Mädchen

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German[edit]

Postcard depicting a girl, ca 1914

Etymology[edit]

Diminutive of Magd, compare to Mädel, another diminutive of Magd, and German Maid, cognate to maiden.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

Mädchen n (genitive Mädchens, plural Mädchen)

  1. girl
  2. maiden

Usage notes[edit]

The word is of neuter gender because it is originally a diminutive. In the standard language, only neuter pronouns are generally used with it: Das Mädchen, das eben hier war, hat seine Tasche vergessen. – "The girl who has just been here, forgot her purse." Colloquially, feminine pronouns are often used, although usually not in the same sentence, but in following sentences: Siehst du das Mädchen, das da steht? Kennst du die? – "Do you see the girl who [neuter] is standing there? Do you know her [feminine]?"

Declension[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

  • Mädel n (colloquial; dated in standard usage)

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]