Prefix Advent Calendar – 17

Written By: Emanuel Updated: October 23, 2023



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 “nenn
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.

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