

'Well' the next Sunday I told him that I and his Mary had (English idiom) made up our 'mind' to marry, and asked him (ob) if he had (einiges etwas) any(some)thing there-against. No, (sägt, for G. sagte) said he, I have nothing against it—but have you seen 'Amanda' to-day?

¶ 11. "Iir hen mich lets f'rschtannǝ," saag ich, "ich will dii Meeri heiǝrǝ, net dii Mændǝ." (Du muscht wissǝ, dii Mændǝ iss 'ǝbaut' seks joor eltǝr wii dii Meeri un net neekscht soo guutgukich.)

"You have understood me [Swiss and SG. letz] wrongly," say I, "I wish to marry 'Mary' and not 'Amanda'." (You must know, 'Amanda' is 'about' six years older than 'Mary,' and not (next) near so goodlooking.)

¶ 12. "Joo, ich hab dich recht guut f'rschtannǝ, aawǝr du bischt noch net 'ufgepooscht.' Geschtǝr marighǝ iss dii Mændǝ nooch 'Hen' Greifdaalǝrs 'schtoor' un hǝt sich eppǝs kaaft—'Griischǝn' Bendǝr glaab ich heescht sii des ding.

"Yes, I have understood you right well, but you are not yet 'posted' up. Yesterday morning 'Amanda' went to 'Hen.' Gripedollar's 'store' and bought herself something—'Grecian' Bend (pun on bend and bänder, ribbons,) I believe she calls the thing.

¶ 13. "Wii dii Meeri sel geseenǝ (or kseenǝ) hat, wærd sii gans (or gants) närrisch dofoor, un fangt aa˛ mit d'r Mændǝ tsu handlǝ, weil d'r 'schtoorkiipǝr' juscht dii eéntsighǝ maschiin katt hǝt.

When Mary saw it she becomes quite silly (dafür) for it, and begins to bargain with Amanda, as the 'storekeeper' (hat gehabt) had but the single machine.

¶ 14. "Well, sii sin net eenich [geworden] warrǝ bis geeghǝ oowǝt, un dann hen sii 'ǝgriid,' das dii Meeri dich tsu d'r Mændǝ ufgept, un dii Meeri dii Griischǝn Bendǝr kriikt!"

[p. 52]

"Well, they were not (einig) in accord till (gegen abend) towards evening, and then they 'agreed' that Mary would give you up to Amanda, and she should get the Grecian Bend."

¶ 15. F'rschwappt? Mich uf den 'Griischǝn', Bendǝr 'f'rschwappt,' oone mich ærscht tsu frooghǝ?!

'Swapped'! Me 'swapped' on the Grecian Bend, (ohne mich erst zu fragen) without first asking me?!

¶ 16. "So schteet s 'nau,' dii Mændǝ is drunnǝ im kuuschtall, wann du fĭleicht ærscht mit iir dǝrweeghǝ schwetsǝ witt."

"So stands it 'now,' Amanda is (darunter) down there at the stable, if you perhaps (willst) will first speak with her about it."

¶ 17. Ich? mit iir dǝrweeghǝ schwetsǝ? Iss gaar net nootwennich! Wann mich deini meed kaafǝ, f'rkaafǝ un f'rschwappǝ kennǝ, dann sollǝ sii aa seenǝ, dass sii mich kriighǝ. 'Guutbei.'

I? speak with her about it? (It) is quite unnecessary. If your girls (können kaufen) can buy, sell, and 'swap' me, then (sollen sie auch sehen) shall they also see that they get me. 'Goodby.'

¶ 18. Ich wees net was dii Windbeissǝr meed[61] mit un oone Griischǝn Bendǝr fun miir denkǝ, aawǝr was ich fun iinǝ denk wees ich, wærd diir s aawǝr 'ennihau' net saaghǝ.

I know not what the Windbeisser girls with and without Grecian Bend think of me, (aber ich weiss) but I know what I think of them—but will 'anyhow' not tell it to you.

¶ 19. 'Nau' hab ich im sinn noch eé˛mool[62] tsu prowiirǝ, sobál ich n 'tschænss' ausfinn, un wann m'r s aa dann net glikt, geb ich s uf un wærd ǝn altǝr 'bætschǝlǝr.'[63]

I now have in mind (zu probîren) to try yet (einmal) once, as soon as I find out a 'chance,' and if it also prospers not then with me, I will give it up and be an old 'bachelor.'

§ 2. Wii kummt ǝs?

¶ 1. Ich lees eiǝr tseitung 'reglǝr' alli woch, un weil ich alsfart so fiil nei-ichkeit'n drin lees, do bin ich schun oft (ǝft) uf dii 'nosch'n' [gekommen] kummǝ iir [müsset] misst allǝs wissǝ.

[p. 53]

How comes it? I read (euer) your journal 'regular' every week, and as I constantly read so many novelties in it, (da then) have I indeed often come to the 'notion' you must know everything.

¶ 2. Wann epper sich ufhengt, ǝdǝr heiǝrt, ǝdǝr eppǝs schteelt, ǝdǝr gærn ǝn guuti 'affis' hätt, ǝdǝr in dii 'tscheel' kummt, ǝdǝr sich n fing-er apschneidt, ǝdǝr sei˛ 'plats' f'rkaaft, ǝdǝr n hinkl schteelt, ǝdǝr 'guuf'rniir´' wærrǝ will, ǝdǝr im 'gǝttǝr' kfunnǝ wært, ǝdǝr seini tseitung net betsaalt, dann kann m'r sich druf f'rlassǝn, dass ǝs in dii tseitung kummt.

If (Swiss epper, masc. of G. etwas,) anyone hangs himself, or marries, or steals (G. etwas) anything, or would like to have a good 'office,' or gets into 'jail,' or cuts himself a finger off, or sells his 'place' (or farm), or steals a chicken, or wishes to become 'governor,' or is [gefunden] found in the 'gutter,' or does not pay for his journal, then one can depend upon it that it gets into the newspaper.

¶ 3. Ich bin ǝn altǝr bauǝr un f'rschtee net fiil, un weil iir alles tsu wissǝ scheint, doo will ich eich ǝmoól ǝn paar sachǝ frooghǝ, dii ich gærn wissǝ deet.

I am an old farmer and do not understand much, and as you seem to understand everything, I will here ask you once several things, which I would like to know.

¶ 4. Wii kummt ǝs, dass dii jung-i bauǝrǝbuuwǝ graad brillǝn un schtǝk traaghǝ missǝ, wann sii in dii 'kallitsch' [geschickt werden] kschikt wærrǝ? Ich hab als gemeent ich wollt mei˛ 'Sæm' aa in dii 'kallitsch' schikǝ, aawǝr wann dii leit graad schlechti aaghǝ kriighǝ un laam wærrǝ, dann behalt ich mei˛ 'Sæm' liiwǝr dǝheem un lærn iin selwǝr als oowǝts.

How comes it, that the young farmer-boys must immediately carry spectacles and (stöcke) sticks when they are sent to 'college'? I have hitherto thought I would send my 'Sam' to 'college,' but if people immediately get bad eyes and become lame, I will rather keep him at home and teach him myself of evenings.

¶ 5. Wii kummt ǝs, dass deel weipsleit in eirǝm iistan (Easton) soo aarm [sein wollen] sei˛ wellǝ un doch soo lang-i frackschwents uf 'm 'peefmǝnt' noochschleefǝ? [Werden] wærre[64] selli weipsleit betsaalt f'r s 'peefmǝnt' [sauber] sauwǝr tsu haltǝ, ǝdǝr wii [können] kennǝ sii 'affoordǝ' soo aa˛tsugeeǝ?

How comes it, that (theil) part (of the) women in your Easton (sein wollen) pretend to be so poor, and yet (nach-schleifen) drag along [p. 54] such long frock (schwänze) tails on the 'pavement'? Will those women be paid for keeping the 'pavement' clean, else how can they 'afford' to proceed thus?

¶ 6. Wii kummt ǝs, dass dii jung-i buuwǝ selli meed, woo reichi daadis [Swiss dädi] hen, liiwǝr noochschpringǝ als dii aarmi? Gukt sel net als wii wann sii meer uum s geld gewwǝ [thäten] deetǝ als wii uum dii meed? Wann ich ǝn meedl wær un hätt so ǝn 'boo,' dann deet ich iin mit d'r feiǝrtsang fartschtéwǝrǝ.

How comes it, that the young men (lieber nachspringen) sooner run after those girls who have rich [the plural -s is English] fathers, than the poor ones? Looks it not just as if they would give more for the money than for the maid? If I were a girl and had such a 'beau,' (then) I would [stöbern, ö long] drive him forth with the fire-tongs.

¶ 7. Wii kummt ǝs, dass n deel jung-i leit nimmi deitsch leesǝ un schwetsǝ kennǝ, wann sii mool 'jes' un 'noo' saaghǝ kennǝ? Meim [dative for genitive] nochbǝr, dem Maardi Halsbendl sei˛ eltǝst'r [sohn] suu˛, dær so deitsch waar wii saurkraut des schun siwwǝ mool ufgwærmt iss, waar kærtslich ǝmool in d'r schtatt, un wii ær wiid'r heem kummǝ iss, do waar ær so eng-lisch, dass ær schiir gaar nimmi mit seim daadi un mammi schwetsǝ kann. Sii sin 'nau' arik im 'truwl' un sei˛ daadi meent, sii misst'n iin naus nooch Kniphaus'n schikkǝ, f'r iin wiid'r (widr) deitsch tsu machǝ.

How comes it that some young people are no longer able to read and speak German if they only know how to say 'yes' and 'no'? The eldest son of my neighbor Martin Neckband, who was as Dutch as sourcrout which has been warmed up seven times, was once recently a week in town, and when he had returned home again, there was he so English that he could scarcely speak anymore with his father and mother. They are 'now' greatly in 'trouble,' and his father thinks they must send him out to Kniphausen to make him German again.

¶ 8. Wie kummt ǝs, dass dii aarmi leit geweenlich dii meerschtǝn hund un katsǝ hen? Do bei uns wuunt n famíljǝ, dii als bettǝlǝ muss, un dii fiir groosǝ hund un siwwǝ katsǝ hǝt. Sii selwǝr saaghǝ, sii misst'n so fiil hund hawǝ f'r dii diib aptsuhaltǝ.[65]

How comes it, that poor people (gewöhnlich haben) commonly have the most dogs and cats? Here near us lives a family which must always beg, and which has four large dogs and seven cats. They themselves say, they (müszten haben) were obliged to have so many dogs to keep away the thieves.

[p. 55]


Will widd'r Biiwǝli[66] sei˛.     Will be a Boy again.           
¶ 1.   1.
.ǝs reeghǝrt heit, mr kann net naus
un s iss so 'loonsǝm' doo im haus;
mr wees net wii mr fiilt.
ich will mool duu, als wæær ich klee˛
un uf d'r éwǝrscht schpeichǝr gee˛
dart hab ich uftmools kschpiilt.
  It rains to-day, one cannot out,
and t'is so 'lonesome' in the house;
one knows not how one feels,
I will once do as were I small
and in the highest garret go—
there have I ofttimes played.
¶ 2.   2.
.ǝn biiwli bin ich widdǝr jets,
wu sin mei˛ krutsǝ un mei˛ klets?
'nau' wært n haus gebaut!
ǝs schpiilt sich doch net guut alée˛—
ich bin joo doch kee˛ biiwli mee!
was kluppt mei, hærts so laut!
  An urchin am I now again,
where are my corn-cobs and my blocks?
'now' will a house be built!
one plays indeed not well alone—
I am in fact no urchin more!
my heart how loud it beats!
¶ 3.   3.
Harrich! was 'n wunnǝrbaarǝ sach!
d'r reeghǝ rapplt uf 'm dach
gaar nimmi wii ær hǝt!
ich hab 's als kæært mit leichtǝm hærts,
nau gepts m'r arik heemwee schmærts,
kennt heilǝ wan ich wǝt.
  And hark! how wonderful it is!
the rain now rattles on the roof
no more as it once did!
I heard it once with buoyant heart,
but now it gives a home-sick smart,
I coúld weep if I would.
¶ 5.   5.
Des schpiilǝ geet net, sǝl ich fart?
was iss uf selli balkǝ dart?
'nau' bin ich widdǝr buu!
dart hen m'r keschtǝ ausgeschtreit,
tsu dærrǝ uf dii Krischdaak tseit—
deet 's gleichǝ widdǝr duu!
  The play succeeds not, shall I forth?
what is upon that timber there?
'now' I'm a boy again!
there did we spread the chestnuts out
to have them dry for Christmas time—
would 'like' to do t again!
¶ 6.   6.
.ǝn biiwli sei˛—sell iss d'r wært—
dii keschtǝ 'rooschtǝ' uf d'r hært—
was hǝt des als gekracht!
Sell iss forbei. Ich fiil 's im gmiid,[67]
es schpiilt 'n rechtǝs heemwee liid,
d'r reeghǝ uf 'm dach!
  To be a boy—that is worth while—
to 'roast' the chestnuts on the hearth—
what crackling that produced!
t'is gone—I feel that in my soul
it plays a real home-sick tune—
the rain upon the roof!
¶ 7.   7.
Dort schteet dii 'seem' alt walnus kischt,
ich wunnǝr 'nau' was dart drin isch?
's muss eppǝs 'bartich sei˛.
Kallénǝr, tseitung, bichǝr—hoo!
dii alti sachǝ hen sii doo
all sunnǝrscht-sewǝrscht[68] nei˛.
  There stands the 'same' old walnut chest
I wonder 'now' what may be in 't,
it must be something (abartig) rare.
the olden objects have we here
all upside down within.
[p. 56]  
¶ 8.   8.
'Nau' bin ich aawǝr recht ǝn buu,
weil ich do widdǝr seenǝ duu
des alt bekanntǝ sach.
Harrich! hæærscht d'r reeghǝ! 'Jes indiid'—
er schpiilt ǝn rechtǝs heemwee liid
dart oowǝ uf 'm dach!
  But 'now' I truly am a boy
because I now again behold
this old familiar thing.
Hark! Hearst the rain! 'Yes, yes indeed,'
it plays a proper home-sick air
up there upon the roof!
¶ 13.   13.
Sii henkǝ net am balkǝ mee
dii bindlǝ fun dem kreitǝr tee,
un allǝrlee gewærts;
'nau' will ich widdǝr biiwli sei˛—
ich hool sii f'r dii mammi rei˛—
sell 'pliist' mei, biiwli hærts.[69]
  They hang not on the cross-beams more
the bundles of botanic tea,
and every kind of root;
'now' I will be a boy again
and for my mother bring them in—
that 'pleased' my boyish heart.

§ 4. Anglicised German.

The following factitious example, full of English words and idioms, is from a New York German newspaper, and purports to be written by a German resident in America. The spelling recalls the name Heyfleyer over a stall in the stables of the King of Wurtemberg. The writer of the letter spells his name in three ways, instead of 'Schweineberger,' as given in the tale.

Landkäsder, Penſilvenia, North-Amerika, 32. Dezr. 52.

Dheire Mudder!—Du Würſt es nit begreife kenne, alſz ich dort weck bin, hawen alle Leit geſacht, der Hannes werrd nit gud ausmache, das ich jetzt ſo gut ab binn. Awer, well, jetzt g'hör' ich zu de Tſchentel-Leit in unſre Zitti unn eeniger Männ, wo in Iurop en werri fein Männ is, dhät lachche, bikahs er gleichte ſo gut auszumache, als der John Swinebarker.

Obſchon, ich unterſtehe des Büſſeneſſ beſſer as die andre Dotſchmänn, wo eweri Teim ſo ſchlecht edſchukädet bleibe, as ſe in Iurop ware; Wer hier gleicht, gud auszumache, muſz ſich zu de amerikaniſche Tſchentel-Leit halte, wo eweri Männ Something lerne kann.

Du kannſt auch zu mein dheires Eliänorche ſage, das es kommen kann; ſie kann der hohl Däy im Rockel-Schär ſitze, ich ſend hir inkluded ſixtig Dollars, mit das kann ſie über Liwerpuhl und Nujork zu mich komme, und verbleibe Dein moſt zänkvoll Son

John Swineberger.    

Boſchkrippt: Du muſt die Monni for des Bordo auslege; ich will ſend es Dir mit dem nächſte Letter.                 

John Schweinebärker.    


[60] A Swiss use of the G. wüst (waste, confused, wild).

[61] This 'meed' is singular and plural, but the singular is more commonly meedl, SG. maidle, G. mädchen. It differs from maad (sing. and pl. G. magd), a female servant.

[62] Being emphasised, the accent is on the first syllable, while in 'ǝmool' (below § 2, ¶ 3) it is on the second.

[63] Condensed and transliterated from the (German) Bucks County Express, Doylestown, Pa. July 20, 1869.

[64] G. worden becomes 'warrǝ.' See §1, ¶14.

[65] Condensed from the (German) Correspondent & Demokrat, Easton, Pa. Aug. 25, 1869.

[66] The spelling of the original is 'Buwelle,' without the umlaut, which others use. The original has 'owerscht' in the fifth line, but the umlaut is in use, and seems to be required, as in Bavarian.

[67] G. gemüth.

[68] G. das unterste zu oberst (topsy-turvy). Compare PG. 'hinnǝrscht-feddǝrscht' (wrong end foremost).

[69] Transliterated extract from a longer poem in the Father Abraham, Lancaster, Pa. Feb. 1869.

[p. 57]


English Influenced by German.

§ 1. German Words introduced.

If the Germans of Pennsylvania adopted many words from English, the English speaking population applied the appellation of German or Dutch to unfamiliar varieties of objects, such as a Dutch cheese, a German lock; or they adopted the original names, as in calling a form of curds smearcase (G. schmierkäse) in the markets and prices current. German forms of food have furnished the vicinal English with sourcrout, mush, shtreisslers, bretsels, fawstnachts,[70] tseegercase, knep (G. Knöpfe, the k usually pronounced), bower-knep, noodles; and in some of the interior markets, endive must be asked for under the name of 'æntiifi,' even when speaking English. Dutch gives crullers, but stoop (of a house) is hardly known. In English conversation one may hear expressions like "He belongs to the freindschaft" (he is a kinsman or relation); "It makes me greisslich to see an animal killed" (makes me shudder and revolt with disgust—turns my stomach). A strong word without an English equivalent.

The German idiom of using einmal (once) as an expletive, is common, as in "Bring me a chair once," and when a person whose vernacular is English says, "I am through another" (I am confused), he is using a translation of the German durch einander, PG. 'dárich ǝnánnǝr.' Of such introduced words, the following deserve mention.

Metsel-soup, originally pudding broth, the butcher's perquisite, but subsequently applied to a gratuity from the animals he has slaughtered.

[p. 58]

Shinner, G. schinder (a knacker,[71]) an objurgatory epithet applied by butchers to farmers who compete with them in the market.

Speck, the flitch of salt bacon, particularly when boiled with sourcrout, hence, 'speck and sourcrout.'

Tsitterly, calf's-foot jelly.

Hartley, a hurdle for drying fruit.

Snits, a snit (G. schnitz, a cut), a longitudinal section of fruit, particularly apples, and when dried for the kitchen. The term is in use in districts where German is unknown.[72]

Hootsle, PG. hutsl, G. hotzel, a dried fruit; Bavar. and Suab. hutzel, a dried pear. In Pennsylvania, a peach dried without removing the stone.

Dumb (G. dumm) is much used for stupid.

Fockle (G. fackel), a fisherman's torch.

Mother (PG. from G. mutter-weh, not parturition, but) a hysterical rising in the throat. The word occurs in old and provincial English.[73]

Chipmunk, a ground-squirrel (Tamias); chip probably from its cry, and Swiss munk, a marmot.

Spook (G. Spuk), a spectre; and the verb, as—"It spooks there," "The grave-yard spooks."

Crĭstkintly (PG. Krischtkintli, G. Chrĭst Kindlein), the Christ Child who is supposed to load the chrĭstmas trees and bring presents at Christmas. Perverted in the Philadelphia newspapers to Kriss Kringle, Kriss Kingle, and Kriss Kinkle.

Christmas-tree, a well-known word for a well-known and much used object, but absent from the American dictionaries.

Bellsnickle, PG. beltsnikkl (G. Pelz a pelt, skin with hair, as a bear-skin, here used as a disguise, and perhaps associated with peltzen, to pelt,) and Nickel, Nix, in the sense of a demon. (Suab. Pelzmärte, as if based on Martin). A masked and hideously disguised person, who goes from house to house on christmas eve, beating (or pretending to beat) the children and servants, and throwing down nuts and cakes before leaving. A noisy party accompanies him, often with a bell, which has influenced the English name.

[p. 59]

These, I suppose, were Christmas mummers, though I heard them called "Bell-schnickel."—Atlantic Monthly, October, 1869, p. 484.

Gounsh, n. and v.i. As to seesaw implies reciprocal motion, so to gounsh is to move up and down, as upon the free end of an elastic board. PG. 'Kumm, mr wellǝ gaunschǝ.' (Come, let us gounsh.) Suab. gautschen; Eng. to jounce.[74]

Hoopsisaw (PG. húppsisaa, also provincial German). A rustic or low dance, and a lively tune adapted to it. Inferior lively music is sometimes called 'hoopsisaw music,' 'a hoopsisaw tune.'[75]

Hoove, v.i. a command to a horse to back, and used by extension as in "The men hooved (demurred) when required to do more work." Used in both senses in the Swiss hüfen, imperative hüf! and Schmeller (Bayr. Wörterb. 2, 160) gives it as Bavarian.

Hussling-, or Hustling-match, PG. hossl-mætsch (with English match), a raffle. From the root of hustle, the game being conducted by shaking coins in a hat and counting the resulting heads.

Sock up, "to make a man sock up," pay a debt, produce his sack or pouch. This is uncertain, because, were a PG. expression to occur like "Du muscht ufsakkǝ" (you must sock up), it might be borrowed from English.

Boof, peach brandy. In Westerwaldish, buff is water-cider,—cider made by wetting the pomace and pressing it a second time.

Sots, n. sing. G. satz, home-made 'yeast' as distinguished from 'brewer's-yeast.'

Sandman, "The sandman is coming,"—said when children get sleepy about bedtime and indicate it by rubbing the eyes. Used thus in Westerwald and Suabia.[76] Children are warned against touching dirt by the exclamation (bæætschi).

Snoot, for snout, a widespread teutonic form.

[p. 60]

§ 2. Family Names Modified.

With several concurrent languages, the deterioration of names is an obvious process. Among the mixed population of Baltimore, the name 'Bradley' is to a Frenchman Bras-de-long; for 'Strawberry' (alley) and 'Havre-de-grâce' (in Maryland) the Germans say Strubbel, and Hasel-im-gras; and the Irish make the following changes—

Carron (French) Scarron Schöffeler Scofield
Coquerelle Corcoran van Dendriessche Driscol
de Vries Freezer van Emstede Hampsted
Giessen Gleason Winsiersski Winchester
Grimm Grimes Fayette Street Faith St.
Henning Hannon Alice Ann St. Alexander St.
Rosier Rosetree Happy Alley Apple Alley

A German with a name which could not be appreciated, was called John Waterhouse because he attended a railroad tank—a name which he adopted and placed upon his sign when he subsequently opened a small shop. A German family became ostensibly Irish by preferring the sonant phase of their initial—calling and writing themselves Grady instead of Krady; a name 'Leuter' became Lander; 'Amweg' was tried a while as Amwake and then resumed; and in a family record, the name 'George' is given as Schorts. A postoffice 'Chickis' (Chikiswalungo—place where crayfish burrow) received a letter directed to Schickgets, another Schickens Laenghaester Caunte, and 'Berks County' has been spelled Burgix Caunte.[77]

The following German and Anglicised forms may be compared,—

Albrecht Albright Leitner Lightner
Bachman Baughman Leybach Libough
Becker Freeauf Mayer Moyer
Dock Duck Meyer Mire
Eberhardt Everhart Mosser Musser
Eberle Everly Mosseman Musselman
Eckel Eagle Neumeyer Narmire
Ege[78] Hagy? Noll Null
Ewald Evalt Nüssli Nicely, Nissly
Fehr Fair Oberholtzer Overholser
[p. 61] Frey (free) Fry Pfautz Fouts, Pouts
Früauf Freeauf Pfeiffer Pyfer
Fusz (foot) Foose Reif (ripe) Rife
Geisz (goat) Gise Reisinger Riesinger
Gerber Garber Riehm Ream
Giebel Gibb Roth (red) Roath, Rote
Gräff Graff, -o, -ae Ruth Root
Guth Good, Goot Schellenberger Shallyberger[80]
Haldeman Holderman[79] Schenk Shank
Herberger Harberger Scheuerman Shireman
Hinkel Hinkle Schnebele Snavely
Hofman Hoofman Schneider Snyder, Snider
Huber Hoover Seip Sype, Sipe
Kaufman Coffman Seipel Seiple, Sible
Kaufroth Cuffroot Seitz Sides
Kehler Kaylor Senz Sense
Kochenauer Goughnour Spraul Sprowl
Koick Cowhawk Stambach Stambough
Krauskopf Krosskop Strein Strine
Kreider Crider Valentin Felty
Kreybil Graypeel WeltzhuBer BeltzhooVer[81]
Kühnlein Coonly, -ley Wetter Fetter
Kutz Kutts Wĭld Wilt

So 'Schleyermacher' passed thro Slaremaker to Slaymaker; and by a similar process, farther changes may take place, like Mutsch to Much, Bertsch to Birch, Brein to Brine, Schutt to Shoot or Shut, Rüppel to Ripple, Knade (gnade grace) to Noddy, Buch to Book, Stahr to Star, Fing-er to Fin-ger, Melling-er to Mellin-jer, Stilling-er[82] to Stillin-jer, Cōver to Cŏver, Fuhrman to Foreman, Rohring[83] to Roaring, Gehman to Gayman.

Names are sometimes translated, as in Stoneroad for 'Steinweg,' Carpenter for both 'Schreiner' and 'Zimmermann,' and both Short and Little for 'Kurz' or 'Curtius.'

Part of a name may be anglicised, as in Finkbine, Espenshade, Trautwine—where the first syllable has the German sound. Fentzmaker is probably a condensation of Fenstermacher.

It is remarkable that speakers of German often use English forms of baptismal names, as Mary for Marîa, Henry for [p. 62] Heinrich, and John (tschan, shorter than the medial English sound) for Johannes.[84]

Of curious family names without regard to language, the following may be recorded—premising that proper names are especially subject to be made spurious by the accidents of typography.[85]

Ahl, Awl, Ammon, Annĕ, Barndollar, Baud, Bezoar, Bigging, Blades, Bohrer, Boring, Book, Bracken, Bricker (bridger), Buckwalter, Burkholder and Burchhalter (burg-holder), Byler, Candle, Candour, Care, Case, Channell, Chronister, Condit, Cooher, Cumberbus (Smith's Voyage to Guinea, 1744), Curgus or Circus, Dehoof, Dialogue, Ditto, Dosh, Eave, Eldridge (in part for Hildreth), Erb, Eyde, Eyesore (at Lancaster, Pa.), Fassnacht (G. fastnacht shrovetide), Feather, Ferry (for the Walloon name Ferree[86]); Friday, Fornaux, Furnace, Gans (goose, Gansert, Gensemer, Grossgensly), Gift (poison), Ginder, Gruel, Gutmann (good-man) Hag (hedge), Harmany, Hecter, Hepting, Herd, Heard, Hergelrat (rath counsel), Hinderer, Hock, Holzhauer and Holzhower (woodchopper), Honnafusz (G. hahn a cock), Kash, Kitch, Koffer, Landtart, Lawer, Leis, Letz, Licht, Line, Lipp, Lœb (lion), Lœwr (at St. Louis), Mackrel, Manusmith, Matt, Marrs, Mehl, Mortersteel, Mowrer (G. maur a wall), Napp, Neeper (Niebuhr?), Nohaker, Nophsker, Ochs, Over, Oxworth, Peelman, Penas (in Ohio), Pfund, Popp, Poutch, Quirk, Rathvon (Rodfong, Rautfaung), Road, Rottenstein (in Texas), Rutt, Sangmeister, Scheuerbrand, Schlegelmilch, Schlong (snake), Schœttel, Segar, Seldomridge, Senn, Service (in Indiana), Shaver, Shilling, Shinover, Shock, Shot, Showers, Skats (in Connecticut), Smout, Spoon, Springer, Steer (in Texas), Stern, Stetler, Stormfeltz, Strayer, Stretch, Stridle, Sumption, Surgeon, Swoop (a Suabian), Test, Tise, Tice (Theiss?), Tittles, Towstenberier, Tyzat (at St. Louis), Umble, Venus, Venerich,-rik, Vestal (in Texas), Vinegar('s Ferry, on the Susquehanna), Vogelsang, Wallower, Waltz, Wolfspanier, Wonder, Woolrick (for Wulfrich?), Work, Worst, Yaffe, Yecker, Yeisley, Yordea, Zeh, Zugschwerdt.

[p. 63]

Among the following curious, incompatible, or hĭbrid[87] names, titles (except that of 'General') have been mistaken for proper names—Horatio Himmereich, Owen Reich, Caspar Reed, Dennis Loucks, Baltzer Stone, Addison Shelp, Paris Rudisill, Adam Schuh, Erasmus Buckenmeyer, Peter Pence, General Wellington H. Ent, General Don Carlos Buel, Don Alonzo Cushman, Sir Frank Howard, Always Wise (probably for Alŏîs Weiss). In November, 1867, Gilbert Monsieur Marquis de Lafayette Sproul, asked the legislature of Tennessee to cut off all his names but the last two.


[70] Shrove-tide cakes—with the PG. pronunciation, except st.

[71] G. Knochen (bones).

[72] A teacher asked a class—If I were to cut an apple in two, what would you call one of the pieces? "A half." And in four? "A fourth." And if I cut it in eight equal pieces, what would one of them be? "A snit!"


Compare—O, how this mother swells up toward my heart!
Hysterica passio, thou climbing sorrow,
Thy element's below.—King Lear, act 2, sc. 4, speech 20, v. 54.

A. J. Ellis.

[74] The German word appears to be gautschen without the n. So Schmeller (Bayerisches Wörterbuch, 2, 87) "gautschen, getschen, schwanken, schaukeln." Adelung (Wörterbuch der hochdeutschen Mundart, 2, 439) explains it as a technical paper-maker's word for taking the sheets out of the mould and laying them upon the press-board, Gautschbret. He adds that a carrying chair was formerly called a Gautsche, and refers it to Kutsche and French coucher.—A. J. E.

[75] Compare Papageno's song in Mozart's Zauberflöte:

Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja
Stets lustig, heisa, hopsasa.—A. J. Ellis.

[76] Known probably throughout England. Known to me, a Londoner, from earliest childhood.—A. J. Ellis.

[77] The geographical names at the close of Chapter I. p. 6, are Kentucky, Safe Harbor, Syracuse, and Pinegrove. The drags are aloes (pronounced as in Latin!), paregoric, citrine ointment, acetic acid, hiera piera, cinnamon, Guiana pepper, gentian, cinchona, opium, hive syrup, senna and manna mixed, sulphate of zink, corrosive sublimate, red precipitate, aniline, logwood, Epsom salts, magnesia, cordial, cubebs, bichromate of potash, valerian (G. Baldrian), laurel berries, cochineal.

[78] Rhymes plaguey, even in English localities.

[79] As if from the plant elder, instead of Swiss halde, a steep or declivity—the name being Swiss.

[80] And Shellabarger, American Minister to Portugal, 1869.

[81] The 'b' and 'v' of the two forms have changed place.

[82] These names, with Rauch, Bucher, the Scotch Cochran, etc., are still pronounced correctly in English speaking localities in Pennsylvania; and at Harrisburg, 'Salade' rhymes holid'y.

[83] The organists Thunder and Rohr gave a concert in Philadelphia some years ago. In New York I have seen the names 'Stone and Flint,' and 'Lay and Hatch,' where the proper name takes precedence.

[84] In the following inscription on a building, 'bei' instead of 'von' shows an English influence. The author knew English well: was a member of the state legislature, had a good collection of English—but not of German books—and yet preferred a German inscription—


Inscriptions are commonly in the roman character, from the difficulty of cutting the others.

[85] As in 'Chladori' for Chladni, in the American edition of the Westminster Review for July, 1865. The name Slyvons stands on the title-page as the author of a book on Chess (Bruxelles, 1856), which M. Cretaine in a similar work (Paris, 1865) gives as Solvyns. Upon calling Mr. C.'s attention to this point, he produced a letter from the former, signed Solvyns.

[86] The forms of this name are Ferree, Ferrie, Fuehre, Ferie, Verre, Fiere, Firre, Ferry, Feire, Fire; and as 'Ferree' is now pronounced Free, this may be a form also. In the year 1861, when in Nassau, I observed that the English visitors pronounced the name of a building in four modes, one German and three not German—Bâdhaus, Bath-house, Bad-house, and Bawd-house.

[87] Latin HIBRIDA. I have marked the first English syllable short to dissociate it from the high-breed of gardeners and florists, which 'hȳbrid' suggests.

[p. 64]


Imperfect English.

§ 1. Broken English.

Specimens of English as badly spoken by Germans who have an imperfect knowledge of it, are common enough, but they seldom give a proper idea of its nature. The uncertainty between sonant and surd is well known, but like the Cockney with h, it is a common mistake to suppose that the misapplication is universal,[88] for were this the case, the simple rule of reversal would set the speakers right in each case.

It is true that the German confounds English t and d, but he puts t for d more frequently than d for t. In an advertisement cut from a newspaper at Schwalbach, Nassau, in 1862—

Ordres for complet Diners or simples portions is punctually attented to and send in town—

there seems to be a spoken reversal of t and d, but I take 'send' to be an error of grammar, the pronunciation of the speaker being probably attentet, and sent. "Excuse my bad riding" (writing) is a perversion in speech. A German writes 'dacke' take, 'de' the, 'be' be, 'deere' deer, 'contra' country, and says:—

I am æbple [able] to accommodeted with any quantity of dis kins of Ruts [kinds of roots]. Plies tirectad to ... Sout Frond Stread ... nort america.

Here there is an attempt at the German flat p (p. 11) in the b of 'able'; the surd th of 'north' and 'south' becomes t, and the sonant th of 'this' becomes d—'with' remaining under the old spelling. The p of 'please' remains, but d of 'direct' becomes t; and while final t of 'front' and 'street' becomes [p. 65] d, the first t in 'street,' and that in 'directed,' are kept pure by surd s and cay. The rule of surd to surd and sonant to sonant is neglected in most of the factitious specimens of broken English.

The next is an instructive and a genuine example, being the record of a Justice of the Peace in Dauphin County (that of Harrisburg, the State Capital). It will be observed that the complainant bought a house, and being refused possession, makes a forcible entry and is resisted. The spelling is irregular, as in 'come' and 'com,' 'the' and 'de,' 'did' and 'dit,' 'then' and 'den,' 'nothin' and 'nosing,' 'house' and 'hause,' 'put' and 'but,' 'open' and 'upen.'

The said ... sait I dit By de hause and I went in de hause at de back winder and den I dit upen de house and Dit take out his forniture and nobotty Dit disstorbe me till I hat his forniture out; I did but it out in de streat Before the house; and then he dit Com Wis a barl and dit nock at the dore that the Dore dit fly open and the molding dit Brack louse[89] and then I dit Wornt him not to come in the hause and not to put anneysing in the hause and he dit put in a barl Into the hause and I did put it out and he dit put it in again and then he did put In two Sisses[90] and srout the barl against Me; and then I dit nothin out anneymore and further nosing more; Sworn & Subscript the Dey and yeare above ritten before me.... J. P.—Newspaper.

The beginning and close follow a legal formula. The PG. idiom which drops the imperfect tense runs through this, in expressions such as 'I did open,' 'I did put,' 'I did warned,' etc.; but as might be expected, the English idiom is also present, in 'I went' and 'he throwed.' Making allowance for reminiscences of English spelling, and the accidents of type, this is an excellent specimen of the phases of English from German organs. It shows that sonants and surds do not always change place, as in did, nobody, disturb, out, that, not, [p. 66] come, which are not necessarily turned into tit, nopotty, tisdurp, oud, dad, nod, gum.[91]

In the foregoing example, the final t of went (where some might have expected 'wend'), dit for 'did,' hat for 'had,' streat, wornt for 'warned,' put, srout for 'throwed,' and subscript,—is for Latin -AT -US, English -ed, and as this is t in German, it is retained by the language instinct, even when represented by 'd,' as in gol-d. Were there not something different from mere accident here, Grimm's Law would be a delusion. The t of out, disturb, and the first one in street, is due to the surd s beside it, or in the German aus and strasze.

In the, de; then, den; wis; anneysing, nosing; srout, the sonant th becomes d by glottōsis,[92] and the surd one s by otōsis, or t by glottosis also, and 'nothing' is more likely to become nossing or notting, than nodding—and English z is not known to many German dialects. On the other hand, z as the representative of sonant th, is legitimate in the broken English of a Frenchman.

The p of 'open' and the g of 'against' are influenced by the German forms öffnen and gegen.

In "I dit nothin out annezmore"—any is made plural, and 'did out' (for the previous 'put out') seems to be a reminiscence of the German austhun.

§ 2. The Breitmann Ballads.

In these ballads Mr. Leland has opened a new and an interesting field in literature which he has worked with great success, for previous writers wanted the definite, accurate knowledge which appears in every page of Hans Breitmann, and which distinguishes a fiction like the Lady of the Lake from a [p. 67] figment like Hiawatha. Here we have an attempt to represent the speech of a large class of Europèan[93] Germans who have acquired English imperfectly, and who must not be confounded with the Pennsylvania German, altho the language of the two may have many points in common.

Apart from their proper function, and under their present spelling, the Breitmann ballads have but little philologic value. Instead of being the representative of an average speech, they contain forms which can hardly occur, even when influenced by the perversity of intentional exaggeration, such as shbeed, shdare, shdory, ghosdt, exisdt, lefdt, quesdions, excepdion, and where the sonant d occurs beside the surd sh, f, and t, in the lines:—

'De dimes he cot oopsetted1   1 oopsettet.
In shdeerin lefdt und righdt.2   2 G. recht.
Vas ofdener3 as de cleamin shdars4   3 G. öfter       4 shtarrss.
Dat shtud de shky5 py6 nighdt.'   5 sky.       6 G. bei.

In these pages an average speech is assumed as the basis of comparison, and also the average German who does one thing or avoids another in language. In such examples of bad English, surd and sonant (p,b; t,d; k,gay) must be confused, and German words like 'mit' for with, and 'ding' (rather than 'ting' or 'sing') for thing, may be introduced at discretion, as in Mr. Leland's use of ding, mit, blitzen, erstaunished (for -isht), Himmel, shlog, and others.

[p. 68]

When German and English have the same phrase, it should be preserved, book (G. buch) has a sonant initial and a surd final in both languages; a German therefore, who brings his habits of speech into English, will not be likely to call a book a boog, poog, or pook; and Mr. Leland's habits as a German scholar have led him to write book, beer (and bier), fear, free, drink, denn, trink, stately, plow, born, dokter, togeder, hart (hard), heart, tead (dead), fought, frolic, goot, four, hat (had, hat,—but in the latter sense it should have been het), toes, dough (though), tousand, pills, etc. Under this rule, his 'ploot' and 'blood' (G. blut) should have been blut:—

benny penny dwice tvice pefore before prown brown
blace place fifdy fifty pegin begin py by
blaster plaster giss kiss pehind behint prow brow
breest priest led let plue blue sed to set
creen green mighdy mighty pone bone streed shtreet
deers tears pack n. back prave brafe veet feet
dell tell pall băll pranty brandy vifdeen fifteen
den ten peard beart preak break vine fine
dwelve tvelf pecause becauss prings bringss wide vite

In cases where the two languages do not agree in phase, either phase may be taken, as in 'troo' or 'droo' for English through with a surd initial, beside German durch with a sonant; but as German cognate finals are more likely to be surd than sonant (as in lockwouth for logwood at the end of Ch. I. p. 6), goot, hart and holt, as breitmannish forms, are better than good, hard, and hold. Mr. Leland practically admits this, as in 'barrick' (G. berg, a hill), which, however, many will take for a barrack.[94] The following have a different phase in German and English:—

day tay door toor -hood -hoot red ret
ding ting dream tream hund- huntert said set
dirsty tirsty drop trop middle mittle saddle sattle
done tone fader fater pad path drink trink

but k, and the pure final German s would turn d to t in 'bridges,' 'brackdise,' 'outsides,' 'holds,' 'shpirids;' it would turn g to k in 'rags,' and it makes 'craps' (crabs) correct. The power of English z can scarcely be said to belong to average German, or to the breitmannish dialect; it should therefore be ss in 'doozen,' 'preeze' (breeze), and 'phaze.' When it is present it occurs initial, and we have 'too zee' once, against numerous s initials like see, sea, say, so, soul, six.

The ballads have many irregularities in spelling like—as, ash; is, ish; one, von; two, dwo; dwelf, dwelve, twelve, zwölf (for tvelf); chor, gorus; distants, tisaster; dretful; tredful; eck (the correct form), egg; het, head, headt; groundt, cround, croundt; land, lantlord, Marylandt; shpirid, shpirit, shbirit; drumpet, trumpet; foorst, foost, first, virst; fein, vine; went, vent; old, olt, oldt; teufel, tyfel, tuyfel.

[p. 69]

English J is placed in soobjectixe, objectified, jail, jammed, juice, jump (shoomp, choomp); it is represented by sh in shoost, shiant, shinglin; by ch (correctly) in choin, choy, choke, enchine; by g, dg in change, hedge; and by y in Yane and soobjectifly—which is not objectionable. English Ch remains in catch, child, chaps (and shaps), fetch, sooch, mooch; and it becomes sh in soosh (such), shase, sheek.

English Sh is proper in shmoke, shmile, shplit, shpill, shpoons, shtart, shtick, shtrike, shtop, shvear; it is omitted in smack, stamp, slept; and it is of doubtful propriety in ash (as), ashk, vash (was), elshe, shkorn, shkare, shky.

English D final is often written dt that the word may be recognised and the sound of t secured, as in laidt, roadt, shouldt, vouldt, findt, foundt, roundt (and round), vordt (and vord), obercoadt. English ed and its equivalents should be et or t in broken English, as in loadet, reconet, pe-markt, riset, signet, rollet, seemet, slightet, declaret, paddlet, mate (made), kilt; -ed being wrong, as in said, coomed, bassed, scared, trinked, smashed, rooshed, bleased.

English F, V, W, receive the worst treatment, and are judged by the eye rather than by speech. German folgen and English follow are turned into 'vollow'; German weil is 'vhile' and 'while.' Other examples are wind and vindow; vhen, vhenefer (turning not only German v, but English v into f), fery for very,—but svitch, ve (we), veight, vink, are proper. The following example is from 'Schnitzerl's Philosopede'—

'Oh vot ish all1 dis eartly pliss?   1 ol in folly.
Oh, vot ish4 man's soocksess?2   2 sooccess.
Oh, vot is various kinds3 of dings?   3 s turns d into t.
Und vot is4 hoppiness?   4 iss or ish, not both.
Ve find a pank node in de shtreedt,5   5 shtreet.
Next[-sht]6 dings 6 der pank ish 7 preak!   6 dingss.          7 d requires b.
Ve folls1 und knocks our outsides 8 in,   8 G. seit, and final s, require t.
Ven ve a ten-shtrike make.'    


[88] A boy in the street in Liverpool (1866) said to a companion—"'e told me to 'old up my 'ands an' I 'eld em up." He did not say hup, han' hI, hem.

[89] Compare with a word in the following note sent to a druggist in Harrisburg, Pa. "Plihs leht meh haf Sohm koh kohs Peryhs ohr Sähmting darhts guht vohr Ah lihttel Dahg Gaht lausse vor meh." [Louse for loose is common in the north of England. Thus in Peacock's Lonsdale Glossary (published for the Philological Society, 1869) we find: "Louse, adj. (1) loose. O.N. laus, solutus. (2) Impure, disorderly.—v.t. to loose. "To lowse 'em out on t' common" = To let cattle go upon the common.—To be at a louse-end. To be in an unsettled, dissipated state.—Lous-ith'-heft, n. a disorderly person, a spendthrift."—A. J. Ellis.]

[90] The two shows that this is a plural. When recognised, it will be observed that the law of its formation is legitimate.

[91] For the word 'twenty-five,' the speaking and singing machine of the German Faber said tventy-fife, in imitation of its fabricator, using t and f because they occur in the German word. Similarly, feif for five appears in the following joke from an American German newspaper:—

"Ein Pennſylvaniſch-Deutſcher hatte zwei Pferde verloren und ſchickte folgende Annonce: Ei loſt mein tu Horſes! Der wonne iſt a Sarrelhors, langen Schwanzthäl, ſchort abgekuthet, aber weederum ausgrown; der annerwonn is bläcker, aber mit four weiht Fieht un en weiſzen Strich in his Fähs. Hu will bring mein tu Horſes bäck to mi, will rezief feif Thalers reward."

[92] Hald. Analytic Orthography, § 294.

[93] This accent is not wanted for Englishmen of the present day. Noah Webster (Dissertations on the English Language, Boston U.S. 1789, p. 118) says: "Our modern fashionable speakers accent European on the last syllable but one. This innovation has happened within a few years.... Analogy requires Euro'pean and this is supported by as good authorities as the other." He adds in a footnote. "Hymenean and hymeneal are, by some writers, accented on the last syllable but one; but erroneously. Other authorities preserve the analogy." Milton has hymenéan, P. L. 4, 711. Milton's line "Epicurean, and the Stoic severe," P. Reg. 4 280, is strange, however the word may be accented; Shakspere's "keep his brain fuming; Epicúrean cooks," A. and C., act 2, sc. 1, sp. 9, v. 24, is distinct enough. If the long diphthong or vowel in Latin were a proper guide, we should have to say inimī'cal, doctrī'nal, amī'cable. These words are accented on the same plan as those taken from the French. And this would give the common Eurō'pean, which is now strictly tabooed.—A. J. Ellis.

[94] The probable breitmannish form of scythes is given in these pages. Compare "Pargerswill, Box [Parkersville, Bucks] Kaundie Pensilfäni."

Chickis, near Columbia, Pennsylvania,
Feb. 16, 1870.