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Re: German 'duzen' and 'siezen' — etymology?

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Thursday, October 12, 2006, 18:55
Quoting "Julia \"Schnecki\" Simon" <helicula@...>:

> Hello! > > On 10/11/06, Steven Williams <feurieaux@...> wrote: > > Recently having written a brief paper for my German > > Composition class on the usage of the German > > second-person pronouns 'du' and 'Sie', I've been > > curious as of late as to the etymology of the verbs > > 'duzen' and 'siezen'. > > > > At first, I thought they were worn-down compounds with > > 'tun' — something like *du tun and *Sie tun, but for a > > number of reasons, I realized that was probably wrong > > — for one, a couple of German sound laws would have to > > be violated to make this work; and two, *du tun and > > *Sie tun sound _really_ stupid in German. > > Yes, the "tun" forms do sound stupid, but since when has *that* ever > stopped anyone? ;-) > > > Can anyone shed some light on this? > > According to Kluge's etymological dictionary, the verbs _duzen_ and > _siezen_ (as well as _erzen_ und _ihrzen_, which I'd never encountered > before, probably because _Er_ and _Ihr_ are rarely used as forms of > address nowadays) contain a suffix _-zen_, which had the three > variants _-azzen_, _-ezzen_, and _-izzen_ in Old High German and may > or may not have been formed under the influence of Latin _tuisare_ > ("duzen"). So, it's somewhat mysterious even to the experts, but at > least there's a theory...
I wasn't aware _Er_ had been used as a form of address at all, but I've heard _ihrzen_ in the sense of addressing multiple people as _ihr_ rather than _Sie_. Oh, and I saw this little "poem" somewhere: Ich ichze mich, ich duze dich, ich erze ihn, ich wirze uns, ich ihrze euch, ich sieze sie. The Swedish _dua_ "duzen" and _nia_ "siezen" are just the relevant pronomina with an all-purpose verbal ending attached. Andreas


René Uittenbogaard <ruittenb@...>German 'duzen' and 'siezen' — etymology?