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Result of a wrong segmentation of two suffixes in Upper German dialects of Middle High German: -ec (modern -ig) and -heit: -ec-heit was interpreted as -e-keit.[1]. Later this phenomenon spread to other suffixes, and even to Central German dialects, in which the equivalents of -ig had never been pronounced with a final [k]-sound. (Compare the modern standard pronunciation of -ig [-ɪç].)


  • IPA(key): /kaɪ̯t/, [kaɪ̯t]


-keit f ‎(plural -keiten)

  1. Alternative form of -heit
    wirksam ‎(effective) → Wirksamkeit ‎(effectiveness)

Usage notes[edit]

  • See -heit for notes on the use of the two variants.

Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ “-heit” in: Friedrich Kluge, “Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache” , 22. Auflage, 1989, bearbeitet von Elmar Seebold, ISBN 3-11-006800-1