25 German Loanwords


 

The German language has provided English with a huge inventory of words, many of them pertaining to music, science, and politics, thanks to the influence of German-speaking people on those areas of human endeavor. Here are some of the more useful German terms borrowed into English.

1. Achtung (“attention”): an imperative announcement used to obtain someone’s attention

2. Angst (“anxiety”): a feeling of apprehension

3. Blitz (“lightning”): used only literally in German, but in English refers to a sudden movement, such as a rush in a contact sport

4. Carabiner (“rifle”): an equivalent of the English word carbine, this truncation of karabinerhaken (“riflehook”) refers to a metal loop originally employed with ropes in mountaineering, rock climbing, and other sports and activities but now widely employed for more general uses

5. Delicatessen (“delicate eating”): a restaurant or food shop selling meats, cheeses, and delicacies

6. Doppelgänger (“double-goer”): in German, refers to a look-alike, but in English, the primary connotation is of a supernatural phenomenon — either a spirit or a duplicate person

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