the duty, the responsibility
(Something you are obliged to do.)
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Word of the Day - "pflegen"

A fun look at the meaning and use of "pflegen" and its related words a surprise reveal about an annoying brother that's all about duties.


pflegen, die Pflege, die Verpflegung, die Pflicht, verpflichten

Word Family

Root: *dlegh-

The core idea of this root was:

become fixed, engage oneself, pledge allegiance

The German source I am using mainly ( is not mentioning this root and only traces the family to a West-Germanic word that was about “taking responsibility“, which in German later shifted toward taking care, treating well.

The English source ( mentions the same West Germanic ancestor, but then traces it all the way back to this Indo-European root here.

According to Etymonline, the root is origin of

  • pledge (“fixing yourself to a promise”)
  • indulge (“engage oneself to”)
  • play (“keep oneself busy, fixated”)
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