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GEMUTLICH

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GEMUTLICH

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:04 am

• gemutlich •


Pronunciation: gê-mut-lik • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Pleasant, amiable, friendly.

Notes: Today's Good Word was borrowed from German in the middle of the 19th century but its use has been so limited that some still spell it the German way, either gemütlich or gemuetlich. It is a good way to add a German flavor to your conversation should you have reason to do so. The noun for this word, gemütlichkeit, is almost always written with the 'umlaut' over the U, an indication that it isn't a fully assimilated English word.

In Play: Today's adjective applies to people who are simply pleasant all the time: "Molly Coddle is a rosy-cheeked, zaftig, gemutlich young woman to whom everyone is immediately attracted." (Why limit yourself to English?) However, it also describes places and things that bring pleasure: "The decor of Lacie Curtain's apartment was so gemutlich that I found myself immediately at home there."

Word History: Today's Good Word was borrowed from Middle High German gemüetlich (Modern German gemütlich), derived from gemüete "spirit, feelings". The root here, müet, came from Old High German muot "mind, spirit, joy", the same word that became mood in English. This word is probably related to the Latin word men(t)s "mind" that we find in mental, but showing the effects of our old friend, the Fickle N that comes and goes mysteriously across Indo-European languages. (Today we must be grateful to the ever gemütlich Carla Puky for finding today's Good Word for us.)
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Re: GEMUTLICH

Postby misterdoe » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:13 am

Similar to simpático in Spanish? Some use it in English, but often it's used to mean "sympathetic," rather than "pleasant" or "nice."
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Re: GEMUTLICH

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:09 am

There is a fictitious scenario in which the world agrees that English become the international language, with the proviso that certain changes be made. When the changes are enumerate and made, the resultant language turns out to be German.

I had no idea that gemutlich had passed into the English language. I cannot think whatever for. It is a perfectly good German word that doesn't seem to have a technical meaning. So it doesn't have the justification of a word like angst.

When I write in German I shall use the word, umlaut and all. I shall have no occasion to use it when I write English.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: GEMUTLICH

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:51 pm

I'm with you. Who'd know what you're
talking about unless they are fluent in German?
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: GEMUTLICH

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:38 pm

Gemtlich has more comfortable connotations to me than simpatico. In my head, simpatico implies another person, whereas gemutlich can apply to a gent esconsed in an armchair with coffee and a book.
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Re: GEMUTLICH

Postby MTC » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:37 am

Tepid description of a warm word.

Think of a traditional German Inn. The hostess leads you into a cozy nook with a welcoming smile. Old friends turn to greet you warmly. Take off your coat, Hans. Have some wurst and cheese with us. Ya, ya, ya. That's gemutlecheit!
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Re: GEMUTLICH

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:02 pm

Sounds wonderful, beer, bread and cheese.
I've done that along the Rhine.
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Re: GEMUTLICH

Postby Slava » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:39 pm

I'm going to stick with the German pronunciation myself. The Anglicized version comes out far too rough for me: ge-MUTT-lick doesn't cut it.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: GEMUTLICH

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:35 am

I will too, Slava.
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