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Twentieth-Century Borrowings from German to English

Their Semantic Integration and Contextual Usage


Julia Schultz

While there are plenty of studies on the impact English has exerted on the German language, the reverse contact situation has been relatively neglected. This monograph sets out to shed light on the German influence on the English lexicon in the twentieth century. It provides the first systematic appraisal of the semantic integration and contextual usage of the words adopted from German in the past few decades. The results presented in this study are based on the evaluation of a comprehensive lexicographical corpus of 1958 twentieth century German borrowings retrieved from the Oxford English Dictionary Online. The present-day usage of the borrowings is illustrated with linguistic documentary evidence collected from a wide range of English language corpora.
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7. Mathematics and the Humanities


6.5 Society, Human Behaviour, Characteristics, and Feelings

An additional group of lexical items borrowed from German in the twentieth century has to do with society, human behaviour, and feelings. The area comprises 60 words and meanings, six of which are also found in EFL dictionaries. The earliest borrowing from German in this field first appeared in 1902 in English, and the latest acquisition from German dates from 1990:

(1) Nouns

Übermensch, n. (1902); wisenheimer, n. (1904); hochgeboren, n. (1905); lebensraum, n. (1905); mutti, n. (1906); Putzfrau, n. (1906); Schweinerei, n. (1906); Schatz, n. (1907); Wehmut, n. (1907); Stimmung, n. (1909); schmerz, n. (1911); transvestite, n. (1911); Galgenhumor/galgenhumor, n. (1912); allergy, n. (first recorded as a term for a feeling in 1916); pendulation, n. (first attested as a term for human behaviour in 1925); schwarm, n. (1926); transvestism, n. (1928); Sitzfleisch, n. (1929); Nazi, n. (1930); superego, n. (first recorded as a term for an individual in 1931); transvestitism, n. (1934); gauleiter, n. (1936); Mischling, n. (1936); Volksgeist, n. (first attested in OED2 in 1936); Rassenschander, n. (1937); Herrenvolk, n. (1940); Schweinehund, n. (1941); angst, n. (1944); id, n. (first recorded as a term for behaviour in OED3 in 1957); schlamperei, n. (1961); rumspringa, n. (1963); Torschlusspanik, n. (1963); untermensch, n. (1964); Überfremdung, n. (1965); Gastarbeiter, n. (1966); Gestapo, n. (first recorded in a transferred sense in OED2 in 1966); flak, n. (first attested as a term for human behaviour in 1968); mutant, n. (first...

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