The main meaning of zeichnen nowadays is to draw (as in pencil drawing) but it is actually related to sign and the original core is about “marks”. Bezeichnen was first used in the very literal sense of actually physically marking something (inflicting a sign). Like, carving an x into a tree so you can find it again.
Soon though, people started using it also for abstract markings. Marking things in our heads, if you will. And that isn’t all that far from the current meaning of “naming something”. By naming it you can “find” it again.
Bezeichnen only used for things, not for people, and it is a bit technical sounding compared to “nennen”
die Bezeichnung – the name, denomination
bezeichnend – characteristic, typical (newspaper vocab)
- Ich würde das nicht als Eintopf bezeichnen.
- I wouldn’t call that a stew.
- Die Bezeichnung Bernstein kommt vom Wort brennen.
- The name/denomination Bernstein (amber) comes from the word burn.
If you have any questions about the word or about the course just leave me a comment. If not, I’ll see you tomorrow.
Have a great day.
‘Emanuel will be teaching live.’ Das würde ich als eine wunderbare Nachricht bezeichnen. Ich bin neidisch auf die Leute, die an diesem Kurs teilnehmen können. Viel Erfolg und Spaß beim Lehren!
If you guys were doing this last year I would have signed up like that *clicks fingers*. Man that sucks (for me). Good for y’all.
This website is literally a game changer! Etymology never imbued such life into language learning, especially German. I’ve had teachers tell me to just memorize the meaning and ignore the seeming invomprehensibility (like aufhören; hear + up = stop?). Others have suggested coming up with creative, weird mnemonics for hard to memorize words (but there are only so many times that you can think of doing things at “the fair” like “selling my cows at the fair” (verkaufen) or “bringing money to spend at the fair” (verbringen). The etymology shifts the whole game into a deeper conceptual level.
Good luck with the class! Bravo for trying to make learning accessible, meaningful, and (gasp) enjoyable!
Wow, that “Eselsbrücke” with “sell on the fair” is really far fetched :).
Thanks for the great feedback (also in the name of all the etymologists who have traced all those words by digging through old writing. What a crazy work. Nerd factor 100)