Word of the Day – “rasten”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day in 2019, the year that looks like eros in a mirror.
Are you ready for a whole new year of crazy rules, overly precise words and gazillions of endings and endings with endings? Or in one word: are you ready for … German?
Awesome!
Then let’s hit of 2019 with a look at the meaning of

rasten

 

It looks quite similar to the English rest so if I told you that the two are actually not related, that would be kind of a surprise.
But who cares about “kind of a surprise”?
German learners are a a hard working, honest folk. They like their beers cold, their latte without milk and their surprises real. That’s how things are in this neck of the woods.
And the real surprise is that rest is actually two words that are NOT related to each other. And rasten is related to only one of them.
Intrigued yet?
Purrrrfect. Then let’s jump right in….

It sounds really hard to believe but the noun rest and the verb to rest actually come from two different families.
The noun is based on the Latin verb restare. This is a combination of the prefix re- , like for instance return, and the verb the Latin verb *stare, which simply meant to be/to stand.  Restare carried the idea of remaining and via the Romance languages (get it… I used via near Romance) it made its way to the Germanic languages and became the noun rest; or der Rest in German.

  • Ich habe das Beispiel fast fertig. Den Rest mache
  • I almost completed the example. The rest, I’ll
  • Einmal in der Woche machen Thomas und Maria Reste-Essen mit allen Sachen, die wegmüssen.
  • Once a week, Thomas and Maria are making a left-over meal with all the stuff that has to be used.
  •  Die restlichen Aufgaben mache ich morgen.
  • The rest of the tasks/the remaining tasks, I will do tomorrow.
  • Das Konzert ist restlos ausverkauft.
  • The concert is completely (“without a rest”) sold out.

Now, it would make one billion yards of sense if the verb to rest were also part of that family.
I mean, resting usually means not moving. You “remain” on the couch.
But nope!
Etymologically, to rest and rasten most likely go back to the astonishingly ancient Indo-European root *erə- which was about the idea of resting after a day of travel.
Now, of course this doesn’t really make a difference, after all. If you want to associate to rest with the rest, that is fine. I mean… we’re trying to learn German, not to do science.
I just thought it was an interesting twist that these two words come from completely different backgrounds.
Yeah… I know, not exactly a jaw dropping twist. But hey, I’m trying, okay.
Seriously though, what might interesting is that also the noun die Ruhe (the quietness, the calm) comes from that root. And Ruhe, or actually the verbs ruhen and ausruhen, are the proper translations for to rest. Well, in the context of getting sleep/repose.

  • Rest in peace, favorite pants.
  • Ruhe in Frieden, Lieblingshose.
  • I need to get some rest.
  • Ich muss mich ein bisschen ausruhen.
    (Ich brauch ein bisschen Schlaf.)
  • Thomas looks well rested.
  • Thomas sieht ausgeruht aus.

And what about rasten, then? How is that used?
Well, rasten has fallen out of fashion for the most part, and it’s more likely that you see the noun die Rast, usually in contexts of actual travels.

  • Wer rastet, der rostet. (proverb)
  • A rolling stone gathers no moss. / Use it or lose it.
  • Nach zwei Stunden Wanderung, haben wir an einem kleinen Bach Rast gemacht.
  • After two hours of hiking we made a break at a small creek.
  • Ich fühle mich heute irgendwie rastlos.
  • I feel somehow restless today.
  • “Mama, halt an. Ich muss mal ganz ganz ganz dringend.”
    “Ich kann nicht einfach anhalten. Wir sind auf der Autobahn. Aber ich fahre an der nächsten Autobahnraststätte ra…”
    “Zu spät. Das Wort war zu lang.”
  • “Mom, stop the car. I really really really have to pee.”
    “I can’t just stop. We’re on the highway. But I’ll pull out at the next rest area.”
    “Great. I can hold for a bit.”

    (that moment when you make a joke about a long word and then you forget to actually say it in the audio :D)

     

Oh and let’s also not forget about the nouns Rastalocken and Rastafari, which got their name because they are chilling (resting) so much.
Yeah… that’s… erm… that’s my funny for this year.
Anyway, you might be wondering why rasten is even a word of the day. I mean, it doesn’t seem all that useful.
Well, the reason is the verb ausrasten.
And for that we first need to mention the verb einrasten. Einrasten expresses the idea of some sort of latch snapping into place. It “goes to its resting place” if you will.

  • Der Gurt ist nicht richtig eingerastet.
  • The belt didn’t properly latch/snap into place.

It’s pretty technical, though, and the only reason I brought it up is because ausrasten is the opposite. Something “latches” out of place.
And that something is… drumroll please… us.
Ausrasten is a really really common word for people losing control. You snap, you get unhinged. The main context is anger, but you can also find it in sense of partying really hard or being really really excited.

  • Ich bin fast ausgerastet, als ich die Küche gesehen habe.
  • I almost exploded/snapped when I saw the kitchen.
  • Der, dem, den, die, den … ich raste gleich aus!!!
  • The the the the the the… I’m am about to blow up!!
  • Heute gehe ich feiern. Ich will so richtig ausrasten.
  • Today, I’ll go party. I want to go really crazy.
  • Emanuel ist insgesamt ein ganz cooler Chef, bis auf seine Ausraster manchmal.
  • Emanuel is a cool boss by and large, except for his tantrums/freak-outs sometimes.
  • Dieser Lärm is zum Ausrasten.
  • This noise is driving me crazy.

And that’s it for today :). This was our little look at the meaning of rasten and the family of rest and to rest, that didn’t turn out all that crazy.
If you want to check whether you remember the key points, you can now take the little quiz we have prepared for you.

And as always, if you have any questions or suggestions just leave me a comment.
I hope you liked it and see you next time.

 

** vocab ** 

rasten – take a rest (pretty much only used in context of hiking)
die Raststätte – the rest area (highway)
der Rasthof – the rest area 
rastlos – restless

ausrasten – snap, explode, go crazy (figurative for loosing control)
etwas ist zum Ausrasten – something is making you crazy mad

der Rest – the rest
das Resteessen –  a dish made from leftovers
restliche/n/m/.. – remaining (in sense of left over)
restlos – completely (without a rest)

die Ruhe – the calm, the quietness
sich ausruhen – to rest (sense of repose)
ruhen – to rest (fancy term)
ruhe in Frieden – rest in peace

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AlexP1960
AlexP1960
1 year ago

I am a bit confused with “Dieser Lärm is zum Ausrasten” (This noise is driving me crazy.).
Should not it be “Dieser Lärm bringt mich zum Ausrasten“?

ngen31
ngen31
3 years ago

Ich habe merhmals versucht, diese Wurzel “*erə-” zu finden, aber es hat nicht geklappt; da steht einfach, dass die nur “rudern” bedeutet. Mich würde interessieren, wo Sie die obengenannte Bedeutung “resting after a day of travel” gefuden haben? Danke im Voraus!

ngen31
ngen31
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Danke für die Erklärung. Ich finde das alle wirklich sehr interessant mit Sprachen und Etymologie und Geschichte und so weiter. Nachdem ich Ihren Link besucht habe, habe ich zwei Stunden beim lesen and recherchieren verbracht und ich hab das nicht bedauert. Das macht einfach viel Spaß!

Marie
Marie
3 years ago

Hallo ! Ich habe eine Frage, die mit dem Artikel nichts zu tun hat, aber wusste nicht wem fragen… Wie kann man ein Verb in einem Wörterbuch finden, wenn man nur den Präteritum oder Perfekt kann? Zum Beispiel: ich habe mit diesem Satz getroffen: “ich habe meinen Laptop geschrotten”. Ich kann den Statz verstehen, ich wollte nur mehr über das Verb entdecken, aber was ich bis jetzt gefunden habe macht keinen Sinn. Gibt est eine Methode, um ein Verb aufzuspüren? Ich raste gleich aus!

Marie
Marie
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Vielen Dank für die Methode und die richtige Forme! es hat geklappt, und ich habe noch ein neues Wort gelernt: zerstreut…

Tom
Tom
3 years ago

Happy New Year to everyone. I just wanted to thank all the generous people who pay a little extra to help others who want to learn German but can’t afford the subscription cost. Thank you! It means a lot to me.

Abgaßßstufe EssZett!
Abgaßßstufe EssZett!
3 years ago

Neujahrskind im Spiegel namens EROS

Frischgebacken, fit, fesch, und frech!
——————————————-

Der Ramazottii wild ausgerastet
hezte freudig

durch Landgut, Hof, und Haus.

Schaut vor kurzem genau ins Spiegel

und—-statt —- fünfundfünfzig

sah er sich wieder

zwanzig – oder – neunzehn
AUS!

AgEZ

Denise
Denise
3 years ago

comment image
I saw the advert dolor unicorn dressing gowns and thought of you. Happy New Year and thank you for your brilliant website !

Abgaßßstufe Es-Zett!
Abgaßßstufe Es-Zett!
3 years ago
Reply to  Denise

Schnitt und Entwurf
von
Stoff Fabrik und Schneiderei

-Randy and the Rainbows 1963-

Für blitz schnelle Auslieferung kopieren und kleben!

KOSTENLOS!

Elsa
Elsa
3 years ago

Oh, forgot a question… Why does the mother of the kid who needs to pee fahr with dative to the rest area? I’ll never get these damn prepositions right…..

Elsa
Elsa
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Thanks for the explanation!!
As for your question, it’s hit sth, as in “hit the bar”, “hit the town”, etc. There’s “hit it off” (double f required), but that’s used to mean that two people like each other immediately. “The meaning of” is absolutely correct; you could indeed say “kick off the new year”, but you’d have to use “off”!

Elsa
Elsa
3 years ago

Hi, Emanuel,
Are you ready for the first round of proofreading in 2019?
OK, ready or not, here it comes:
Are you ready for a whole new year (you missed the “you”)
let’s hit 2019 (there’s an extra ” of”)
rastafari, which got their name (there’s an extra “are”)
is even a word of the day (there’s an extra ” a”)
That’s it, hope you don’t get ausgerastet over my corrections, you know I mean well!
(When you have time, please answer my e-mail on beta-testing so I know how best to help!)
Bis bald!

Pat McKay
Pat McKay
3 years ago

Arrgghhh, the audio on this does not work with Firefox again. But interestingly enough, the audio on the Prefix Verb site is working beautifully with it. What are you doing differently with the two sites?

Amerikanerin
Amerikanerin
3 years ago

I love these blog posts! Thank you, Emanuel!

D Just D
D Just D
3 years ago
Reply to  Amerikanerin

Hey – the translation of the last line is totally off. Did I miss something?
“Mama, halt an. Ich muss mal ganz ganz ganz dringend.”
“Ich kann nicht einfach anhalten. Wir sind auf der Autobahn. Aber ich fahre an der nächsten Autobahnraststätte…”
“Zu spät. Das Wort war zu lang.”
“Mom, stop the car. I really really really have to pee.”
“I can’t just stop. We’re on the highway. But I’ll pull out at the next rest area.”
“Great. I can hold for a bit.”

Francesca Greenoak
Francesca Greenoak
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

I got it, but only on second reading. Carry on with the Witze . It keeps us on our toes. x

Redmer Yska
Redmer Yska
3 years ago

Hard to explain how much I love your posts. They are so tantalisingly. So intriguing yo me. The tone just perfect. Many thanks from this adoring old Kiwi bird on summer hols at the beach!!

Francesca Greenoak
Francesca Greenoak
3 years ago

Interesting.
I need to get some rest.
Ich muss mich ein bisschen ausruhen.
(Ich brauch ein bisschen Schlaf.)
I translated it as the answer in brackets – except I was trying to use Ruhe. This seems an English sort of thing, moving nouns about. The first answer seems more German to me, more verby, more lively.
This was a nice quiet way to start the year, thank you. Incidentally, the possessive – its – doesn’t take an apostrophe. (The clock’s wrong. It’s stopped; time to look at its mechanism.)
Daft rule but there it is (it’s). My Scots relatives would say “There it’s” but it doesn’t happen in English.
All best
Francesca

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

I see the mistake in “made it’s way to the Germanic languages.” End of the 3rd (I think) paragraph. That’s a suuuper common native-speaker mistake, so nothing to be all that frustrated about.

“But yeah… English feels quite noun (and gerund) focused to me. German has a higher count of conjugated verbs, I would say.”

I think this is right on, a really good description of one of the basic differences between the languages.

R.S. Baker
R.S. Baker
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Ein aehnliches Beispiel ganz am Ende: “And that’s for today” waere lieber so geschrieben: “And that’s it for today.”

Uebrigens denke jetzt auch an das lustige Buch “Lola rast – und andere schreckliche Geschichten”, von Dichter Wilfried von Bredow – ein modernes “Strewwelpeter”. Hier heisst “rasen” etwa “to race”; die Verwandtschaft zum rasten ist mir unklar, denn… (Wer herumrast, rastet kaum.)

Amerikanerin
Amerikanerin
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

You are doing amazingly – most English speakers get the its/it’s wrong. Just remember that in the case of “it” it is ONLY (it’s only) with an apostrophe if it is instead of “it is” – the exception to the apostrophe-ownership thingy. Don’t fret – you’d be amazed at which English speakers don’t have a grip on that one themselves.

aoind
aoind
3 years ago

Kleine Korrektur: “losing control”, nicht “loosing control”

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Maybe…

– Don’t lose control of your moose.

…since “loose” actually rhymes with “moose” but “lose” doesn’t?

I dunno.

Would that be… an Elchsbrücke?

Aimee
Aimee
3 years ago
Reply to  berlingrabers

If your moose gets loose, you might lose your shoes? (Because you run after it and your shoes aren’t tied? )

Maryn Lyn Hoefer
Maryn Lyn Hoefer
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Moose! If you lose your virginity, you are on your way to being a Loose Moose. Guard your dignity, Moose!

aoind
aoind
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

It’s one of the most common spelling mistakes for native English speakers too. Makes me wonder how though. Do they imagine that “loose” has two meanings and two pronunciations or would they spell the untight-loose as “looce”?

MarcoB
MarcoB
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

If it’s any consolation, your written English is much better than that of many Canadian-born English speakers. :) (Ich bin Kanadier)

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
3 years ago

Interessant – war mir noch nie so aufgefallen, dass die Bedeutung von “rest” (Substantiv) vom Artikel abhängt. Nur “the rest” bedeutet “der/ein Rest”; “rest” allein bzw. “a rest, some rest” heißt immer “Ruhe” bzw. “Rast”.