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False Friends Explained - "art vs Art"

A fun look at the meaning of the German words "die Art" and "die Kunst" and why only the second one actually means art.

Vocab:

die Art, die Tonart, die Tierart, artgerecht, artig, eigenartig, die Kunst, künstlich, der Künstler


Word Family

Root: *ar(ə)-

The core idea of this root was:

fitting together

It’s the origin of a quite wide array of words that all in some way are about connecting parts or making parts fit.
Here’s a little (incomplete) overview:

  • arm (bones joined together into a whole)
  • arthritis (“related to joints”)
  • arm (tool fitted together, then “weapon”)
  • armor (again, stuff fitted together)
  • alarm (originally: “to the weapons”)
  • art, artificial, artist, artifact (“stuff fitted together”)
  • article (“part of a whole”)
  • articulate (“to say clearly, as separate parts”)
  • order (“fitted together”)
  • ordinary (originally “according to order”)
  • subordinate (“ordered below”)
  • harmony (“fitting tones”)
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