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Word of the Day - "die Wahl"

A fun look at the meaning of "die Wahl" and the verb "wählen" and the difference to "aussuchen". And a boring look at the German political system :).

Vocab:

die Wahl, wählen, wählerisch, die Auswahl


Word Family

Root: *kele-

The core idea of this root was:

shouting, calling

This is still pretty visible in the group around claim:

  • claim (originally “say aloud”)
  • reclaim (call back)
  • proclaim (call outward to others)
  • exclaim (call outward)
  • acclaim (call at)
  • declare (call as)

A second branch is the group around clear, clarity and the German word hell (bright). The original idea here was that something was shouted so it was clearly audible and understandable. In German hell, this then shifted toward visuals.

Then, there’s also the word council and its relatives. These are based on a Latin “conciliare” which originally meant “call together” in the sense of assembling.

And then there’s hale and haul, which tie in with German holen. The shift here was from “calling someone to come” to “drawing, dragging toward you”.

 

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