Appendix:List of German cognates with English

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There are many hundreds of German words that are cognate to English words, in fact a sizeable fraction of native German and English vocabulary, although for various reasons much of it is not immediately obvious. Yet many of them are easy to correlate, since the German words follow the rules of High German consonant shift, which is a German phenomenon and makes English stay closer to the Proto-Germanic language, from which both, English and German, derive.

For convenience of presentation this list has been limited to cognates whose etymologies can be established to the Proto-Germanic period at the earliest, or within the past 3000 years or so. The Modern English language includes in its vocabulary a large number of words of French origin many of which can be related as cognates to German words due to mutual descent from roots in the common Proto-Indo-European language (about 6000 years or so ago) from which both Germanic and Romance languages descend. This list ignores cognates of this linguistic depth. As of January 2018, it contains over 800 pairs of cognates.

Etymology resources for further investigation of cognates include:

For German words:

1. Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache (DWDS)
(direct link to a one-word entry: https://www.dwds.de/wb/[insert search word here])
2. Duden
3. Wiktionary (German)
(direct link to a one-word entry: https://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/[insert search word here])
4. Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob Grimm und Wilhelm Grimm (at DWDS and at woerterbuchnetz.de) (for advanced investigation; no modern orthography)

For English words:

1. dictionary.com
2. Oxford Dictionaries
3. Online Etymology Dictionary
(direct link to a one-word entry: https://www.etymonline.com/word/[insert search word here])
4. Wiktionary (English)
(direct link to a one-word entry https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/[insert search word here])

Contents

Mutual Inheritance from Proto-Germanic[edit]

Both German and English descend from a single language which is conventionally called Proto-Germanic. The earliest written stages at which the daughter languages that ultimately evolved in to modern German and English are treated as separate languages are denoted Old High German and Old English, respectively. We may represent this in a simple diagram as:

  • Proto-Germanic → Old High German → Modern (Standard) German
  • Proto-Germanic → Old English → Modern English

As the languages evolved away from Proto-Germanic in a largely ordered way, there remain a large number of cognates in the two languages that are the result of the evolution of the two languages from Proto-Germanic to their modern, contemporary forms. In this section we exhibit regular correspondences between modern German and English resulting from their evolution from the common Proto-Germanic mother language.

See also:
Proto-Indo-European:

Proto-Germanic:

Schleicher's Fable[edit]

We can compare the grammar and vocabulary of German and English to each other as well as to that reconstructed for Proto-Germanic using Schleicher's fable (originally written in 1868). In order to facilitate comprehension of the historic German version and the Proto-Germanic version, modern English and German translations have been placed at the top as an introduction. Lastly, a schematic English word-by-word translation of the modern German version is provided to demonstrate how the ability to identify cognates by detecting regular correspondences can help English speakers when learning German. For example, in section 1.3.2.2 - German b ~ English v you can see how German b corresponds to English v and thus Silber corresponds to silver, and Grab to grave and so forth.


English

The Sheep and the Horses
[On a hill,] a sheep that had no wool saw horses, one of them pulling a heavy wagon, one carrying a big load, and one carrying a man quickly. The sheep said to the horses: "My heart pains me, seeing a man driving horses." The horses said: "Listen, sheep, our hearts pain us when we see this: a man, the master, makes the wool of the sheep into a warm garment for himself. And the sheep has no wool." Having heard this, the sheep fled into the plain.[1]


Reformed Standard High German version

Das Schaf und die Pferde
Ein Schaf, das keine Wolle mehr hatte, sah Pferde, eines einen schweren Wagen fahrend, eines eine große Last, eines einen Menschen schnell tragend. Das Schaf sprach: Das Herz wird mir eng, wenn ich sehe, dass der Mensch die Pferde antreibt. Die Pferde sprachen: Höre Schaf, das Herz wird uns eng, weil wir gesehen haben: Der Mensch, der Herr, macht die Wolle der Schafe zu einem warmen Kleid für sich und die Schafe haben keine Wolle mehr. Als es dies gehört hatte, floh das Schaf auf das Feld.
(Quoted from German Wikipedia: Indogermanische Fabel: Deutsche Übersetzung)


Historic German version
which is Schleicher's translation of his Indogermanic Fable.

[Das] schaf und [die] rosse
[Ein] schaf, [auf] welchem wolle nicht war (ein geschorenes schaf) sah rosse, das [einen] schweren wagen fahrend, das [eine] groſse last, das [einen] menschen schnell tragend. [Das] schaf sprach [zu den] rossen: [Das] herz wird beengt [in] mir (es thut mir herzlich leid), sehend [den] menschen [die] rosse treibend. [Die] rosse sprachen: Höre schaf, [das] herz wird beengt [in den] gesehen-habenden (es thut uns herzlich leid, da wir wissen): [der] mensch, [der] herr macht [die] wolle [der] schafe [zu einem] warmen kleide [für] sich und [den] schafen ist nicht wolle (die schafe aber haben keine wolle mehr, sie werden geschoren; es geht ihnen noch schlechter als den rossen). Dies gehört-habend bog (entwich) [das] schaf [auf das] feld (es machte sich aus dem staube).


Proto-Germanic

Awiz ehwōz-uh
Awiz, sō wullǭ ne habdē, sahw ehwanz, ainanǭ kurjanǭ wagną teuhandų, ainanǭ-uh mikilǭ kuriþǭ, ainanǭ-uh gumanų sneumundô berandų. Awiz nu ehwamaz sagdē: hertô sairīþi mek, sehwandē ehwanz akandų gumanų. Ehwōz sagdēdun: gahauzī, awi! hertô sairīþi uns sehwandumiz: gumô, fadiz, uz awīz wullō wurkīþi siz warmą wastijǭ. Awiz-uh wullǭ ne habaiþi. Þat hauzidaz awiz akrą flauh.
Many more versions can be found at Wikipedia: Schleicher's fable


English translation of the modern Standard German version using as many recognizable cognates as possible, retaining German sentence structure

The following text is identical to the modern German version. Obvious cognates are written in bold font. Non-obvious cognates and obvious cognates that differ in meaning in this specific context are written in bold font and italics. In the second line, corresponding English translations are given, retaining German sentence structure (word-for-word). In the third line, explanations are given for non-obvious cognates.


Das Schaf und die Pferde
The Sheep and the Horses


Ein Schaf, das keine Wolle mehr hatte, sah Pferde, eines einen schweren Wagen fahrend, eines eine große Last, eines einen Menschen schnell tragend.
A sheep, that no wool any more had, saw horses, one a heavy wagon {faring}, one a great weight, one a {man} quickly {dragging}.
{fahrend: faring; driving}, {Mensch: man, human}, {tragend: dragging; carrying (cf. "drag": carrying clothes)}


Das Schaf sprach: Das Herz wird mir eng, wenn ich sehe, dass der Mensch die Pferde antreibt.
The sheep spoke: The heart becomes me pain when I see that the {man} the horses drives.
(note: for "wird", cf. "worth" (archaic): "woe worth the day"; becomes)


Die Pferde sprachen: Höre, Schaf, das Herz wird uns eng, weil wir gesehen haben:
The horses spoke: Hear, sheep, the heart becomes us tight because we seen have:


Der Mensch, der Herr, macht die Wolle der Schafe zu einem warmen Kleid für sich und die Schafe haben keine Wolle mehr.
The {man}, the master, makes the wool (of) the sheep (in)to warm clothes for himself and the sheep have no wool (any) more.
(none)


Als es dies gehört hatte, floh das Schaf auf das Feld.
As it this heard had, {fled} the sheep {up (=to)} the field.
{floh: fled: cf. fliehen: flee}, {auf: up; (here:) "to")}


Notes:
1. In modern German, "Pferd" is usually used for "horse". The modern German cognate to' "horse" is "Ross" (horse). "Ross" is essentially a synonym to "Pferd", though not used as frequently (e.g. poetically or regionally), or in compositions such as modern Standard German "Schlachtross" (warhorse).
2. In modern German, in the context of this story, "Last" is used for "weight, burden". The modern German cognate to "weight" is "Gewicht", which also means "weight" and is used in particular in the context measurement. "Load" is not a cognate to German "Last". However, German "Last/lasten" ("weight"/"to weigh") is etymologically connected to the German verb "laden, beladen" ("to load")[2], which is a cognate to English adjective "laden" (German: "beladen" (participle)).
3. In modern German, in the context of this story, "Herr" is used for "master". The German cognate to "master" is "Meister" ( "foreman"; "master" (1. crafts: professional qualification: e.g. Elektriker-Meister; 2. to master s.th./to be a master of s.th.: etw. meistern/ein Meister von etw. sein)). In academia, "Master of Science/Arts" has been introduced to replace the German "Diplom" qualification, i.e. the anglicism "Master", not "Meister" is used in an academic context.


Old English and Old Norse[edit]

Modern English developed from dialects of Middle English that developed within regions of Anglo-Saxon England that experienced the densest settlement of speakers of Old Norse (itself a daughter language of Proto-Germanic). The resulting Middle English was therefore heavily influenced by Old Norse, taking words from both Old English and Old Norse, and, where the words in the two languages were very similar, words that were influenced by both. This article therefore indicates cognates for the Modern English in Old English and/or Old Norse as appropriate to better reflect this state of affairs. Old Norse forms are only indicated when they are either the source of the modern English word or the difference between the Old English and Old Norse word stems is due to vowels.

Organization of tables[edit]

In general, only the singular forms of nouns, the principle parts of verbs, and base forms of other words are given. Other forms are given when they are of specific interest. Portions of words in German or Modern English that have been separated out by parentheses indicate either elements that have been added to those words since the Proto-Germanic period or the presence of stem of interest in a compound.

Regular cognates with matching consonant values[edit]

We treat alternations between voiced and unvoiced s as no change. We treat alternations between fricative v and semivowel w as approximately no change.

Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Aal eel eel ǣl áll *ēlaz
Aar er(ne) eagle earn ǫrn *arô
Acker acre field,
acre
æcer akr *akraz
after- (prefix) after after- (prefix) æfter *after
Ahle awl awl ǣl *ēlō
Ähre ear (bot.) ear (bot.) ēar *ahaz
all- (det.);
all- (prefix)
all all eall allr *allaz
an on at,
to,
on
an,
on
*ana
Angel angle fishing tackle angel,
angul
ǫngull *angulō
angeln;
angelte;
(ge)angelt
angle;
angled;
angled
to fish angel,
angul
ǫngull *angulō
Arm arm arm earm armr *armaz
Asche ash (solid remains of a fire) ash (solid remains of a fire) æsce *askǭ
backen;
backte/buk;
(ge)backt/(ge)backen
bake;
baked;
baked
to bake bacan baka *bakaną
Bäcker baker baker bæcere bakari *bakārijaz
Bahn[3] bane path,
trail,
train
bana,
bona
bani *banô
bald bold soon bald,
beald
Baldr *balþaz
Band band band,
ribbon,
tape
bend *bandiz
Bär bear bear bera bera *berô
Baum beam tree bēam *baumaz
Beere berry berry berige *bazją
beginnen;
begann;
begonnen
begin;
began;
begun
to begin beginnan *biginnaną
bei by by *bi
Bein bone leg bān beinn *bainaz
bekommen;
bekam;
bekommen
become;
became;
become
to get,
to receive
becuman *bikwemaną
bellen;
bellte;
(ge)bellt
bellow;
bellowed;
bellowed
to bark
(am) best(en) (adj.);
best- (prefix)
best best betest,
betst,
best
*batistaz
Beule boil (skin infection) boil,
hump
bȳl bóla *būlō
Bier beer beer bēor bjórr *beuzą
binden;
band;
(ge)bunden
bind;
bound;
bound
to bind bindan binda *bindaną
bitter bitter bitter biter,
bitter
bitr *bitraz
blind blind blind blind blindr *blindaz
Blume bloom flower blōma blómi,
blóm
*blōmô
Bock buck buck bucc,
bucca
bukkr,
bokki
*bukkaz,
*bukkô
bohren;
bohrte;
(ge)bohrt
bore;
bored;
bored
to bore,
to drill
borian bora *burōną
Brand brand fire,
blaze
brand,
brond
*brandaz
braun brown brown brūn brúnn *brūnaz
Brust breast breast brēost brjóst *breustą
Büchse box box box *buhsuz
Bulle bull bull bula boli *bulô
Busch bush bush busc *buskaz
Butter butter butter butere *buterǭ
Delle dell dent dell *daljō
Düne down dune dūn dúnn *dūnaz,
*dūnǭ
eher ere earlier ǣr ár *airiz
eher(n) ore of iron ār eir *aiz
Eis ice ice īs íss *īsą
Ende end end ende endi *andijaz
enden;
endete;
(ge)endet
end,
ended;
ended
to end endian enda *andijōną
Ernst earnest seriousness,
zeal
eornost *ernustuz
erst erst first ǣrest *airistaz
Esche ash (tree) ash (tree) æsċ *askaz
euer your your ēower *izweraz
fahren;
fuhr;
(ge)fahren
fare;
fore/fared;
faren/fared
to drive faran fara *faraną
fallen;
fiel;
(ge)fallen
fall;
fell;
fallen
to fall feallan falla *fallaną
fällen;
fällte;
(ge)fällt
fell;
felled;
felled
to fell fellan fella *fallijaną
faul foul rotten,
lazy
fūl fúll *fūlaz
Faust fist fist fȳst *funstiz
Feind fiend enemy fēond fjándi *fijandz
Feld field field feld *felþą
Fell fell fur,
pelt,
hide
fell fjall,
fell
*fellą
fern far far feorr,
feor
fjarri *ferrai
fest fast firm fæst fastr *fastuz
Fett fat fat fǣtt *faitidaz
finden;
fand;
(ge)funden
find;
found;
found
to find findan *finþaną
Finger finger finger finger fingr *fingraz
Finne fin dorsal fin finn *finnō
Fisch fish fish fisċ *fiskaz
fischen;
fischte;
(ge)fischt
fish;
fished;
fished
to fish fiscian *fiskōną
Fischer fisher fisher fisċere *fiskārijaz
Fleisch flesh meat flǣsc *flaiską
fliehen;
floh;
(ge)flohen
flee;
fled;
fled
to flee flēon flýja *fleuhaną
Floh flea flea flēah,
flēa
fló *flauhaz
Fohle(n) foal foal fola foli *fulô
Föhre fir pine furh fura,
fýri
*furhō
Freund friend friend frēond frændi *frijōndz
frisch fresh fresh fersċ *friskaz
Fuchs fox fox fox *fuhsaz
für for for for *furi
Fürst first chief,
prince
fyrst *furistaz
Geist ghost ghost,
mind,
spirit
gāst,
gǣst
*gaistaz
Gift gift poison ġift *giftiz
Gold gold gold gold *gulþą
Gras grass grass græs,
gærs
gras *grasą
grau gray/grey gray/grey grǣġ grár *grēwaz
grün green green grēne grœnn,
grǿnn
*grōniz
Grund ground ground,
reason
grund *grunduz
Haar hair hair hǣr hár *hērą
hacken;
hackte;
(ge)hackt
hack;
hacked;
hacked
to chop,
to hack,
to hoe
*hakkōną
Halle hall hall heall hǫll *hallō
Hammer hammer hammer hamor,
hamer,
homer
hamarr *hamaraz
Hand hand hand hand hǫnd *handuz
hängen;
hing;
(ge)hangen
hang;
hung;
hung
to hang (intrans.) hōn hanga *hanhaną
Haus house house hūs hús *hūsą
Heft haft booklet,
notebook,
haft
hæft *haftiją
hehr hoar noble,
sublime
hār *hairaz
Heil (nom.) hail salvation hāl heill *hailaz
heil (adj.) hale;
whole
intact,
safe,
whole
hāl heill *hailaz
heilen;
heilte;
(ge)heilt
heal;
healed;
healed
to heal hǣlan heila *hailijaną
Heim home home hām heimr *haimaz
hemmen;
hemmte;
(ge)hemmt
hem;
hemmed;
hemmed
to check,
to hamper
hemja *hamjaną
Henne hen hen henn *hanjō
Herde herd herd heord *herdō
Herr hoar gentleman hār *hairaz
Heu hay hay hīġ hey *hawją
hindern;
hinderte;
(ge)hindert
hinder;
hindered;
hindered
to hinder hinder *hinder
hohl hollow hollow hol holr *hulaz
Höhle hole cave hol holr *hulaz
Hölle hell hell hell hel *haljō
Holm holm small island holm *hulmaz
hören;
hörte;
(ge)hört
hear;
heard;
heard
to hear hȳran,
hēran,
hīeran
heyra *hauzijaną
Hose hose pants hose,
hosa
hosa *husǭ
Huf;
Hufe
hoof;
hooves/hoofs
hoof hōf hófr *hōfaz
Hund hound dog hund hundr *hundaz
Hure whore whore hōre hóra *hōrǭ
in in in in *in
Jahr year year ġēar *jērą
jung young young ġeong *jungaz
kahl callow bald calu *kalwaz
klein clean little clǣne klénn *klainiz
Kluft cleft cleft kluft *kluftiz
Knie knee knee cnēo kné *knewą
Kohle coal coal col kol *kulą
kommen;
kam;
(ge)kommen
come;
came;
come
to come cuman koma *kwemaną
Korn corn grain corn korn *kurną
Kraft craft force,
power
cræft *kraftaz
Kran crane crane cran *kranô
kühl cool cool cōl *kōlaz,
*kōluz
küssen;
küsste;
(ge)küsst
kiss;
kissed;
kissed
to kiss cyssan kyssa *kussijaną
lahm lame lame lama lami *lamaz
Land land land land,
lond
land *landą
lang long long lang,
long
langr *langaz
Lasche lash tongue
Laus;
Läuse
louse;
lice
louse, lice lūs lús *lūs
lecken;
leckte;
(ge)leckt
leak;
leaked;
leaked
to leak leka *lekaną
lecken;
leckte;
(ge)leckt
lick;
licked;
licked
to lick liccian *likkōną
Lehre lore science,
teaching
lār *laizō
lernen;
lernte;
(ge)lernt
learn;
learnt/learned;
learnt/learned
to learn leornian *liznaną
lisp(el)n;
lisp(el)te;
(ge)lisp(el)t
lisp;
lisped;
lisped
lisp wlisp *wlispaz
Luft lift air lyft *luftuz
Luft loft air *luftuz
lüften;
lüftete;
(ge)lüftet
lift;
lifted;
lifted
to lift (a secret, the curtain) *luftijaną
Lunge lung lung lunga *lungô
Lust lust pleasure,
joy
lust lyst *lustuz
Mahl meal repast mǣl mál *mēlą
mähen;
mähte;
(ge)mäht
mow;
mowed;
mowed
to mow māwan *mēaną
Mähne mane mane manu *manō
Mähre mare decrepit old horse mere,
miere
merr *marhijō
Mal meal time (instance) mǣl mál *mēlą
Mann;
Männer
man;
men
man mann *mann-
Mark mark mark mearc *markō
Marsch marsh marsh *mariskaz
Mast mast mast (naut) mæst mastr *mastaz
Maus;
Mäuse
mouse;
mice
mouse mūs *mūs
Mehl meal flour melo,
melu
*melwą
mehr (adv.);
mehr- (prefix)
more more māra meiri *maizô
(am) meist(en) (adv.);
meist- (prefix)
most most māst,
mǣst
mestr *maistaz,
*maist
mein mine my mīn mínn *mīnaz
meinen;
meinte;
(ge)meint
mean;
meant;
meant
to think,
to mean
mǣnan meina *mainijaną
mild mild mild milde mildr *mildijaz
musste must had to mōste
Nacke(n) neck nape of the neck hnecca hnakki *hnakkô
Name name name nama,
noma
namn *namô
Nase nose nose nosu *nusō
Nest nest nest nest *nestaz
neun nine nine niġon *newun
nu(n) now now *nu
Ochse;
Ochsen
ox;
oxen
ox oxa *uhsô
Ofen oven oven ofn ofn *uhnaz
Ohr ear ear ēare eyra *ausô
Oste(n);
ost- (prefix)
east;
east- (prefix)
east- (prefix) ēast austr *austrą
Oster(n);
Oster- (prefix)
Easter Easter ēastre,
Ēostre
*Austrǭ
Otter otter otter oter,
otor
*utraz
quälen;
quälte;
(ge)quält
quell;
quelled;
quelled
to torment cwellan kvelja *kwaljaną
quer queer diagonal þweorh þverr *þwerhaz
Ramm ram ram ramm,
ram,
rom
*rammaz
rasch rash (adj.) rash (adj.),
swift
*raskuz
Raum room space,
room
rūm rúm *rūmą
Reh roe (deer) roe (deer) rāha,
rāa,
*raihą
Reihe row row rāw *raih-
rennen;
rannte;
(ge)rannt
run;
ran;
run
to run,
to race
rinnan rinna,
renna
*rinnaną
Reue rue repentance,
remorse,
regret
hrēow *hrewwō
Rinde rind bark;
rind
rinde *rindǭ
Ring ring ring hring *hringaz
rinnen;
rann;
(ge)ronnen
run;
ran;
run
to flow rinnan rinna,
renna
*rinnaną
(ver)rotten;
(ver)rottete;
(ver)rottet
rot;
rotted;
rotted
to rot rotna *rutōną
Ruder rudder oar,
rudder
rōþor *rōþrą
Sack sack sack sæcc sekkr *sakkuz
säen;
säte;
(ge)sät
sow;
sowed;
sown
to sow sāwan *sēaną
Sand sand sand sand sandr *samdaz
(Ge)sang song chant,
singing
sang,
song
sǫngr *sangwaz
Sau sow sow sugu
sauer sour sour sūr *sūraz
Saum seam seam sēam *saumaz
Schaft shaft shaft sċeaft *skaftaz
schal shoal stale,
flat,
vapid
Schale shale husk,
pod
*skalō
Scham shame shame sċamu,
sċeamu
*skamō
schämen;
schämte;
(ge)schämt
shame;
shamed;
shamed
to be ashamed sċamian
schamlos shameless shameless sċamlēas
Schar share troop sċearu *skarō
Schauer shower shower,
shudder
sċūr *skūrō
schauen;
schaute;
(ge)schaut
show;
showed;
shown/showed
to look,
to see,
to behold
sċēawian *skawwōną
scheiden;
schied;
(ge)schieden
shed;
shed;
shed
to separate sċādan,
sċēadan
*skaiþaną
scheinen;
schien;
(ge)schienen
shine;
shone;
shone
to seem sċīnan *skīnaną
Schenkel shank thigh sċanca *skankô
Schild shield shield sċield *skelduz
schön sheen beautiful sċīene *skauniz
Schuh shoe shoe sċōh *skōhaz
See sea lake sær,
sjár
*saiwiz
Seele soul soul,
spirit
sāwol *saiwalō
sehen;
sah;
(ge)sehen
see;
saw;
seen
to see sēon sjá *sehwaną
singen;
sang;
(ge)sungen
sing;
sang;
sung
to sing singan syngja *singwaną
sinken;
sank;
(ge)sunken
sink;
sank;
sunk
to sink sincan *sinkwaną
so so so swā svá *swa,
*swē
Sohle sole sole
Sohn son son sunu sonr *sunuz
Sommer summer summer sumor sumar *sumaraz
sonder (a)sunder special,
set apart
sundor- sundr *sundraz
sondern;
sonderte;
(ge)sondert
sunder;
sundered;
sundered
to separate sundrian *sundrōną
Sonne sun sun sunne sunna *sunnǭ
Spanne span margin,
span,
spread,
range
spann
spannen;
spannte;
(ge)spannt
span;
spanned;
spanned
to stretch,
to tighten,
to span
spannan *spannaną
spar(sam) spare economical spær spǫrr
sparen;
sparte;
(ge)spart
spare;
spared;
spared
to save,
to conserve,
to economize
sparian spara *sparōną,
*sparjaną
Speer spear spear spere *speru
Sper(ling) sparrow sparrow spearwa *sparwô
Spindel spindle spindle spindle,
spindel
*spinnilō
spinnen;
spann;
(ge)sponnen
spin;
spun;
spun
to spin yarn;
to be nuts
spinnan spinna *spinnaną
springen;
sprang;
(ge)sprungen
spring;
sprang;
sprung
to jump,
to leap
springan springa *springaną
sprühen;
sprühte;
(ge)sprüht
spray;
sprayed;
sprayed
to spray
Stahl steel steel stēle,
stȳle
stál
Stall stall cattle shed,
stable,
pigsty
steall *stallaz
Stamm stem trunk,
stem
stemn,
stefn
*stamniz
stark stark strong,
powerful
stearc *starkuz
starren;
starrte;
(ge)starrt
stare;
stared;
stared
to stare starian
stehlen;
stahl;
(ge)stohlen
steal;
stole;
stolen
to steal stelan stela,
stjala
*stelaną
steif stiff stiff,
rigid
stīf *stīfaz
Stein stone stone stān steinn *stainaz
steuern;
steuerte;
(ge)steuert
steer;
steered;
steered
to steer stīeran stýra *stiurijaną
Stier steer bull stēor *steuraz
still still calm,
silent
stille *stillijaz
stinken;
stank;
(ge)stunken
stink;
stank/stunk;
stunk
to stink stincan *stinkwaną
stören;
störte;
(ge)stört
stir;
stirred;
stirred
to bother so.,
to disturb so./sth.,
to perturb so./sth.
styrian *sturiz
Strand strand beach strand strǫnd *strandō
streng strong strict,
severe
strang,
strong
strangr *strangaz
Strom stream current,
stream
strēam straumr *straumaz
Stuhl stool chair stōl stóll *stōlaz
Sturm storm storm storm stormr *sturmaz
treu true faithful,
loyal,
true
trēowe *triwwiz
Trost trust comfort,
consolation
traust *traustą
und and and and *andi
ver- (prefix) for- (prefix) for- (prefix),
fer- (prefix),
fær- (prefix),
fyr- (prefix)
for- (prefix),
fyr- (prefix),
fir- (prefix)
*firi- (prefix),
*fra- (prefix)
verloren forlorn lost forlēosan *fraleusaną
Vieh fee cattle feoh *fehu
vier four four fēower fjórir *fedwōr
Volk folk people folc fólk *fulką
vor (prep.);
vor- (prefix)
fore- (prefix) before,
in front of
fōr(e)- (prefix) for- (prefix) *furai- (prefix)
wachsen;
wuchs;
(ge)wachsen
wax;
waxed;
waxed
to grow weaxan *wahsijaną
wandern;
wanderte;
(ge)wandert
wander;
wandered;
wandered
to hike,
to wander
wandrian *wandrōną
warm warm warm wearm *warmaz
warnen;
warnte;
(ge)warnt
warn;
warned;
warned
to warn warnian,
wearnian
*warnōną
waschen;
wusch;
(ge)waschen
wash;
washed;
washen/washed
to wash wascan,
wæscan
*waskaną
weh woe sore,
painful
*wai
welsch Welsh pertaining to romance-speaking areas of Switzerland welisc,
wilisc
*walhiskaz
wenden;
wandte/wendete;
(ge)wandt/(ge)wendet
wend;
went/wended;
went/wended
to turn,
to reverse
wendan *wandijaną
Werk work work weorc,
worc
*werką
Wespe wasp wasp wæsp *wepsō-
Weste(n);
west- (prefix)
west west west *westrą
Wiesel weasel weasel *wisulǭ
wild wild wild wilde *wilþijaz
Wille will will willa *wiljô
Wind wind wind wind *windaz
winken;
winkte;
(ge)wunken/(ge)winkt
wink;
winked;
winked
to wave,
to beckon
wincian *winkōną
Winter winter winter winter *wintruz
wirken;
wirkte;
(ge)wirkt
work;
worked,;
worked
to appear to be sth.,
to be effective
wyrċan *wurkijaną
wohl well well wel *wela
Wolf wolf wolf wulf *wulfaz
Wolle wool wool wull *wullō
wollen;
wollte;
(ge)wollt
will;
would;
would
to want,
to will (chiefly for "to want")
willan *wiljaną,
*waljaną
Wunder wonder miracle,
wonder
wundor *wundrą
Wurm worm worm wyrm *wurmiz

Regular cognates with differing consonant values[edit]

Proto-Germanic Voiced Stop Consonants[edit]

Proto-Germanic *b[edit]
German b ~ English f, ff[edit]

German word-internal b has two main correspondences. The first is English f, always in cases at the end of a word:

Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English Cognate Old Norse Cognate Proto-Germanic root
ab of off æf,
af,
of
af *ab
ab off off æf,
af,
of
af *ab
halb half half healf halfr *halbaz
ob if if ġif ef,
if
*jabai
taub deaf deaf dēaf daufr *daubaz
German b ~ English v[edit]

In other cases, German b corresponds to English v. This correspondence always occurs between vowels (though in English, this may be only an orthographic silent e). English f and v are therefore in complementary distribution, and have developed from the same source.

Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
berauben;
beraubt;
beraubt
bereave;
bereft/bereaved;
bereft/bereaved
to deprive,
to rob,
to bereave
berēafian *biraubōną
Biber beaver beaver beofor *bebruz
eben even even (flat and smooth) efen jafn *ebnaz
Grab grave grave græf gröf *grabą
haben;
hatte;
(ge)habt
have;
had;
had
to have hafian hafa *habjaną
heben;
hob;
(ge)hoben
heave;
hove/heaved
hove/hoven/heaved
to lift hafian hafa *habjaną
Herbst harvest autumn hærfest *harbistaz
kerben;
kerbte;
(ge)kerbt
carve;
carved;
carved
to notch,
to nick
ceorfan *kerbaną
leben;
lebte;
(ge)lebt
live;
lived;
lived
to live lifa *libjaną
Leber liver liver lifer lifr *librō
Liebe love love lufu *lubō
loben;
lobte;
(ge)lobt
love;
loved;
loved
to praise,
to compliment so.
lofian lofa *lubōną
Nabel navel navel nafela nafli *nabalô
Ober- (prefix);
ober(halb)
over upper,
senior,
chief;
over,
above
ofer *uber
Rabe raven raven hræfn hrafn *hrabnaz
Salbe salve ointment,
salve
sealf *salbō
schaben;
schabte;
(ge)schabt
shave;
shaved;
shaved
to scrape,
to shave
sċafan *skabaną
schieben;
schob;
(ge)schoben
shove;
shoved;
shoved
to push,
to shove
sċūfan *skeubaną
Sieb sieve sieve *sibi
sieben seven seven seofon *sebun
Silber silver silver seolfor silfr *silubrą
sterben;
starb;
(ge)storben
starve;
starved;
starved
to die steorfan *sterbaną
Taube dove pigeon,
dove
*dūfe dúfa *dūbǭ
übel evil bad,
evil,
sick
yfel *ubilaz
über over above,
about,
over
ofer *uber
weben;
wob/webte;
(ge)woben/(ge)webt
weave;
wove/weaved;
woven/weaved
to weave wefan *webaną
German b ~ English f : v[edit]

That the two above correspondences have the same source is further demonstrated by words where English f (word-final) alternates with v (word-medial) in inflection.

Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Alb;
Alben
elf;
elves
elf ælf alfr *albiz
Dieb;
Diebe
thief;
thieves
thief þēof þjófr *þeubaz
Kalb;
Kälber
calf;
calves
calf cælf kalfr *kalbaz
Laib;
Laibe
loaf;
loaves
loaf hlāf hleifr *hlaibaz
Laub leaf;
leaves
foliage lēaf lauf *laubą
Leib;
Leiber
life;
lives
body līf líf *lībą
Stab;
Stäbe
staff;
staves/staffs
staff stæf stafr *stabaz
Weib (dated/derog.);
Weiber
wife;
wives
woman wīf *wībą
Proto-Germanic *d[edit]
German dt, t, tt ~ English d, dd[edit]
Stadard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
alt old old eald,
ald
*aldaz
Bart beard beard beard *bardaz
behalten;
behielt;
behalten
behold;
beheld;
beholden/beheld
to keep,
to maintain,
to retrain
behealdan *bihaldaną
(Ge)bet bead prayer bedu,
bed
*bedō,
*bedą,
*gabedą
Bett bed bed bedd *badją
Bitte bead request bedu *bedō
bitten;
bat;
(ge)beten
bid;
bid/bade;
bid/bidden
to ask,
to request
biddan *bidjaną
Blatt blade blade blæd *bladą
Braut bride bride brȳd *brūdiz
breit broad broad brād *braidaz
Brot bread bread brēad *braudą
Brut brood brood brōd *brōduz
Draht thread wire þrǣd *þrēduz
eitel idle vain,
conceited
īdel *īdalaz
Flut flood flood flōd *flōduz
Futter fodder fodder fōdor *fōdrą
gelten;
galt;
(ge)golten
yield;
yielded,
yielded
to be effective,
to count (be valid)
ġieldan *geldaną
gleiten;
glitt;
(ge)glitten
glide;
glid/glided;
glid/glided
to glide glīdan *glīdaną
Gott god god god *gudą
Gürtel girdle belt gyrdel *gurdilaz
gut good good gōd *gōdaz
halten;
hielt;
(ge)halten
hold;
held;
holden/held
to hold healdan halda *haldaną
hart hard hard heard *harduz
Hort hoard refuge,
shelter,
day care
hord *huzdą
hundert hundred hundred hundred *hundaradą
Hut hood hat hōd *hōdaz
hüten;
hütete;
(ge)hütet
heed;
heeded;
heeded
to beware (of) so./sth.,
to tend (a herd/flock)
hēdan *hōdijaną
kalt cold cold cald kaldr *kaldaz
leiten;
leitete;
(ge)leitet
lead;
lead;
lead
to guide,
to lead,
to run sth.
lǣdan *laidijaną
Leiter ladder ladder hlǣder *hlaidrijō
Leiter leader leader lǣdere
Lot lead (metal) perpendicular,
plummet,
solder,
sounding lead
lēad *laudą
Matte meadow mountain pasture mǣd *mēdwō
Mehltau mildew mildew *milidawwaz
Met mead mead medu *meduz
mit mid with mid *midi
Mittel (nom.);
mittel (adj.)
middle means,
median (average value);
middle
middel *midlą
Mut mood courage mōd *mōdaz
mutig moody courageous mōdiġ *mōdagaz
Not need need nīed *naudiz
Otter adder adder,
viper
nǣdre *nadrǭ
raten;
riet;
(ge)raten
read;
read;
read
to guess,
to advise
rǣdan *rēdaną
reiten;
ritt;
(ge)ritten
ride;
rode;
ridden
to ride (an animal) rīdan *rīdaną
retten;
rettete;
(ge)rettet
rid;
rid;
rid
to save hreddan *hradjaną
rot red red rēad *raudaz
Saat seed sowing,
seed
sǣd,
sēd
*sēdiz
satt sad full,
lush,
to be full (food)
sæd *sadaz
Schatte(n) shade shadow sċeadu *skadwaz
Schatte(n) shadow shadow sċeadu *skadwaz
Schulter shoulder shoulder sċuldra *skuldrô
Schrot shred crushed grain,
small shot
scrēad *skraudō
Schwert sword sword sweord *swerdą
Seite side side sīde *sīdǭ
Stadt stead city stede *stadiz
Tag day day dæġ *dagaz
Tal dale valley dæl dalr *dalą
tapfer dapper brave,
plucky
dapr *dapraz
Tat deed deed dǣd,
dēd
*dēdiz
Tau dew dew dēaw *dawwaz,
*dawwą
taub deaf deaf dēaf daufr *daubaz
tauchen;
tauchte;
(ge)taucht
duck;
ducked;
ducked
to dive *dūkaną
Taube dove pigeon,
dove
*dūfe dúfa *dūbǭ
Tenne den threshing floor,
barn for threshing
denn,
denu
*danjō
Teich ditch pond dīc,
dīċ
*dīkaz
Teil dole part,
fraction
dāl *dailą
teilen;
teilte;
(ge)teilt
deal;
dealt;
dealt
to divide,
to share
dǣlan deila *dailijaną
tief deep deep dēop djúpr *deupaz
Tier deer animal dīor,
dēor
dýr,
djór
*deuzą
Tochter daughter daughter dohtor *duhtēr
Tod death death dēaþ dauðr *dauþuz
toll dull amazing,
great;
crazy (obs.)
dol *dulaz
Tor door gate duru dyrr *durz
tot dead dead dēad *daudaz
Tropfe(n) drop drop dropa dropi *drupô
tropfen;
tropfte;
(ge)tropft
drip;
dripped;
dripped
to drop;
to drip
tröpf(el)n;
tröpf(el)te;
(ge)tröpf(el)t
drip;
dripped;
dripped
to drip
tun;
tat;
(ge)tan
do;
did;
done
to do dōn *dōną
Tür door door duru dyrr *durz
unter under under under undir *under
Urteil ordeal judgement,
verdict
ordāl *uzdailiją
walten;
waltete;
(ge)waltet
wield;
wielded;
wielded
to preside over sth.,
to prevail,
to rule
wealdan *waldaną
warten;
wartete;
(ge)wartet
ward;
warded;
warded
to wait,
to maintain
weardian *wardāną
waten;
watete;
(ge)watet
wade;
waded;
waded
to wade wadan *wadaną
weit wide wide wīd *wīdaz
Welt world world weorold,
worold,
woruld
*weraldiz
wetten;
wettete;
(ge)wettet
wed;
wed/wedded;
wed/wedded
to bet,
to wager
weddian *wadjōną
Witwe widow widow widewe,
wuduwe
*widuwǭ
Zeit tide time tīd *tīdiz
Proto-Germanic *g[edit]
German g ~ English Ø, y[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Auge eye eye ēaġe *augô
einig- (det.) any some ǣniġ,
āni
*ainagaz
Fliege fly (animal) fly (animal) flēoġe *fleugǭ
fliegen;
flog;
(ge)flogen
fly;
flew;
flown
to fly *fleuganą
gähnen;
gähnte;
(ge)gähnt
yawn;
yawned;
yawned
to yawn ġinian *ginōną
Garn yarn yarn ġearn,
ġern
*garną
Garte(n) yard garden,
yard
ġeard *gardaz
gelb yellow yellow ġeolu *gelwaz
Geld yield money ġild *geldą
gelten;
galt;
(ge)golten
yield;
yielded,
yielded
to be effective,
to count (be valid)
ġieldan *geldaną
heilig holy holy hāliġ *hailagaz
Honig honey honey huniġ *hunagą
hungrig hungry hungry hungriġ *hungragaz
legen;
legte;
(ge)legt
lay;
laid;
laid
to lay leċġan *lagjaną
liegen;
lag;
(ge)legen
lie;
lay;
lain
to lie *ligjaną
lügen;
log;
(ge)logen
lie;
lied;
lied
to lie *leuganą
mögen;
mochte;
(ge)mocht
- (may);
might;
might
to like *maganą
Pfennig penny a denomination of coin *panningaz
pflegen;
pflegte;
(ge)pflegt
play;
played;
played
to groom;
to nurse,
to tend so./sth.
plēon;
pleġan
*plehaną,
*plegōną
Roggen rye rye ryġe *rugiz
sagen;
sagte;
(ge)sagt
say;
said;
said
to say seċġan *sagjaną
schäbig shabby shabby
Tag day day dæġ *dagaz
traurig dreary sad drēoriġ *dreuzagaz
Weg (nom.);
weg- (prefix)
way path,
way
weġ *wegaz
Zeug toy stuff,
things
*teugą
German g ~ English , gh /∅/[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
biegen;
bog;
(ge)bogen
bow;
bowed;
bowed
to bend,
to bow
būgan *beuganą
Bogen bow bow boga bogi *bugô
Bug bough shoulder joint (animal) bōh *bōguz
eigen own own,
proper
āgen eiginn *aiganaz
Ellenboge(n) elbow elbow ǫlbogi *alinabugô
Pflug plough/plow plow plōh *plōgaz
Säge saw saw sagu,
saga
sǫg *sagō
tragen;
trug;
(ge)tragen
draw;
drew;
drawn
to carry,
to bear,
to wear
dragan draga *draganą
Trog trough trough,
trench
trog trog *trugaz
wägen;
wog/wägte;
(ge)wogen/(ge)wägt
weigh;
weighed;
weighed
to weigh wegan *weganą

Proto-Germanic Unvoiced Stop Consonants[edit]

Proto-Germanic *k[edit]

The correspondences for *k are somewhat complicated as both German and English exhibit two kinds of changes from *k. In German, *k can remain k or become ch (/x/), while in English, *k can remain k or become ch (/tʃ/).

German ch ~ English ch /tʃ/, tch /tʃ/[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Bach beach stream bæċ,
beċe
*bakiz
bleich bleach pale,
wan,
sallow
blǣċ *blaikaz
Bruch breach breach,
crack,
fracture
briċe,
bryċe
*brukiz
Buche beech beech bēċe *bōkijǭ
Dach thatch roof *þaką
reichen;
reichte;
(ge)reicht
reach;
reached;
reached
to last,
to pass sth. to so.,
to reach,
to suffice
rǣċan *raikijaną
solch- (det.) such such swylc,
swilċ
*swalīkaz
Sprache speech language,
speech
spǣċ *sprēkō
Teich ditch pond dīċ *dīkaz
wachen;
wachte;
(ge)wacht
watch;
watched;
watched
to be awake,
to watch over so./sth.
wæċċan,
weċċan
*wakjaną
welch- (det.) which which hwilċ *hwilīkaz
German ch ~ English ck, k[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Bache back sow bæc bak *baką
bleich bleak pale,
wan,
sallow
blāc,
blǣc
*blaikaz
brechen;
brach;
(ge)brochen
break;
broke;
broken
break brecan *brekaną
Bruch brook swamp,
marsh
brōc *brōkaz
Buch book book bōc bók *bōks
Eiche oak oak āc eik *aiks
frech freak brash,
cheeky,
insulting
freca *frekô
Joch yoke yoke ioc,
ġioc,
ġeoc
*juką
Knoche(n) knuck(le) bone *knukô
kochen;
kochte;
(ge)kocht
cook;
cooked;
cooked
to boil,
to cook
*kukōną
Kuchen cake cake ceace kaka *kakǭ
Lache lake pool lacu lœkr *lakō,
*lōkiz
Lauch leek leek,
allium
lēac laukr *laukaz
Lerche lark (bird) lark (bird) lāwerce *laiwarikǭ
Milch milk milk meolc mjǫlk *meluks
rächen;
rächte;
(ge)rächt
wreak;
wrought/wreaked;
wrought/wreaked
to avenge,
to take revenge
wrecan reka *wrekaną
Rechen rake rake,
grill
racu,
raca
rǫk,
reka
*rakō,
*rekô
rechnen;
rechnete;
(ge)rechnet
reckon;
reckoned;
reckoned
to calculate,
to reckon
*rekanōną
riechen;
roch;
(ge)rochen
reek;
reeked;
reeked
to smell rēocan rjúka *reukaną
Sache sake matter,
cause
sacu sǫk *sakō
sprechen;
sprach;
(ge)sprochen
speak;
spoke;
spoken
to speak specan *sprekaną
Storch stork stork storc storkr *sturkaz
Streich stroke stroke *straikaz
streichen;
strich;
(ge)strichen
strike;
struck;
struck/stricken
to stroke strīcan *strīkaną
streich(el)n;
streich(el)te;
(ge)streich(el)t
stroke;
stroked;
stroked
to stroke,
to pet,
to fondle
strācian *straikōną
Strich streak stroke,
line
strica *strikiz
tauchen;
tauchte;
(ge)taucht
duck;
ducked;
ducked
to dive *dūkaną
weich weak weak,
soft
wāc *waikwaz
Woche week week wice,
wicu
*wikǭ
Zeichen token sign tācn teikn *taikną
German ck, k ~ English ch /tʃ/, tch /tʃ/[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
(Ge)bäck batch pastry bæċ,
beċe
*bakiz
Bank bench bench benċ *bankiz
Birke birch birch bierċe,
birċe
*birkijǭ
Fink finch finch finċ *finkiz
hecken;
heckte;
(ge)heckt
hatch;
hatched;
hatched
to hatch,
to give birth to
Käfer chafer beetle ċeafor *kebrô
karg chary meager,
barren,
poor
ċeariġ *karagaz
kauen;
kaute;
(ge)kaut
chew;
chewed;
chewed
to chew ċēowan *kewwaną
Kehre chore U-turn
Kerl churl guy ċeorl *karilaz
Kinn chin chin ċinn *kinnuz
Krücke crutch crutch cryċċ,
criċċ
*krukjō
Kühle chill coolness ċele,
ċiele,
ċyle
*kaliz
(Ge)stank stench stench,
odor,
smell
stenċ *stankwiz
strecken;
streckte;
(ge)streckt
stretch;
stretched;
stretched
to stretch *strakjaną
Stück stitch piece styċċe *stukkiją
tränken;
tränkte;
(ge)tränkt
drench;
drenched;
drenched
to water drenċan *drankijaną
Proto-Germanic *p[edit]
German f, ff ~ English p[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Affe ape monkey,
ape
apa api *apô
auf up on,
upon,
up
ūp,
upp
upp *upp
greifen;
griff;
(ge)griffen
grip;
gripped;
gripped
to grab,
to grip,
to take effect
grīpan grípa *grīpaną
Harfe harp harp hearpe harpa *harpǭ
Haufen heap heap hēap *haupaz
helfen;
half;
(ge)holfen
help;
holp/helped;
holpen/helped
to help helpan hjalpa *helpaną
Hilfe help help help hjalp *helpō
hoffen;
hoffte;
(ge)hofft
hope;
hoped;
hoped
to hope hopian *hupōną
Hüfte hip hip hype *hupiz
laufen;
lief;
(ge)laufen
leap;
leapt/leaped;
leapt/leaped
to walk,
to run
hlēapan *hlaupaną
laufen;
lief;
(ge)laufen
lope;
loped;
loped
to walk,
to run
hlaupa *hlaupaną
offen open open open opinn *upanaz
raufen;
raufte;
(ge)rauft
rip;
ripped;
ripped
to scuffle,
to tuffle
*ruppōną
reif ripe mature,
ripe
rīpe
schaffen;
schuf;
(ge)schaffen
shape;
shope/shaped;
shapen/shaped
to accomplish sth.,
to manage,
to cope with sth.
sċieppan *skapjaną
scharf sharp sharp;
hot,
spicy (food)
sċarp,
sċearp
*skarpaz
Schiff ship ship sċip *skipą
stief- (prefix) step- (prefix) step- (prefix) stēop- (prefix),
stēp- (prefix)
stjúp- (prefix) *steupa- (prefix)
tief deep deep dēop djúpr *deupaz
Waffe weapon weapon wǣpen *wēpną
werfen;
warf;
(ge)worfen
warp;
warped;
warped
to throw weorpan *werpaną
German pf ~ English p[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognates Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Apfel apple apple æppel *aplaz
hüpfen;
hüpfte;
(ge)hüpft
hop;
hopped;
hopped
to hop hoppian hoppa *huppōną
Kropf crop crop,
goitre
cropp *kruppaz
Pfad path path pæþ *paþaz
Pfanne pan pan panne
pflegen;
pflegte;
(ge)pflegt
play;
played;
played
to groom,
to nurse,
to tend so./sth.
plegian *plehaną,
*plegōną
Pflug plough/plow plow plōh *plōgaz
pflücken;
pflückte;
(ge)pflückt
pluck;
plucked;
plucked
to pluck,
to pick
plukka,
plokka
*plukkōną
Pfuhl pool quagmire,
mudhole
pōl *pōlaz
Rumpf rump hull,
torso,
trunk
stampfen;
stampfte;
(ge)stampft
stamp;
stamped;
stamped
to stamp
stampfen;
stampfte;
(ge)stampft
stomp;
stomped;
stomped
to stamp
stapfen;
stapfte;
(ge)stapft
step;
stepped;
stepped
to trudge stæppan,
steppan
*stapjaną
Stumpf stump stump *stumpaz
tapfer dapper brave,
plucky
dapr *dapraz
Tropfe(n) drop drop dropa dropi *drupô
tropfen;
tropfte;
(ge)tropft
drip;
dripped;
dripped
to drop;
to drip
tröpf(el)n;
tröpf(el)te;
(ge)tröpf(el)t
drip;
dripped;
dripped
to drip
Proto-Germanic *t[edit]
German s, ss, ß ~ English t, tt[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
aus out out,
out of,
from
ūt út *ūt
beißen;
biss;
(ge)bissen
bite;
bit;
bitten
to bite bītan bíta *bītaną
besser (adj.);
besser- (prefix)
better better betera betri *batizô
das that that þæt þat *þat
dass that that þæt þat *þat
Droß throat throat þrote
essen;
aß;
(geg)essen
eat;
ate;
eaten
to eat (of a human) etan eta *etaną
Fass vat barrel,
keg,
drum,
cask,
vat
fæt fat *fatą
fressen;
fraß;
(ge)fressen
fret;
frate/fretted;
fretten/fretted
to eat (of an animal) fretan *fraetaną
Fuß;
Füße
foot;
feet
foot fōt fótr *fōts
Grieß grit semolina grēot grjót *greutą
groß great big,
huge,
large
*grautaz
grüßen;
grüßte;
(ge)grüßt
greet;
greeted;
greeted
greet *grōtijaną
Hass hate hate *hataz
hassen;
haste;
(ge)hasst
hate;
hated;
hated
to hate *hatōną
Hornisse hornet hornet *hurznutō
Kessel kettle kettle *katilaz
Kloß clod lump,
dumpling
*klūtaz
Kloß cloud lump,
dumpling
*klūtaz
lassen;
ließ;
(ge)lassen
let;
let;
let
to let *lētaną
Los lot lot,
fate
*hlutą
messen;
maß;
(ge)messen
mete;
meted;
meted
to measure *metaną
Nuss nut nut *hnuts
reißen;
riss;
(ge)rissen
write;
wrote;
written
to tip,
to tear
*wrītaną
scheißen;
schiss;
(ge)schissen
shit;
shitted;
shitted
to shit *skītaną
schmeißen;
schmiss;
(ge)schmissen
smite;
smote;
smitten/smited
to throw *smītaną
schießen;
schoss;
(ge)schossen
shoot;
shot;
shot
to shoot *skeutaną
Schweiß sweat sweat *swait-
Sessel settle chair *setlaz
sitzen;
saß;
(ge)sessen
sit;
sat;
sitten/sat
to sit *sitjaną
vergessen;
vergaß;
vergessen
forget;
forgot;
forgotten
to forget *fragetaną
was what what *hwat
Wasser water water *watōr
Zwielicht twilight twilight,
dusk
German tz, z ~ English t, tt[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Balz belt *baltijaz
furzen;
furzte;
(ge)furzt
fart;
farted;
farted
to fart *fertaną
Herz heart heart *hertô
Hitze heat heat *haitį̄
Katze cat cat *kattuz
kurz curt short *kurtaz
ritzen;
ritzte;
(ge)ritzt
write;
wrote;
written
to scratch *wrītaną
Salz salt salt *saltą
Schürze shirt apron *skurtijǭ
setzen;
setzte;
(ge)setzt
set;
set;
set
to place,
to put,
to set,
to sit down
*satjaną
sitzen;
saß;
(ge)sessen
sit;
sat;
sitten/sat
to sit *sitjaną
Stelze stilt stilt
stürzen;
stürzte;
(ge)stürzt
start;
started;
started
to fall down,
to dash,
to throw
*sturtijaną
Warze wart wart *wartǭ
Weize(n) wheat wheat *hwaitijaz
Witz wit joke *witją
Wurz(el) wort root *wrōts
zäh tough chewy,
tough
*tanhuz
Zahl tale number,
figure
*talō
zählen;
zählte;
(ge)zählt
tell;
told;
told
to count *taljaną
zahm tame tame *tamaz
Zange tong pliers,
pincers,
tongs
zart tart delicate,
tender
Zaum team bridle *taumaz
Zaun town fencing *tūną
Zecke tick tick
Zeichen token sign *taikną
Zeh toe toe *taihwǭ
zehn ten ten *tehun
zehren;
zehrte;
(ge)zehrt
tear;
tore;
torn
to live on sth. *teraną
Zeit tide time *tīdiz
zerren;
zerrte;
(ge)zerrt
tear;
tore;
torn
to tug,
to drag sth.,
to wrench
*teraną
Zeug toy stuff,
things
*teugą
Ziegel tile brick,
tile
*tigulǭ
Zimmer timber room *timrą
Zinn tin tin *tiną
Zitze tit tit (of an animal)
zu to to,
too
*tō,
*ta
zu too to,
too
*tō,
*ta
zucken;
zuckte;
(ge)zuckt
tuck;
tucked;
tucked
to jerk *tukkōną
Zunder tinder tinder *tundrą
Zunge tongue tongue *tungǭ
Zweig twig twig *twīgą
zwink(er)n;
zwink(er)t;
(ge)zwink(er)t
twink(le);
twink(le)d;
twink(le)d
to blink,
to wink
Zwist twist turmoil,
strife,
discord
zwölf twelve twelve *twalif

Proto-Germanic Fricative Consonants[edit]

Proto-Germanic *f[edit]
German f ~ English v[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
elf eleve(n) eleven *ainalif
Fass vat barrel,
keg,
drum, cask,
vat
*fatą
Schaufel shovel shovel *skuflō
zwölf twelve twelve *twalif
Proto-Germanic *h[edit]

The correspondences for *h are somewhat complicated as English exhibits two kinds of changes from *h. In English, *h can become a gh /∅/, or it can become gh /f/. This yields two possible rules of correspondence.

German ch ~ English gh /∅/[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
doch though still,
yet
*þauh
hoch high high *hauhaz
German ch ~ English gh /f/[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German word Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
keuchen;
keuchte;
(ge)keucht
cough;
coughed;
coughed
to pant
lachen;
lachte;
(ge)lacht
laugh;
laughed;
laughed
to laugh *hlahjaną
zäh tough chewy,
tough
*tanhuz
Proto-Germanic *s[edit]

Both languages exhibit some tendency to rhotacization.

German s ~ English r[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Eisen iron iron *īsarną
Hase hare hare *hasô
Proto-Germanic *þ[edit]
German d ~ English th[edit]

We treat alternations between voiced and unvoiced th as equivalent.

Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Bad bath bath *baþą
baden;
badete;
(ge)badet
bathe;
bathed;
bathed
to bathe *baþōną
Bruder brother brother *brōþēr
da there there *þar
Dach thatch roof *þaką
danken;
dankte;
(ge)dankt
to thank thank;
thanked;
thanked
*þankōną
dann, denn than, then then
das, dass that that *þat
Daume(n) thumb thumb *þūmô
denken;
dachte;
(ge)dacht
think;
thought;
thought
to think *þankijaną
dick thick thick *þekuz
Dieb;
Diebe
thief;
thieves
thief *þeubaz
Ding thing thing *þingą
Distel thistle thistle *þistilaz
doch though still,
yet
*þauh
Dorn thorn thorn *þurnuz
Draht thread wire *þrēduz
Drang throng urge,
drive
*þrangwaz
drehen;
drehte;
(ge)dreht
throw;
thrown;
thrown
to rotate,
to spin,
to turn
*þrēaną
drei three three *þrīz
dreschen;
drosch;
(ge)droschen
thrash;
thrashed;
thrashed
to thresh,
to thrash
*þreskaną
dreschen;
drosch;
(ge)droschen
thresh;
threshed;
threshed
to thresh,
to thrash
*þreskaną
Droß throat throat
dünn thin thin *þunnuz
durch thorough through *þurhw
durch through through *þurhw
Durst thirst thirst *þurstuz
Eid oath oath *aiþaz
Erde Earth Earth *erþō
Feder feather feather *feþrō
(Ge)dränge throng jostle,
throng
*þrangwaz
Heide heath heath,
moor
*haiþī
Herd hearth stove,
cooker
*herþaz
Leder leather leather *leþrą
leid loath weary,
sorry (anguish)
*laiþaz
Mund mouth mouth *munþaz
nieder nether down,
low
*niþer
Norde(n);
nord-
north north *nurþrą
Pfad path path *paþaz
Schmied smith smith *smiþaz
Schmiede smithy smithy *smiþjǭ
sieden;
sott;
(ge)sotten
seethe;
sod/seethed;
sodden/seethed
to simmer,
to seethe
*seuþaną
Süde(n), süd- south south *sunþrą
Tod death death *dauþuz
weder whether neither *hwaþeraz
wider with against
wieder with again
German t ~ English th[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Monat month month *mēnōþs
Motte moth moth
tauen;
taute;
(ge)taut
thaw;
thawed;
thawed
to thaw
tausend thousand thousand *þūsundī

Proto-Germanic Liquid Consonants[edit]

Proto-Germanic *l[edit]
German l, ll ~ English , l (∅)[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
solch- such such *swalīkaz
welch- which which *hwilīkaz
walken;
walkte;
(ge)walkt
walk;
walked;
walked
to churn,
to tumble sth.;
to knead (coll.)
*walkaną
wollen;
wollte;
(ge)wollt
- (will);
would;
would
to want,
to will (chiefly for "to want")
*waljaną
Proto-Germanic *r, *z[edit]

Proto-Germanic *z developed into Proto-West Germanic *r. Both languages exhibit some tendency to drop the original *r.

German ~ English r[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
da there there *þar
Welt world world *weraldiz
wo where where *hwar
German r ~ English [edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
mir me me *miz
Sprache speech language,
speech
*sprēkijō
sprechen;
sprach;
(ge)sprochen
speak;
spoke;
spoken
to speak *sprekaną
wider with against
wieder with again
wir we we *wīz
Zwirn twine thread *twiznaz

Proto-Germanic Nasal Consonants[edit]

Proto-Germanic *m[edit]
German m, mm ~ English mb[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Daume(n) thumb thumb *þūmô
Krume crumb crumb *krumô,
*krūmô
schlummern;
schlummerte;
(ge)schlummert
slumber;
slumbered;
slumbered
to slumber,
to doze
*slūm-
Zimmer timber room *timrą
German n ~ English m[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Boden bottom ground *butmaz
Busen bosom breast *bōsmaz
Faden fathom thread *faþmaz
Proto-Germanic *n[edit]
German , n ~ English , n[edit]

Both languages exhibit some tendency to drop the original *n.

Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
ander- (det.) other other *anþeraz
ein- (det.) a,
an
a,
an
*ainaz
Ellenbogen elbow elbow *alinabugô
Gans;
Gänse
goose;
geese
goose *gans
Knoten knot knot
König king king *kuningaz
mein my my *mīnaz
Mund mouth mouth *munþaz
Natter adder grass-snake *nadrǭ
Rabe raven raven *hrabnaz
Stern star star *sternǭ
Waffe weapon weapon *wēpną
Wunsch wish wish
wünschen;
wünschte;
(ge)wünscht
wish;
wished;
wished
to wish *wunskijaną

Proto-Germanic Semivowels[edit]

Proto-Germanic *w[edit]
German Ø ~ English w[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Aue ewe ewe *awiz
brauen;
braute;
(ge)braut
brew;
brewed;
brewed
to brew *brewwaną
Eule owl owl *uwwalǭ
hauen;
hieb/haute;
(ge)hauen
hew;
hewed;
hewn/hewed
to beat,
to hit,
to hew (in stone)
*hawwaną
kauen;
kaute;
(ge)kaut
chew;
chewed;
chewed
to chew *kewwaną
Klaue claw claw *klawō
Krähe crow crow *krāwō
roh raw raw *hrawaz
Schnee snow snow *snaiwaz
speien;
spie;
(ge)spien/(ge)spieen
spew;
spewed;
spewed
to spit (sth.),
to vomit
*spīwaną
streuen;
streute;
(ge)streut
strew;
strewed;
strewn/strewed
to spread,
to strew
*strawjaną
Stroh straw straw *strawą
Tau dew dew *dawwaz,
*dawwą

Proto-Germanic Consonant Clusters[edit]

Proto-Germanic *liquid + velar stop[edit]
German lg ~ English llow[edit]

Proto-Germanic *z developed into Proto-West Germanic *r.

Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Balg bellow(s) hide,
bellows
*balgiz
Felge fallow felly,
rim
*falgō
folgen;
folgte;
(ge)folgt
follow;
followed;
followed
to follow *fulgijaną
schwelgen;
schwelgte;
(ge)schwelgt
swallow;
swallowed;
swallowed
to indulge (in sth.),
to wallow
*swelganą
Talg tallow tallow,
suet
*talgaz
German lg ~ English lly[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Balg belly hide,
bellows
*balgiz
Felge felly felly,
rim
*felgō
German rg ~ English ro, rough, rrow[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root}
Berg mountain barrow *bergaz
borgen, borgte, (ge)borgt to borrow, to lend borrow, borrowed, borrowed *burgōną
Burg castle, fortification boro *burgz
Burg castle, fortification borough *burgz
Morgen, morgen morning, tomorrow (to)morrow *murganaz, *murginaz
Sorge worry, concern, sorrow sorrow *surgō
German rg ~ English ry, rry[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root}
bergen, barg, (ge)borgen to recover so./sth., to rescue, to save so./sth. bury, buried, buried *berganą
karg meager, barren, poor chary *karagaz
würgen, würgte, (ge)würgt to strangle, to gag, to retch worry, worried, worried *wurgijaną
German rk ~ English rrow[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root}
Mark marrow marrow *mazgą
Proto-Germanic *stop + liquid or nasal[edit]
German gel ~ English l[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Hagel hail hail *haglaz
Nagel nail nail *naglaz
Schnegel slug snail *snagilaz
Segel sail sail *seglą
segeln, segelte, (ge)segelt to sail sail, sailed, sailed *seglōną, *siglijaną
Vogel bird fowl *fuglaz
Ziegel brick, tile tile *tigulǭ
German gen ~ English n[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Regen rain rain *regnaz
German ger ~ English r[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Lager lair lair,
camp
leġer *legrą
German ter, tter ~ English ther[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Mutter mother mother *mōdēr
Vater father father *fadēr
Wetter weather weather *wedrą
German tr ~ English dr[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
tragen, trug, (ge)tragen to carry, to bear, to wear draw, drew, drawn *draganą
tränken, tränkte, (ge)tränkt to water drench, drenched, drenched *drankijaną
Traum dream dream *draumaz
traurig sad dreary *dreuzagaz
treten, trat, (ge)treten tread tread, trod/tread, trodden/tread *tredaną, *trudaną
trinken, trank, (ge)trunken to drink drink, drank, drunk *drinkaną
Tropfen drop drop *drupô
Proto-Germanic *sibilant + nasal[edit]
German schm ~ English sm[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
schmal narrow small *smalaz
schmeißen, schmiss, (ge)schmissen to throw smite, smote, smitten/smited *smītaną
schmerzen, schmerzte, (ge)schmerzt to hurt smart, smarted, smarted *smertaną
Schmied smith smith *smiþaz
schmieren, schmierte, (ge)schmiert to smear smear, smeared, smeared *smirwijaną
schmuggeln, schmuggelte, (ge)schmuggelt to smuggle smuggle, smuggled, smuggled *smeuganą
German schn ~ English sn[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Schnee snow snow *snaiwaz
Schnegel slug snail *snagilaz
Schnur cord, string snare *snarhǭ
Proto-Germanic *gj[edit]
German ck ~ English dg[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Brücke bridge bridge *brugjǭ
Ecke corner, edge edge *agjō
Hecke hedge hedge *hagjō
Mücke midge, gnat, mosquito midge
Rücken back, ridge ridge *hrugjaz
Wecken [regional] loaf, roll wedge *wagjaz
Proto-Germanic *ht[edit]
German cht ~ English ght[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root}
acht eight eight *ahtōu
Bucht bay, bight, bight bight *buhtiz
dicht dense, tight tight *þinhtaz
fechten, focht, (ge)fochten to fence, to fight fight, fought, fought *fehtaną
Flucht flight flight *fluhtiz
Furcht fear fright
(Ge)wicht weight weight *wihtiz
(Ge)sicht face sight *sihtiz
Knecht servant knight *knehtaz
leicht easy, light light *linhtaz
Licht light light *leuhtą
Macht might, power might *mahtiz
Nacht night night *nahts
nicht not nought
Pflicht duty plight *plihtiz
Recht, recht right right *rehtaz
Schlacht killing, battle (on)slaught
schlecht bad slight *slihtaz
schlicht plain, simple slight *slihtaz
Sicht sight sight *sihtiz
Tochter daughter daughter *duhtēr
Proto-Germanic *hw[edit]
German ~ English gh /∅/[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
nah near nigh *nēhw
German ch ~ English gh /∅/[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
durch through thorough *þurhw
durch through through *þurhw
nach after nigh *nēhw
Nachbar neighbor neighbor *nēhwagabūrô
German w /v/ ~ English wh /ʍ/[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Wal whale whale *hwalaz
wann when when
was what what *hwat
weder neither whether *hwaþeraz
Weile while while *hwīlō
weiß white white *hwītaz
Weizen wheat wheat *hwaitijaz
welch- which which *hwilīkaz
Welpe puppy, cub whelp *hwelpaz
wenn if, when when
wie how why *hwī
wo where where *hwar
Proto-Germanic *lw[edit]
German lb ~ English llow[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
gelb yellow yellow *gelwaz
Schwalbe swallow (animal) swallow (animal) *swalwǭ
Proto-Germanic *mb[edit]
German mm ~ English mb[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
dumm dumb dumb *dumbaz
Kamm comb comb *kambaz
klimmen;
klomm;
(ge)klommen
climb;
clomb/climbed;
clumb/climbed
to climb *klimbaną
Lamm lamb lamb *lambaz
Proto-Germanic *mf[edit]
German nf ~ English f, v[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
fünf five five *fimf
sanft soft soft *samftijaz
Proto-Germanic *rs[edit]
German rsch ~ English ss[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognates Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root}
Arsch ass arse *arsaz
Barsch bass (fish) perch *barsaz
Proto-Germanic *sl[edit]
German schl ~ English sl[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root}
Schlacht (on)slaught killing,
battle
schlecht slight bad *slihtaz
Schlehe sloe sloe
Schleim slime slime *slīmą
schlicht slight plain,
simple
*slihtaz
schlimm slim bad *slimbaz
schlürfen;
schlürfte;
(ge)schlürft
slurp;
slurped;
slurped
to sip,
to slurp
Proto-Germanic *sw[edit]
German schw ~ English sw[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Schwalbe swallow (bird) swallow (bird) *swalwǭ
Schwan swan swan *swanaz
Schwarm swarm swarm *swarmaz
schwärmen;
schwärmte;
(ge)schwärmt
swarm;
swarmed;
swarmed
to swarm,
to adore,
to gush
Schwein swine swine *swīną
Schweiß sweat sweat *swait-
schwelgen;
schwelgte;
(ge)schwelgt
swallow;
swallowed;
swallowed
to indulge (in sth.),
to wallow
*swelganą
schwellen;
schwoll;
(ge)schwollen
swell;
swelled;
swollen/swelled
to swell *swellaną
Schwert sword sword *swerdą
schwimmen;
schwamm;
(ge)schwommen
swim;
swam;
swum
to swim *swimmaną
schwören;
schwor;
(ge)schworen
swear;
swore;
sworn
to swear by/on so./sth. (NOT: to curse) *swarjaną
Proto-Germanic *wr[edit]
German r ~ English wr[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
rächen;
rächte;
(ge)rächt
wreak;
wrought/wreaked;
wrought/wreaked
to avenge,
to take revenge
*wrekaną
Recke wretch warror *wrakjô
reißen;
riss;
(ge)rissen
write;
wrote;
written
to tip,
to tear
*wrītaną
ringen;
rang;
(ge)rungen
wring;
wrang/wrung/wringed;
wrung/wringed
to wrestle *wringaną
Rist wrist back of the hand,
instep,
withers
*wristuz
ritzen;
ritzte;
(ge)ritzt
write;
wrote;
written
to carve,
to scratch
*wrītaną

Proto-Germanic *∅[edit]

German d, t ~ English Ø[edit]
Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Axt ax/axe axe *akwisī
Hüfte hip hip *hupiz
Mond moon moon *mēnô
Saft sap juice *sapą

Irregular and Singleton Cognates[edit]

StandardGerman cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Abend eve;
even
evening *ēbanþs
achtzig eighty eighty
Ameise ant ant *ēmaitijǭ
Arsch arse arse *arsaz
beid- (det.) both both
Blut blood blood *blōþą
bluten;
blutete;
(ge)blutet
bleed;
bled;
bled
to bleed *blōþijaną
Bräutigam bridegroom bridegroom *brūdigumô
Brodem breath vapor,
strong smell
*brēþiz
Donner thunder thunder *þunraz
Donnerstag Thursday Thursday *Þunras dagaz
dreißig thirty thirty *þrīz tigiwiz
dreizehn thirteen thirteen þreotīene þrettán *þritehun
dröge dry dull *drūgiz,
*draugiz
Dunst dust damp,
haze,
mist
*dustą,
*dunstą
Eibe yew yew īw,
ēow
*īhwaz
Eiland island island *awjōlandą
Elch elk elk *elhaz,
*algiz
euch you you *izwiz
fassen;
fasste;
(ge)fasst
fetch;
fetched;
fetched
to grab,
to grasp
*fatōną
Felsen fell boulder,
cliff
fell,
fjall
*falisaz
Freitag Friday Friday *Frijjōz dagaz
frieren;
fror;
(ge)froren
freeze;
froze;
frozen
to freeze,
to be cold
*freusaną
fünfzehn fifteen fifteen fīftīene *fimftehun
fünfzig fifty fifty *fimf tigiwiz
Furche furrow furrow *furhs
gehen;
ging;
(ge)gangen
go;
(went);
gone
to go *gāną
genug enough enough *ganōgaz
Habicht hawk hawk *habukaz
Hafen haven harbor *habnō
Hanf hemp hemp *hanapiz
Haupt;
Haupt- (prefix)
head main,
major,
chief;
head
*haubudą
(ver)heeren;
(ver)heerte;
(ver)heert
harry;
harried;
harried
to devastate *harjōną
Hengst hench(man) stallion *hangistaz
Hirsch hart deer *herutaz
Hulst holly holly *hulisaz
ich I I *ik,
*ek
jetzt yet currently,
now
keck quick bold,
perky
*kwikwaz
Kloß clod;
cloud
lump,
dumpling
*klūtaz
Knopf knob button,
knob
können;
konnte;
(ge)konnt
- (can);
could;
couth/could
to be able to *kunnaną
könnend cunning (adj.) able to do
Krippe crib crib *kribjǭ
Landschaft landscape landscape,
countryside,
scenery
Lenz Lent spring *langaz
machen;
machte;
(ge)macht
make;
made;
made
to do,
to make
*makōną
Magd maid;
maid(en)
maidservant *magaþs
manch- (det.) many some *managaz
mischen;
mischte;
(ge)mischt
mix;
mixed;
mixed
to mix *miskijaną
Molch mole salamander,
newt
Montag Monday Monday *mēniniz dagaz
mürbe ‎ mellow tender,
soft
*marwaz
nackt naked naked *nakwadaz
nagen;
nagte;
(ge)nagt
gnaw;
gnawed;
gnawed
to gnaw *gnaganą
Natter adder grass-snake *nadrǭ
neunzig ninety ninety
nicht not not
Pflaume plum plum *prūmǭ
rau;
rauh
rough rough *rūhwaz
Reich (bishop)ric empire,
realm
*rīkiją
Riege row sports team *raih-
Rogen roe (fish eggs) roe (fish eggs) *hrugnaz
Ross horse horse *hrussą
saugen;
saugte;
(ge)saugt
suck;
sucked;
sucked
to suck *sūkaną,
*sūganą
schichten;
schichtete;
(ge)schichtet
shift;
shifted;
shifted
to stack,
to layer
*skiftijaną
schlagen;
schlug;
(ge)schlagen
slay;
slew;
slain
to hit,
to slay
*slahaną
schlummern;
schlummerte;
(ge)schlummert
slumber;
slumbered;
slumbered
to slumber,
to doze
*slūm-
schmoren;
schmorte;
(ge)schmort
smother;
smothered;
smothered
to braise
Schwester sister sister *swestēr
sechzig sixty sixty *sehs tigiwiz
selten seldom rare,
seldom
*seldana
siebzig seventy seventy
sollen;
sollte;
(ge)sollt
- (shall);
should;
should
to be supposed to *skulaną
Sonntag Sunday Sunday *sunnōniz dagaz
Spinne spider spider *spinþrô
Steige sty hen-coop
Sumpf swamp swamp *sumpaz
Sünde sin sin *sundī
süß sweet sweet *swōtuz
Tracht draught/draft garb *drahtuz
treffen;
traf;
(ge)troffen
drub;
drubbed;
drubbed
to hit so./sth.,
to strike sth.,
to meet so.
*drepaną
uns us us *uns
unser our our *unseraz
vierzehn fourteen fourteen fēowertīene fjórtán *fedurtehun
vierzig forty forty *fedwōr tigiwiz
wirbeln;
wirbelte;
(ge)wirbelt
whirl;
whirled;
whirled
to swirl,
to whirl
*hwerbaną
zäh tough chewy,
tough
*tanhuz
Zahn;
Zähne
tooth;
teeth
tooth *tanþs
zeigen;
zeigte;
(ge)zeigt
teach;
taught;
taught
to show *taikijaną
zwanzig twenty twenty *twai tigiwiz
Zwerg dwarf dwarf *dwergaz

Archaic, Obsolete, Rare, Regional, or Dialectical Cognates[edit]

Cases where either the German or the English or both members of the cognate pair are considered archaic, obsolete, rare, regional, or dialectical in that language. Cases where the German cognate is in everyday use in modern standard German are marked with (SG); this is only indicated for the first principal part in the case of a verb or the singular in the case of a noun.

Standard German cognate Modern English Cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic root
Ameise (SG) emmet ant *ēmaitijǭ
Bär boar boar *bairaz
Bille bill axe bill,
bil
*bilją
bleiben (SG);
blieb;
(ge)blieben
beleave;
beleft;
beleft
to remain *bilībaną
Bolle bowl bulb bolla,
bolle
bolli *bullô,
*bullǭ
Degen (SG) thane epee,
rapier,
hero (arch.),
warrior (arch.)
*þegnaz
dein (SG) thine your *þīnaz
dir (SG) thee you *þiz
Dorf (SG) thorp hamlet,
village,
town
*þurpą
drucken (SG);
druckte;
(ge)druckt
thrutch;
thrutched;
thrutched
to print
drücken (SG);
drückte;
(ge)drückt
thrutch;
thrutched;
thrutched
to press,
to push
du (SG) thou you *þū
Erend errand order,
task,
contract,
errand
ǣrende erendi *airundiją
Fachs fax head hair *fahsą
Friede(n) (SG) frith peace,
tranquility
*friþuz
Frosch (SG) frosh frog *fruskaz
fürder(hin) further henceforth *furþeraz
gar (SG) yar cooked,
done (food),
even
*garwaz
Geiß goat goat *gaits
Graf (SG) reeve count (nobility) ġerēfa greifi *grēfijô
gürten;
gürtete;
(ge)gürtet
gird;
girt/girded;
girt/girded
to gird gyrdan *gurdijaną
Heilige (SG) hallow saint *hailaz
Helm (SG) helm helmet *helmaz
Holz (SG) holt wood *hultą
ihr (SG) ye you *jūz,
*jīz
jen- (det.) (SG) yon that *jainaz
Käu/Keu jaw jaw,
donkey jowl
kennen (SG);
kannte;
(ge)kannt
ken;
kent/kenned;
kent/kenned
to know *kannijaną
Kiesel (SG) chisel (gravel)) gravel ċisel *kisilaz
kiesen;
kor;
(ge)koren
choose;
chose;
chosen
to choose *keusaną
kipfen;
kipfte;
(ge)kipft
chip;
chipped;
chipped
to snip sth.
Knabe (SG) knave boy *knabô
Kobe(n) cove stable,
shed,
nook,
pigsty
*kubô
kund (SG) couth known *kunþaz
Lachs (SG) lax salmon *lahsaz
Leiche (SG) lich corpse *līką
leid (SG) loth sorry; [anguish] *laiþaz
lesen (SG);
las;
(ge)lesen
lease (gather);
leased;
leased
to read (e.g. a book),
to gather (e.g. berries)
*lesaną
Leute (SG) lede people *liudiz
Morgen (SG);
morgen (SG)
morn;
morrow
morning,
tomorrow
*murganaz,
*murginaz
müssen (SG);
musste;
(ge)musst
mote;
must;
must
to have to mōtan *mōtaną
Neid (SG) nithe envy nīþ níð *nīþą
Obst (SG) ovest fruit *ubatją
Oheim eam uncle,
maternal uncle
ēam *awahaimaz
Pfühl pillow pillow
rauben (SG);
raubte;
(ge)raubt
reave;
reft/reaved;
reft/reaved
to rob *raubōną
Recke wretch valiant *wrakjô
röten (SG);
rötete;
(ge)rötet
rud;
rudded;
rudded
to redden *rudjaną
(Ge)sang (SG) song chant,
singing
*sangwaz
Schlacht (SG) slaught killing,
battle
schneiden (SG);
schnitt;
(ge)schnitten
snithe;
snothe/snithed;
snithen/snithed
to cut,
to trim,
to slice
snīþan sníða *snīþaną
schreiben (SG);
schrieb;
(ge)schrieben
shrive;
shrove/shrived;
shriven/shrived
to write *skrībaną
Seil (SG) sole rope,
cable,
wire
*sailą
sonder (SG) sunder (adj.) special,
set apart
sundor- sundr *sundraz
spalten (SG);
spaltete;
(ge)spaltet
spald;
spalded;
spalded
to split
Suhle (SG) sole mire,
wallow
Wagen (SG) wain car,
vehicle
*wagnaz
Wald (SG) weald/wold forest *walþuz
wehren (SG);
wehrte;
(ge)wehrt
wear (defend);
wore/weared;
worn/weared
to defend,
to fight
*warjaną
werben (SG);
warb;
(ge)worben
wharve;
whorf/wharved;
whorven/wharved
to recruit,
to advertize
*hwerbaną
werden (SG);
wurde;
(ge)worden
worth;
worth/worthed;
worth/worthen/worthed
to become *werþaz
Wicht (SG) wight gnome *wihtiz
Wiebel weevil beetle,
chafer
wissen (SG);
wusste;
(ge)wusst
wit/wot;
wist;
wist
to know *witaną
Wurm (SG) wyrm worm *wurmiz
Zagel tail tail *taglą
Zähre tear tear *tahrą
Zeitung tiding newspaper
zween twain two *twai
zwei (SG) twain two *twai
zwink(er)n (SG);
zwink(er)t;
(ge)zwink(er)t
twink;
twinked;
twinked
to blink,
to wink

Borrowings into Proto-Germanic[edit]

Greek Borrowings into Proto-Germanic[edit]

Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Proto-Germanic form Greek root
Kirche church church *kirikǭ κυριακὸυ δῶμα (kuriakòu dôma)

Latin Borrowings into Proto-Germanic[edit]

Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English Cognate Old Norse Cognate Proto-Germanic form Latin root
Drache drake dragon *drakô dracō
Kampf camp battle,
fight,
struggle
campus
Käse cheese cheese ċīese,
ċȳse,
ċēse
*kāsijaz cāseus
Kiste chest box ċest,
ċist
cista
Meile mile mile *mīlijō mīlia
Mühle mill mill mylen molinum,
molinus
Müll(er) mill(er) miller molinum,
molinus
Pfennig penny a denomination of coin *panningaz
Pfahl pole pole pāl pālus
Pfund pound a measurement of mass,
500 grams
*pundą pondō
spenden;
spendete;
(ge)spendet
spend;
spent;
spent
to donate spendan expendere
Straße street street strǣt *strātō via strāta
Tisch dish table disċ discus
Wein wine wine wīn *wīną vīnum

Borrowings into Old German and Old English[edit]

While there are borrowings from Latin present in Proto-Germanic (e.g. 'mile' and 'pound'), this section lists borrowings from Latin occurring after the Proto-Germanic stage and up to the stages of Old English and Old High German. Thus, these Latin borrowings have occurred early enough that they are no longer recognizably foreign, and largely appear to obey the sound changes that occurred as the two languages evolved to the contemporary form.

Latin Borrowings into Old German and Old English[edit]

Standard German cognate Modern English cognate Meaning of German cognate Old English cognate Old Norse cognate Late Latin root
Altar altar altar altare
Engel angel angel enċġel angelus
Bischof bishop bishop episcopus
falsch false false,
wrong
falsus
Fieber fever fever fefor febris
Kopf cup head cuppa
Kugel cowl hood,
cowl
cucullus
Kupfer copper copper cuprum
Mönch monk monk monachus
Nonne nun nun nonna
opfern;
opferte;
(ge)opfert
offer;
offered;
offered
to sacrifice offerō
Pech pitch pitch;
bad luck,
misfortune
piċ pix
Pfeffer pepper pepper piper
Schrein shrine shrine scrīnium
Tafel table table,
slab,
board
tabele,
tabul,
tabule,
tabula
tabula
Teufel devil devil diabolus

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beekes R. S. P., Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An introduction. — 2nd ed. — Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamin’s Publishing Company, 2011. — xxiv, 415 p. — P. 287. — →ISBN, →ISBN.
  2. ^ https://www.dwds.de/wb/laden
  3. ^ https://www.dwds.de/wb/Bahn