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MENSCH

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MENSCH

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:47 pm

• mensch •

Pronunciation: mensh • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A decent, honorable person who can be trusted and who always tries to do the right thing.

Notes: Today's word is sometimes spelled the English way, mensh, rather than with the German [sch]. We do not take sides but offer the German version as merely the older of the two. The plural of today's word is either mensches or the German menschen. Superman originated in the writings of Nietzsche as Übermensch "over-man = superman". Although it is based on the same root as man (see Etymology), both men and women may be mensches, as both once could be men.

In Play: A mensch is someone your mother would want you to marry. A mensch is someone who borrows your car and brings it back with the gas tank filled. "He is such a mensch that he schlepped over through the snow to turn up the heat in our house before we returned from Coral Gables."

Word History: Yiddish mensch "human being" comes from German Mensch. The underlying root *man- appears with little variation among all the Germanic languages, including English man and woman, originally wif-man "woman-person". The Old English diminutive of man, mannikin "little man", was borrowed by French as mannequin, which English then recovered but only after the meaning had changed to "dummy". The French word for "German", allemand, comes from an ancient Germanic *Ala-manniz "all men". (Thanks for today's Good Word is due that mensch of the Agora, Luis Alejandro Apiolaza, AKA Uncronopio.)
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Postby Brazilian dude » Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:24 am

A mensch is not a shmuck.

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Re: MENSCH

Postby frank » Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:49 am

Dr. Goodword wrote:The Old English diminutive of man, mannikin "little man", was borrowed by French as mannequin, which English then recovered but only after the meaning had changed to "dummy".


I'm afraid that this statement is hardly defendable.
French mannequin is found back in texts around 1450, and even given the margins necessary, Old English can't come into play as the source language of this word.
It's widely accepted and solidly argued, though, that Middle Dutch/Flemish manekijn (with spelling variants manekin, etc.) is the source of this word.
See: Encyclopedia Brittannica, Rey's Dictionnaire de la langue française, Kluge's Etymologisches Woerterbuch.

Groetjes,

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Postby Brazilian dude » Fri Dec 16, 2005 8:23 am

Yeah, I thought that was weird too. We also have manequim in Portuguese, maniquí in Spanish, manicchino in Italian and via discorrendo. Il Garzanti says the same thing as you, Frank.

Dal fr. mannequin, che è dall'ol. ant. mannekijn, dim. di man 'uomo'


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Re: MENSCH

Postby Andrew Dalby » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:22 am

Dr. Goodword wrote:The French word for "German", allemand, comes from an ancient Germanic *Ala-manniz "all men".


But the reason this word is used in French for 'Germans' is that a group of Germani settled near the borders of the Roman Empire, around 250 AD I think, and raided across the border. This group or 'tribe' called themselves Alemanni or the Germanic equivalent. They became all-too-well known in Gaul, from that time onwards, so (as often happens) the name of a single prominent tribe was adopted by others, the people of Gaul in this case, as the name of the whole people.
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Re: MENSCH

Postby Stargzer » Fri Dec 16, 2005 2:39 pm

Andrew Dalby wrote: . . . This group or 'tribe' called themselves Alemanni or the Germanic equivalent. They became all-too-well known in Gaul, from that time onwards, so (as often happens) the name of a single prominent tribe was adopted by others, the people of Gaul in this case, as the name of the whole people.


Ya see one Alemanni, ya seen 'em all!
Regards//Larry

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Postby M. Henri Day » Fri Dec 16, 2005 2:50 pm

Frank's position is supported by the Dictionnaire de l'Académie française, neuvième édition, which, however, complicates the matter further by reminding us of yet another (which came first ?) sense of the word :

(1)I. MANNEQUIN n. m. XVe siècle. Emprunté du moyen néerlandais mannekijn, diminutif de manne, « panier ».
1. Panier long et étroit dans lequel on apporte diverses denrées au marché. Mannequin de marée. Mannequin de fruits. 2. Panier d'osier à claire-voie dans lequel on élève de jeunes arbres destinés à être transplantés ultérieurement. Un arbuste en mannequin.
(2)II. MANNEQUIN n. m. XVe siècle, au sens de « figurine ». Emprunté du moyen néerlandais mannekijn, diminutif de man, « homme ».
1. Figure représentant un corps humain en grandeur naturelle et servant à différents usages. Un mannequin de paille servait d'épouvantail. Les mannequins du carnaval. Ces mannequins servent de cibles pour l'entraînement au tir. 2. Figure d'homme ou de femme, en pied ou en buste, servant à présenter différents modèles de vêtements, notamment dans les vitrines des magasins de confection. Mannequin de cire, de plâtre. Expr. fam. Avoir la taille mannequin, avoir des mensurations conformes aux tailles des vêtements du commerce et, par ext., être grand et mince. Par anal. Désigne une personne qui présente les modèles d'un couturier dans les défilés, ou qui pose pour des photographies de mode. Les mannequins d'une maison de couture. Agence de mannequins. 3. Spécialt. BX-ARTS. Figure articulée, de plus ou moins grande taille, dont se servent les peintres et les sculpteurs pour étudier les attitudes du corps humain. Expr. Cette figure sent le mannequin, manque de naturel. - COUT. Représentation d'un buste humain, sans tête ni membres, montée sur un trépied, dont se servent tailleurs et couturiers pour confectionner les vêtements. Un mannequin à armature d'osier, de bois, de métal. Un mannequin recouvert de toile, de cuir. Titre célèbre : Le Mannequin d'osier, d'Anatole France (1898).


Vive le pinailleurs !

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby Stargzer » Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:08 am

M. Henri Day wrote: . . . which, however, complicates the matter further by reminding us of yet another (which came first ?) sense of the word :

(1)I. MANNEQUIN n. m. XVe siècle. Emprunté du moyen néerlandais mannekijn, diminutif de manne, « panier ».
1. Panier long et étroit dans lequel on apporte diverses denrées au marché. Mannequin de marée. Mannequin de fruits. 2. Panier d'osier à claire-voie dans lequel on élève de jeunes arbres destinés à être transplantés ultérieurement. Un arbuste en mannequin.



I'm not fluent in French, but that one sounds like a basket case to me . . .


(2)II. MANNEQUIN n. m. XVe siècle, au sens de « figurine ». Emprunté du moyen néerlandais mannekijn, diminutif de man, « homme ». . . .


And do the Tongue Troopers in Québec know that this is not really a French word, but was borrowed from the Neanderthals, I mean, the Netherlanders (Dutch)?
. . .

Vive le pinailleurs !

Henri


Not to split hairs, but that one wasn't in my Mansion's Shorter French and English Dictionary. I had to look it up in WordReference.com.

And here all along I thought Vive L'État Providence was the European motto . . . :wink:
Regards//Larry

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