We'll take a look at the false friends "craft" and "Kraft" and how they got so confusing. And we'll explore the family of "Kraft" a bit and learn cool new words.
die Kraft, kräftig, die Stärke, die Schwerkraft, KFZ
The core idea of this root was:
Pretty simple, but it evolved into quite a few different directions.
Here’s an (incomplete) list of English family members:
- stark – (“strong, rigid”, shifted toward serious)
- starch – (“makes mush thick, stiff”)
- stern – (“rigid”)
- to start – (“jumping up quickly, stiff muscles”)
- to startle – (Same as “start” but shifted toward the cause)
- to stare – (“stiff gaze”, same as German “starren”)
- starve – (“stiff corpse”, same as German “sterben” – to die)
- torpedo – (“make numb”, from a Latin name for an electric ray fish that numbs you. Military name first used for sea mines, because they “sting” your ship)
- stereo – (Greek word for “solid”, they used it among other things for “solid 3D perception, I suppose)
The root is also the origin of the Slavic word star-, which means old.