Zepps in a cloud - Bangers and Mash

Here is a little article about how WWI expressions influenced the English language.


Your friendly Hun, SanneT :))

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Thanks. Did German take in any English or French words because of the wars?

I am sure it did! I shall have to put on my thinking cap to come up with WWI- or WWII-specific examples. “Tank” comes to mind. There are more, but a good bit of head scratching is needed for which - for reasons of grandmotherly duties - I do not have the time just now.

In the meantime, here is a link to an “about…” list, their “Denglisch Dictionary”. I’ll study it tomorrow.

We all know how American English changed the sound and looks of German in the post-WWII years! As a young child I heard more Russian expressions, than English ones. So many of us in that little town in North Germany were refugees from the East and we would repeat things like ‘bistra, bistra’, ‘malaka’, ‘dawei, dawei’, ‘pachal’ and ‘swinya’ which the older children had picked up and used liberally in their war games. My uncle, who had been a French PoW, preferred ‘cochon’. As far as I know, none of these were kept in use.

Prior to, and during the Napoleonic occupation, we took on many French words into the German vocabulary.

I know that in Japanese there are some mountaineering terms that came from German between the wars. (Thank you, YutakaM.)

It would be interesting to hear from Reinhard or Robert how or whether Russian influenced Austrian German more than English. After all, the Russian occupation only ceased in 1956, or so, if I remember correctly.

Children in Soviet Union in 80’s used some German words from movies while playing: Achtung, Feuer, schnell, Hände hoch, russisch Schwein :slight_smile:

It’s interesting that the English verb “to strafe” (which most English people would pronounce as “streyf”) came from the German word “strafe” in the phrase “Gott strafe England!”(which is, I believe, Konjunktiv I of “strafen”…?)

I never knew this before.

Interesting, too, that “to strafe” came to have the particular meaning in English of a pilot going in low to attack a specific ground target with cannon (something which isn’t really implicit at all in the original German phrase “may God punish England!”

The mysterious working of languages!

It is interesting to see what words among so many stick around.

The word “blitzkrieg” has lasted in American English at least. Perhaps it is most frequently used in its related form “blitz” in the parlance of American football.

My ex’s Italian grandmother was fond of the expression “Okay, Joe,” which I always assumed she picked up from American GIs occupying her home town.