mensch

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See also: Mensch

English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Yiddish מענטש (mentsh, an honorable person), from Old High German mennisko (man). The spelling mensch was influenced by German Mensch; compare the alternative spellings.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

mensch (plural mensches or menschen)

  1. A person (chiefly male) of strength, integrity, and honor or compassion.
    • 1960, The Apartment:
      Doctor Dreyfuss [to C. C. Baxter]: Be a mensch!
    • 2005, Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty, Bloomsbury Publishing, page 428:
      Lionel Kessler, relaxing perhaps on a Louis Quinze day bed, garlanded all round with lines of beauty, seeing welcome proof that his clever maligned young friend was a mensch.
    • 2008 December 28, George Solomon, “My Little Red Book”, The Washington Post, page D01:
      Olie Kolzig: Goalie for the Washington Capitals who spent most of 16 seasons between the pipes for the team until being released in 2008. Had the longest career of any Capital. Now plays for Tampa Bay. The ultimate mensch, in my book.
    • 2008, Dwight S. Huggins, Into the Greenhouse Vol. VI: Dreams (ISBN 1467050873):
      She was an Amerindian, and stout. She was a real mensch, [] a hard working person, who took pride in her job, which was to spray from an aerosol can a particular base.
  2. A gentleman.

Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

mensch m, n (plural menschen, diminutive menschje n)

  1. Obsolete spelling of mens.

German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Mensch (human being). Coined as a gender-neutral alternative to man (one), because this word is derived from and homophonous to Mann (adult male). Note, however, that Mensch itself also derives from Mann. Compare the pronoun frau. Compare also the use of they (vs she vs he) in English to refer to a generic or specific person whose gender is unknown.

Pronunciation[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

mensch

  1. (indefinite, rare) one, they (indefinite third-person singular pronoun)
    • 2000, Jan Schwarzmeier, Die Autonomen zwischen Subkultur und sozialer Bewegung (ISBN 3831110980), page 66:
      „Nichtverhandeln war mehr ein Gefühl, daß mit dem Staat eh nichts vernünftiges anzufangen ist, daß mensch nur übers Ohr gehauen wird, wenn mensch sich auf Gespräche mit den Regierenden einläßt []
    • 2010, Sandra Glammeier, Zwischen Verleiblichter Herrschaft und Widerstand (ISBN 3531927000), page 92:
      Dies ist nach Landweer (1999: 45) aber nur möglich, wenn mensch sich irgendeine noch so vage Verantwortung dafür zuschreibt, Objekt von Demütigung geworden zu sein.
    • 2013, Werner Ablass, ZEN: ohne wie ein Huhn auf der Stange zu sitzen (ISBN 373228185X), page 233:
      ZEN könnte unerwähnt bleiben, wenn mensch sich in seinem natürlichen Zustand erfahren würde.