Re: "Kauderwelsch" (was: LUNATIC SURVEY: 2005)
|From:||Andreas Neumann <gracchus@...>|
|Date:||Monday, February 28, 2005, 0:05|
> I was intrigued by this, too, Andreas. My copy of Kluge's Etymological
> German Dictionary says that Kauderwelsch, "jargon," was first used in
> modern German, and that "kauder" comes from a verb of unattested origins:
> kaudern, "to talk unintelligibly"--hence "strange, unintelligible, foreign
> tongue." So the meaning might actually have meant in an earlier century
> "non-German," in much the same way that "barbarous" meant "non-Greek."
> second element in the compound is welsch: "foreign and outlandish" (of
> course; the OE cognate was wealh, weallas, "foreign, foreigners," i.e.,
> Welsh.) Old High German was "walhisc," MHG: "walch"--these words
> to Kluge were variously applied to the Romance languages and peoples. So
> Kauderwelsch may mean "gibberish" now, but it may have meant "weird
> language" in previous eras. Do you think the title of the series is a
> reference to that older meaning?
Yes, I think your dictionary is right. Kauderwelsch has two meanings. It
expresses a foreign language you don't understand. On the other hand
Kauderwelsch also means to talk in a strange way (without reference to a
I think this expression is used for these books, because they deal with a
lot of foreign and exotic languages which can be called "Kauderwelsch".
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