Advent Calendar 2019 – “For Day Thing”

“For Day Thing”

 

Hello everyone,

day 13 of our German learning Advent Calendar, and today we’ll take another peek into the book I am working on and get a sweet little bit of vocabulary-chocolate with an etymology filling. Yummy.
Ladies and gentlemen… get ready for

***

verteidigen

It’s a weird looking word that seems to have no connection to anything, but in fact it has a connection to… thing.
Thing and its German brother das Ding come from the Germanic ting, which had a really crucial role in the Germanic society because the ting was a (no pun intended) meeting of the tribe leaders, which often had the function of a court.
Back then, there was also the verb “tagetingen”, a combination of Tag (day) and ting, which was later shortened to “teidingen”. This verb expressed the idea of having a court hearing or debate. And the ver added a notion of for to it giving the verb a sense of speaking for your case, or for someone. Soon, it broadened beyond the context of a ting and became the general German word for to defend.

die Verteidigung – the defense (also in sport), vindication
der Verteidiger – the defender (sports), the defense attorney

  • Ich habe meine Theorie über Einhörner verteidigt.
  • I defended my theory about unicorns.

***

As usual, let me know your questions and comments in the… well… comments. Habt einen schönen Tag und bis morgen :)

5 2 votes
Article Rating

Newsletter for free?!

Sign up to my epic newsletter and get notified whenever I post something new :)
(roughly once per week)

No Spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Your Thoughts and Questions

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
24 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Apaw
Apaw
2 years ago

OMG I’m just so happy I found your website *crying face*

David_McCune
David_McCune
2 years ago

I’ve been doing freelance work in Norway for a year, and it’s really cool to see the German-Norwegian-English connections. Relevant to today’s post, they call their parliament “Stortinget”, which is stor (great) + ting (court, assembly) + et (definite neuter ending). I guess the old word never fell out fashion in this case. I wonder if there’s a Norwegian cousin of “verteidigen”.

Levo
Levo
2 years ago

What a beautiful etymology! I am SO excited about this upcoming book! Thank you for the BEAUTIFUL word discussion!

Sindhu
Sindhu
2 years ago

Are Einhörner your favourite (imaginary) creatures? :D

lisa
lisa
2 years ago

Wir warten auf dein Buch! Ist es auf English oder deutsch?

Alan
Alan
2 years ago

Ich warte auf Emanuels Buch über die Theorie aller Dinge Einhorn.

Michael
Michael
2 years ago

Emanuel, your intended book reminds me in some ways of Bruce Donaldson’s Mastering German Vocabulary: A Practical Guide to Troublesome Words, Routledge, Oxon 2004. Unlike your work, Donaldson does not cover the source of the words. And lacks your sense of humour.

Ahmad Mazaheri
Ahmad Mazaheri
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael

Es gibt eine version dieses interessanten Buch im Internet mit vielen Vokabular zum Beispiel : zahlen , bezahlen, und so weiter .

Bschneider
Bschneider
2 years ago

Wow so cool and also how smelly do you think those Ting meetings were?

Rohrkrepierer ‐ KOOK & HECKLER
Rohrkrepierer ‐ KOOK & HECKLER
2 years ago

Kennst.Du schon das Wort ‘Thingplatz’ aus der Blut und Boden Zeit?
Jetzt. verstehe ich endlich den Begriff..
Für mich war.es immer ein Weirdo!

Elsa
Elsa
2 years ago

Hellooooo!
one typo only: attorny (attorney), apart from the usual “calender” that I find cute as it’s a bit Denglish ;)
Are you really writing a book about prefix verbs? I had to go look at the posts I missed while I was on holiday, but I only skimmed them, so I’m not sure… but if you are, I’d like to pre-order… in fact, I want this book sooooo much I’d pay 10 times what is worth just to have it (I have a really, really hard time with prefix verbs)! Oh, and I do want a signed, dedicated copy :)
Bis morgen!

lostindesert
lostindesert
2 years ago
Reply to  Elsa

Funny–the writing dictionary probably didn’t catch “calendar” since, oddly, it is an obscure English word for some type of textile machine. It also makes me wonder why we spell it calendAr in English…kinda weird spelling. In any case, I’ve been burned by this type of thing before as well!

Turtles
Turtles
2 years ago

Why would you take sth that looks good “tagetingen” and easily memorable to make it into this “teidigen”. I hate this :(.

My example : Meine Schuhe habe meinen kleinen Zeh von bösartigen Tisch erteidigt

Turtles
Turtles
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

True. “Protect” is much better fit, but “defend” is not that far fetched