worn out, drawn
(for people, not too common)
Create Examples with ChatGPT

My Articles

Word of the Day - "die Spannung"

A thrilling look at the meanings of "Spannung" and the verb "spannen" and the answer to how to say ‘relaxed’ and ‘excited’ in German.


die Spannung, gespannt, spannend, die Anspannung, entspannen

Word Family

Root: *(s)pen-

The core idea of this root was:

drawing (in length), stretching, spinning

The biggest group of English offspring is the branch based on the Latin word pendere, which meant to hang. Think of a weight hanging on a chord – the chord gets stretched. This was is how the family also took on the sense of weighing, and via weighing money (coins) it broadened to include the idea of payment.
Here’s an (incomplete) list:

  • pending, pendulum
  • perpendicular (“hanging of”, think of a chord hanging from the ceiling)
  • depend (“hang of”)
  • append (“hand onto”)
  • suspend (“to hang under/away”)
  • pound (“hanging weight”)
  • compound (“hang together”)
  • spend (originally: weighing money)
  • expend, expensive (“pay out”)
  • peso (“weight”, became the currency in Spain)
  • compensate (“to weigh together – to get ballance”)
  • pension (“payment”)
  • penchant (“hanging toward a side”)
  • ponder (“to weight in mind”)

Besides this group, there are also words like span, spider and spin.

The weirdest one is probably the German die Speise (meal) which evolved from the idea of “daily expenses”.

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.