for free
Show / Hide Examples

My Articles

Word of the Day - "schenken"

A fun look at the meaning of "schenken" and its rather odd family that connects ham, presents and drinks. Absolute must have.


schenken, das Geschenk, der Schinken, einschenken, verschenken

Word Family

Root: *(s)keng-

The core idea of this root was:

crooked, angled

And it was also used for the idea of having a limp.

The branch around Schenkel is based on the fact that legs of humans and animals are bent, crooked or at least we can bend them at the knee.
The branch around schenken (to give a present) started out with the idea of holding a jug at an angle to pour your friend wine or beer  – a meaning that is still alive.
And from there, it broadened toward the more general sense of giving presents.

The only English member I could find in the sources was shank, which clearly is direct counterpart of the German Schenkel.

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Questions and Comments

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Never miss out!

Join over 20.000 German learners and get my epic newsletter whenever I post a new article :)

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.