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to splash, to splatter, to squirt, to spray
(Uncontrolled flying liquids.)
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to inject (someone with something)
("jemandem etwas spritzen" - "die Spritze" is "the syringe")
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Word Family

The core idea of this root was:

strewing, spraying, scattering in small pieces, sowing

Think of blowing on a dandelion in its white stage, or slapping the hand onto a REALLY dusty old sofa.
The original sense is pretty visible in words like to spray, sprout, spurt, sprawl and spritz. 

Here’s an incomplete list of the English family members:

  • to spray 
  • spritz (import from German “spritzen”)
  • to spread (focused on “distribution”, after a burst, cousin of German “spreizen” which is to straddle)
  • to sprout (variation of “spread”, in the sense of growing)
  •  spore (“a small seed spreading”)
  • sperm (“what is sown”, used to refer also to seeds in ancient Greek)
  • sparse (“spread out” with a focus on lack)
  • disperse (“distribute, spread out” with a focus on low density)
  • intersperse (“sprinkle/strew in between”)


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1 year ago

Does bespritzen describe the ‘wetting’ side of spray, splatter, spatter? It doesn’t seem to be used much but it helps illuminate the BE prefix to understand how it changes the meaning of spritzen.

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