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German 'duzen' and ' siezen' — etymology =3F?=

From:Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Date:Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 16:42
On 10/11/06, Steven Williams <feurieaux@...> wrote:
> Yeah, what is up with that? Third-person address for > the second person? When did _that_ start being used, > and what was the reasoning behind it?
Perhaps because it's more oblique than second-person (even second-person plural). No idea, but it's a fairly popular solution -- AFAIK, Spanish (Usted), Portuguese (o senhor), Italian (Lei), and Romanian (dumneavoastră) all use third-person address for the second person, though they use 3sg rather than German's 3pl. Even English does it occasionally (Does Your Majesty wish to eat now?). Cheers, -- Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>