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aufwärts

Meanings

1.
upward, up
(Quite common in the phrase "Es geht aufwärts" in the sense of "Things are improving.")
Opposite (closest): abwärts

Word Family

Root: *wer-

This is one of several roots that had at their core the idea of:

turning, winding, bending

The most obvious English offspring are words like worm, warp, weird, wrestle, wrist and more (see below).

But also -ward, worry, worth and wrong belong to the family, each with their own… ahem… twist on the original sense.

But the root is also the origin of the Latin verb *vertere. This verb meant to bend and it’s the origin of dozens of words like versus, vertebra, invert, subvert, versatile and me … I mean… introvert.

The three most important relatives in German are werden (“turning toward, winding up” -> to become), der Wert (“what you give versus what you get” -> worth) and werfen (“winding motion with your hand”- to throw).

Here’s an (incomplete) list of English relatives and how they tie in with the original sense:

  • -ward (“winding in a direction”)
  • warp 
  • weird (“twisted”)
  • worm, vermin
  • wrestle, wrist (“winding, bending”)
  • wrinkle, wriggle, wrangle,… (all about “twisting” in some way)
  • wrong (originally “twisting your mouth”)
  • worry (originally “to strangle the throat”)
  • worth (originally what you give “versus” something else)
  • versus (“turn toward”)
  • version (“what you turn out, rendition”)
  • vertebra (“what bends”)
  • versatile (“turns in many directions”)
  • invert (“turn backward”)
  • convert (“to turn to”)
  • extrovert (“turned outward”)
  • introvert (me)
  • pervert (“turned beyond”)
  • subvert (Star Wars expectations)
  • anniversary (“turn of the year”)
  • universe (all wrapped in one)
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