Friday, September 29, 2006

German is Chic!

At least, "chic" is German, apparently. I've been periodically picking up the two volumes I have of Bastian Sick's Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod, a sort of German version of Eats, Shoots, and Leaves I suppose. Since I'm such a sucker for interesting or ironic etymologies, I loved reading about the word chic (that's French for 'chic'), which was borrowed into German with the spelling Schick.

But where did French get the word? From Latin? Nope. Says Sick: "The middle low German word schick stood for likeness, form, custom; schicklich had the meaning 'appropriate, becoming'." So the modern German Schick is a German-French-German loanword. And you thought the French had the monopoly on chic!

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