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 pain because we seen have:
(none)


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.


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.

German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Aal eel eel *ēlaz
Aar eagle er(ne) *arô
Acker field, acre acre *akraz
after- (prefix) after- (prefix) after *after
Ähre ear (bot.) ear (bot.) *ahaz
all- all all *allaz
an at, to, on on *ana
Angel fishing tackle angle *angô, *angulō
angeln, angelte, (ge)angelt to fish angle, angled, angled *angô, *angulō
Arm arm arm *armaz
backen, backte/buk, (ge)backt/(ge)backen to bake bake, baked, baked *bakaną
Bäcker baker baker *bakārijaz
Bahn[3] path, trail, train bane *banō, *banô
bald soon bold *balþaz
Band band, ribbon, tape band *bandiz
Bär bear bear *berô
Baum tree beam *baumaz
Beere berry berry *bazją
beginnen, begann, begonnen to begin begin, began, begun *biginnaną
bei by by *bi
Bein leg bone *bainaz
bekommen, bekam, bekommen to get, to receive become, became, become *bikwemaną
bellen, bellte, (ge)bellt to bark bellow, bellowed, bellowed
-, besser, (am) best(en) (adj.);
-, besser-, best- (prefix)
-, better, best -, better, best -, *batizô, *batistaz
Beule boil, hump boil *būlō
Bier beer beer *beuzą
binden, band, (ge)bunden to bind bind, bound, bound *bindaną
bitter bitter bitter *bitraz
blind blind blind *blindaz
Blume flower bloom *blōmô
Bock buck buck *bukkaz, *bukkô
bohren, bohrte, (ge)bohrt to bore, to drill bore, bored, bored *burōną
Bolle bulb bowl *bullô, *bullǭ
Brand fire brand *brandaz
braun brown brown *brūnaz
Brust breast breast *breustą
Büchse box box *buhsuz
Bulle bull bull *bulô
Busch bush bush *buskaz
Butter butter butter *buterǭ
Delle dent dell *daljō
Düne dune down *dūnaz, *dūnǭ
eher earlier ere *airiz
eher(n) of iron ore *aiz
Eis ice ice *īsą
Ende end end *andijaz
Ernst seriousness, zeal earnest *ernustuz
erst first erst *airistaz
fahren, fuhr, (ge)fahren to drive fare, fore/fared, faren/fared *faraną
fallen, fiel, (ge)fallen to fall fall, fell, fallen *fallaną
faul rotten, lazy foul *fūlaz
Faust fist fist *funstiz
Feind enemy fiend *fijandz
Feld field field *felþą
fer(n) far far *ferrai
fest firm fast *fastuz
Fett fat fat *faitidaz
finden, fand, (ge)funden to find find, found, found *finþaną
Finger finger finger *fingraz
Fisch fish fish *fiskaz
Fleisch meat flesh *flaiską
fliehen, floh, (ge)flohen to flee flee, fled, fled *fleuhaną
Floh flea flea *flauhaz
Fohle(n) foal foal *fulô
Föhre pine fir *furhō
Freund friend friend *frijōndz
frisch fresh fresh *friskaz
Fuchs fox fox *fuhsaz
für for for *furi
Fürst chief, prince first *furistaz
Geist ghost, mind, spirit ghost *gaistaz
(Ge)sang chant, singing song *sangwaz
Gift poison gift *giftiz
Gold gold gold *gulþą
Gras grass grass *grasą
grau gray/grey gray/grey *grēwaz
grün green green *grōniz
Grund ground, reason ground *grunduz
Haar hair hair *hērą
Halle hall hall *hallō
Hammer hammer hammer *hamaraz
Hand hand hand *handuz
hängen, hing, (ge)hangen to be hanging (intrans.) hang, hung, hung *hanhaną
Haus house house *hūsą
Heft booklet, notebook, haft haft *haftiją
hehr noble, sublime hoar *hairaz
Heil (nom.) salvation hail *hailaz
heil (adj.) intact, safe, whole hale *hailaz
heil whole whole *hailaz
heilen, heilte, (ge)heilt to heal heal, healed, healed *hailijaną
Heim home home *haimaz
hemmen, hemmte, (ge)hemmt to check, to hamper hem, hemmed, hemmed *hamjaną
Henne hen hen *hanjō
Herde herd herd *herdō
Herr gentleman hoar *hairaz
Heu hay hay *hawją
hindern, hinderte, (ge)hindert to hinder hinder, hindered, hindered
hohl hollow hollow *hulaz
Höhle cave hole *hulaz
Hölle hell hell *haljō
Holm small island holm *hulmaz
hören, hörte, (ge)hört to hear hear, heard, heard *hauzijaną
Hose pants hose *husǭ
Huf, Hufe hoof hoof, hooves/hoofs *hōfaz
Hund dog hound *hundaz
Hure whore whore *hōrǭ
in in in *in
Jahr year year *jērą
jung young young *jungaz
kahl bald callow *kalwaz
klein little clean *klainiz
Kluft cleft cleft *kluftiz
Knie knee knee *knewą
Kohle coal coal *kulą
kommen, kam, (ge)kommen to come come, came, come *kwemaną
Korn grain corn *kurną
Kraft force, power craft *kraftaz
Kran crane crane *kranô
kühl cool cool *kōlaz, *kōluz
küssen, küsste, (ge)küsst to kiss kiss, kissed, kissed *kussijaną
Land land land *landą
lang long long *langaz
Lasche tongue lash
Laus, Läuse louse, lice louse, lice *lūs
lecken, leckte, (ge)leckt to leak leak, leaked, leaked *lekaną
lecken, leckte, (ge)leckt to lick lick, licked, licked *likkōną
Lehre science, teaching lore *laizō
lernen, lernte, (ge)lernt to learn learn, learnt/learned, learnt/learned *liznaną
lisp(el)n, lisp(el)te, (ge)lisp(el)t lisp lisp, lisped, lisped *wlispaz
Luft air lift *luftuz
lüften, lüftete, (ge)lüftet to lift (a secret, the curtain) lift, lifted, lifted *luftijaną
Lunge lung lung *lungô
Lust pleasure, joy lust *lustuz
Mahl repast meal *mēlą
Mähne mane mane *manō
Mähre decrepit old horse mare *marhijō
Mal time (instance) meal *mēlą
Mann, Männer man, men man, men *mann-
Mark mark mark *markō
Marsch marsh marsh *mariskaz
Mast mast (naut) mast *mastaz
Maus, Mäuse mouse, mice mouse, mice *mūs
Mehl flour meal *melwą
-, mehr, (am) meist(en) (adv.);
-, mehr-, meist- (prefix)
-, more, most -, more, most -, *maizô, *maistaz or *maist
meinen, meinte, (ge)meint to think, to mean mean, meant, meant *mainijaną
Nacke(n) nape of the neck neck *hnakkô
Name name name *namô
Nase nose nose *nusō
Nest nest nest *nestaz
neun nine nine *newun
nie never no
nu(n) now now *nu
Ochse, Ochsen ox ox, oxen *uhsô
Ofen oven oven *uhnaz
Ohr ear ear *ausô
ost-, Osten east- east- *austrą
Oster(n) Easter Easter *Austrǭ
Otter otter otter *utraz
quälen, quälte, (ge)quält to torment quell, quelled, quelled *kwaljaną
quer diagonal queer *þwerhaz
rammen, rammte, (ge)rammt to ram ram *rammaz
rasch rash (adj.), swift rash *raskuz
Raum space, room room *rūmą
Reh roe (deer) roe *raihą
Reihe row row *raih-
rennen, rannte, (ge)rannt to run, to race run, ran, run *rinnaną
Reue repentance, remorse, regret rue *hrewwō
Ring ring ring *hringaz
rinnen, rann, (ge)ronnen to flow run, ran, run *rinnaną
(ver)rotten, (ver)rottete, (ver)rottet to rot rot, rotted, rotted *rutōną
Sack sack sack *sakkuz
säen, säte, (ge)sät to sow sow, sowed, sown *sēaną
Sand sand sand *samdaz
Sau sow sow
sauer sour sour *sūraz
Saum seam seam *saumaz
Schaft shaft shaft *skaftaz
schal stale, flat, vapid shoal
Schale husk, pod shale *skalō
Scham shame shame *skamō
Schar troop share *skarō
Schauer shower, shudder shower *skūrō
schauen, schaute, (ge)schaut to look, to see, to behold show, showed, shown/showed *skawwōną
scheiden, schied, (ge)schieden to separate shed, shed, shed *skaiþaną
scheinen, schien, (ge)schienen to seem shine, shone, shone *skīnaną
Schenk(el) thigh shank *skankô
Schild shield shield *skelduz
schön beautiful sheen *skauniz
Schuh shoe shoe *skōhaz
See sea sea *saiwiz
Seele soul, spirit soul *saiwalō
sehen, sah, (ge)sehen to see see, saw, seen *sehwaną
singen, sang, (ge)sungen to sing sing, sang, sung *singwaną
sinken, sank, (ge)sunken to sink sink, sank, sunk *sinkwaną
so so so *swa, *swē
Sohle sole sole
Sohn son son *sunuz
Sommer summer summer *sumaraz
Sonne sun sun *sunnǭ
spähen, spähte, (ge)späht to peek, to spy spy, spied, spied *spehōną
spannen, spannte, (ge)spannt to stretch, to tighten, to span span, spanned, spanned *spannaną
spar(sam) economical spare
sparen, sparte, (ge)spart to save, to conserve, to economize spare, spared, spared *sparōną, *sparjaną
Speer spear spear *speru
spenden, spendete, (ge)spendet to donate spend
Sper(ling) sparrow sparrow *sparwô
spinnen, spann, (ge)sponnen to spin yarn; to be nuts spin, spun, spun *spinnaną
springen, sprang, (ge)sprungen to jump, to leap spring, sprang, sprung *springaną
sprühen, sprühte, (ge)sprüht to spray spray, sprayed, sprayed
Stahl steel steel
Stall cattle shed, stable, pigsty stall *stallaz
Stamm trunk, stem stem
stark strong, powerful stark *starkuz
starren, starrte, (ge)starrt to stare stare, stared, stared
stehlen, stahl, (ge)stohlen to steal steal, stole, stolen *stelaną
steif stiff, rigid stiff *stīfaz
Stein stone stone *stainaz
steuern, steuerte, (ge)steuert to steer steer, steered, steered *stiurijaną
Stier bull steer *steuraz
still calm, silent still *stillijaz
stinken, stank, (ge)stunken stink stink, stank, stunk *stinkwaną
stören, störte, (ge)stört to bother so., to disturb so./sth., to perturb so./sth. stir, stirred, stirred
Strand beach strand *strandō
streng strict, severe strong *strangaz
Strom current, stream stream *straumaz
Stuhl chair stool *stōlaz
Sturm storm storm *sturmaz
treu faithful, loyal, true true *triwwiz
Trost comfort, consolation trust *traustą
und and and *andi
verloren lost forlorn *fraleusaną
Vieh cattle fee *fehu
vier four four *fedwōr
Volk people folk *fulką
vor before, in front of fore
wachsen, wuchs, (ge)wachsen to grow wax, waxed, waxed *wahsijaną
wandern, wanderte, (ge)wandert to hike, to wander wander, wandered, wandered *wandrōną
warm warm warm *warmaz
warnen, warnte, (ge)warnt to warn warn, warned, warned *warnōną
waschen, wusch, (ge)waschen to wash wash, washed, washed/washen *waskaną
weh sore, painful woe *wai
Wein wine wine *wīną
wenden, wandte/wendete, (ge)wandt/(ge)wendet to turn, to reverse wend, went/wended, went/wended *wandijaną
Werk work work *werką
Wespe wasp wasp *wepsō-
west-, Westen west west *westrą
Wiesel weasel weasel *wisulǭ
wild wild wild *wilþijaz
Wille will will *wiljô
Wind wind wind *windaz
winken, winkte, (ge)wunken/(ge)winkt to wave, to beckon wink, winked, winked
Winter winter winter *wintruz
wirken, wirkte, (ge)wirkt to appear to be sth., to be effective work, worked, worked *wurkijaną
wohl well well *wela
Wolf wolf wolf *wulfaz
Wolle wool wool *wullō
wollen, wollte, (ge)wollt; [ich] will to want, to will (chiefly for "to want"); [I] want/will - (will), would, would *wiljaną, *waljaną
Wunder miracle, wonder wonder *wundrą
Wurm worm worm *wurmiz
Wurz(el) root wort *wrōts

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:

German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
ab off of *ab
ab off off *ab
halb half half *halbaz
ob if if *jabai
taub deaf deaf *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.

German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
berauben, beraubt, beraubt to deprive, to rob, to bereave bereave, bereft/bereaved, bereft/bereaved *biraubōną
Biber beaver beaver *bebruz
eben even (flat and smooth) even *ebnaz
Grab grave grave *grabą
haben, hatte, (ge)habt to have have, had, had *habjaną
heben, hob, (ge)hoben to lift heave, hove/heaved, hove/hoven/heaved *habjaną
Herbst autumn harvest *harbistaz
leben, lebte, (ge)lebt to live live, lived, lived *libjaną
Leber liver liver *librō
Liebe love love *lubō
loben, lobte, (ge)lobt to praise, to compliment so. love, loved, loved *lubōną
Nabel navel navel *nabalô
Ober- (prefix) upper, senior, chief over *uber
ober(halb) over, above over *uber
Rabe raven raven *hrabnaz
Salbe ointment, salve salve *salbō
schaben, schabte, (ge)schabt to scrape, to shave shave, shaved, shaved *skabaną
schieben, schob, (ge)schoben to push, to shove shove, shoved, shoved *skeubaną
Sieb sieve sieve *sibi
sieben seven seven *sebun
Silber silver silver *silubrą
sterben, starb, (ge)storben to die starve, starved, starved *sterbaną
Stube living room stove
Taube pigeon, dove dove *dūbǭ
übel bad, evil, sick evil *ubilaz
über above, about, over over *uber
weben, wob/webte, (ge)woben/(ge)webt to weave weave, wove/weaved, woven/weaved *webaną
Wiebel beetle, chafer weevil
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.

German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Alb, Alben elf elf, elves *albiz
Dieb, Diebe thief thief, thieves *þeubaz
Kalb, Kälber calf calf, calves *kalbaz
Laib, Laibe loaf loaf, loaves *hlaibaz
Laub, - foliage leaf, leaves *laubą
Leib, Leiber body life, lives *lībą
Stab, Stäbe staff staff, staves/staffs *stabaz
Weib, Weiber woman wife, wives *wībą
Proto-Germanic *d[edit]
German dt, t, tt ~ English d, dd[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
alt old old *aldaz
Bart beard beard *bardaz
behalten, behielt, behalten to keep, to maintain, to retrain behold, beheld, beholden/beheld *bihaldaną
(Ge)bet prayer bead *bedō, *bedą, *gabedą
Bett bed bed *badją
Bitte request bead *bedō
bitten, bat, (ge)beten to ask, to request bid, bid/bade, bid/bidden *bidjaną
Blatt blade blade *bladą
Braut bride bride *brūdiz
breit broad broad *braidaz
Brot bread bread *braudą
Brut brood brood *brōduz
Draht wire thread *þrēduz
eitel vain, conceited idle *īdalaz
Flut flood flood *flōduz
Futter fodder fodder *fōdrą
fürder in the future further *furþeraz
gelten, galt, (ge)golten to be effective, to count (be valid) yield, yielded, yielded *geldaną
gleiten, glitt, (ge)glitten to glide glide, glid/glided, glid/glided *glīdaną
Gott god god *gudą
gürten, gürtete, (ge)gürtet to gird gird, girt/girded, girt/girded *gurdijaną
Gürtel belt girdle *gurdilaz
gut good good *gōdaz
halten, hielt, (ge)halten to hold hold, held, holden/held *haldaną
hart hard hard *harduz
Hort hoard, refuge hoard *huzdą
hundert hundred hundred *hundaradą
Hut hat hood *hōdaz
hüten, hütete, (ge)hütet to beware (of) so./sth., to tend (a herd/flock) heed, heeded, heeded *hōdijaną
kalt cold cold *kaldaz
leiten, leitete, (ge)leitet to guide, to lead, to run sth. lead, lead, lead *laidijaną
Lot solder, plummet, sounding line lead (metal) *laudą
Matte mountain pasture meadow *mēdwō
Met mead mead *meduz
mit with mid *midi
Mittel (nom.) means, median (average value) middle *midlą
mittel (adj.) middle middle *midlą
Mut courage mood *mōdaz
mutig courageous moody
Natter grass-snake adder *nadrǭ
Not need need *naudiz
Otter adder, viper adder *nadrǭ
raten, riet, (ge)raten to guess, to advise read, read, read *rēdaną
reiten, ritt, (ge)ritten to ride (an animal) ride, rode, ridden *rīdaną
retten, rettete, (ge)rettet to save rid, rid, rid *hradjaną
rot red red *raudaz
Saat sowing, seed seed *sēdiz
satt full, lush, to be full up (food) sad *sadaz
Schatte(n) shadow shadow *skadwaz
Schulter shoulder shoulder *skuldrô
Schwert sword sword *swerdą
Seite side side *sīdǭ
Stadt city stead *stadiz
Tag day day *dagaz
Tal valley dale *dalą
tapfer brave, plucky dapper *dapraz
Tat deed deed *dēdiz
Tau dew dew *dawwaz, *dawwą
taub deaf deaf *daubaz
tauchen, tauchte, (ge)taucht to dive duck, ducked, ducked *dūkaną
Taube pigeon, dove dove *dūbǭ
Tenne threshing floor, barn for threshing den *danjō
Teich pond ditch *dīkaz
Teil part, fraction dole *dailą
teilen, teilte, (ge)teilt to divide, to share deal, dealt, dealt *dailijaną
tief deep deep *deupaz
Tier animal deer *deuzą
Tisch table dish
Tochter daughter daughter *duhtēr
Tod death death *dauþuz
toll amazing, great; crazy (obs.) dull *dulaz
Tor gate door *durz
tot dead dead *daudaz
tun, tat, (ge)tan to do do, did, done *dōną
Tür door door *durz
unter under under *under
Urteil judgement, verdict ordeal *uzdailiją
walten, waltete, (ge)waltet to preside over sth., to prevail, to rule wield, wielded, wielded *waldaną
warten, wartete, (ge)wartet to wait, to maintain ward, warded, warded *wardāną
waten, watete, (ge)watet to wade wade, waded, waded *wadaną
weit wide wide *wīdaz
Welt world world *weraldiz
wetten, wettete, (ge)wettet to bet, to wager wed, wed/wedded, wed/wedded *wadjōną
Witwe widow widow *widuwǭ
Zeit time tide *tīdiz
Proto-Germanic *g[edit]
German g ~ English Ø, y[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Auge eye eye *augô
einig- some any *ainagaz
Fliege fly (animal) fly *fleugǭ
fliegen, flog, (ge)flogen to fly fly, flew, flown *fleuganą
gähnen, gähnte, (ge)gähnt to yawn yawn, yawned, yawned
Garn yarn yarn *garną
Garte(n) garden, yard yard *gardaz
gelb yellow yellow *gelwaz
Geld money yield *geldą
gelten, galt, (ge)golten to be effective, to count (be valid) yield, yielded, yielded *geldaną
heilig holy holy *hailagaz
Honig honey honey *hunagą
legen, legte, (ge)legt to lay lay, laid, laid *lagjaną
liegen, lag, (ge)legen to lie lie, lay, lain *ligjaną
lügen, log, (ge)logen to lie lie, lied, lied *leuganą
mögen, mochte, (ge)mocht to like - (may), might, might *maganą
Pfennig a denomination of coin penny *panningaz
pflegen, pflegte, (ge)pflegt to groom; to nurse, to tend so./sth. play, played, played *plehaną, *plegōną
Rogge(n) rye rye *rugiz
sagen, sagte, (ge)sagt to say say, said, said *sagjaną
Tag day day *dagaz
traurig sad dreary *dreuzagaz
Weg, weg way way *wegaz
Zeug stuff, things toy *teugą
zwanzig twenty twenty *twai tigiwiz
German g ~ English , gh /∅/[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
biegen, bog, (ge)bogen to bend, to bow bow, bowed, bowed *beuganą
Boge(n) bow bow *bugô
Bug shoulder joint (of an animal) bough *bōguz
eigen own, proper own *aiganaz
Ellenboge(n) elbow elbow *alinabugô
Pflug plow plough/plow *plōgaz
Säge saw saw *sagō
tragen, trug, (ge)tragen to carry, to bear, to wear draw, drew, drawn *draganą
wägen, wog/wägte, (ge)wogen/(ge)wägt to weigh weigh, weighed, weighed *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]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Bach stream beach *bakiz
bleich pale, wan, sallow bleach *blaikaz
Bruch breach, crack, fracture breach *brukiz
Buche beech beech *bōkijǭ
Dach roof thatch *þaką
reichen, reichte, (ge)reicht to last, to pass sth. to so., to reach, to suffice reach, reached, reached *raikijaną
solch- such such *swalīkaz
Sprache language, speech speech *sprēkijō
Teich pond ditch *dīkaz
wachen, wachte, (ge)wacht to be awake, to watch over so./sth. watch, watched, watched *wakjaną
welch- which which *hwilīkaz
German ch ~ English ck, k[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
bleich pale, wan, sallow bleak *blaikaz
brechen, brach, (ge)brochen break break, broke, broken *brekaną
Bruch swamp, marsh brook *brōkaz
Buch book book *bōks
Eiche oak oak *aiks
frech brash, cheeky, insulting freak *frekô
Joch yoke yoke *juką
Knoche(n) bone knuck(le) *knukô
kochen, kochte, (ge)kocht to boil, to cook cook, cooked, cooked *kukōną
Kuche(n) cake cake *kakǭ
Lache pool lake *lakō, *lōkiz
Lerche lark (bird) Lark
Milch milk milk
rächen, rächte, (ge)rächt to avenge, to take revenge wreak, wrought/wreaked, wrought/wreaked *wrekaną
Reche(n) rake, grill rake *rakō, *rekô
rechnen, rechnete, (ge)rechnet to calculate, to reckon reckon, reckoned, reckoned *rekanōną
riechen, roch, (ge)rochen to smell reek, reeked, reeked *reukaną
Sache matter, cause sake *sakō
sprechen, sprach, (ge)sprochen to speak speak, spoke, spoken *sprekaną
Storch stork stork *sturkaz
Streich stroke stroke *straikaz
streichen, strich, (ge)strichen to stroke strike, struck, struck/stricken *strīkaną
streich(el)n, streich(el)te, (ge)streich(el)t to stroke, to pet, to fondle stroke, stroked, stroked *straikōną
Strich stroke, line streak *strikiz
tauchen, tauchte, (ge)taucht to dive duck, ducked, ducked *dūkaną
weich weak, soft weak *waikwaz
Woche week week *wikǭ
Zeichen sign token *taikną
German ck, k ~ English ch /tʃ/, tch /tʃ/[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Bank bench bench *bankiz
Birke birch birch *birkijǭ
Fink finch finch *finkiz
(Ge)bäck pastry batch *bakiz
(Ge)stank stench, odor, smell stench *stankwiz
hecken, heckte, (ge)heckt to hatch, to give birth to hatch, hatched, hatched
Käfer beetle chafer *kebrô
karg meager, barren, poor chary *karagaz
Käse cheese cheese *kāsijaz
kauen, kaute, (ge)kaut to chew chew, chewed, chewed *kewwaną
Kerl guy churl *karilaz
kiesen, kor, (ge)koren (obs.) to choose choose, chose, chosen *keusaną
Kinn chin chin *kinnuz
kipfen, kipfte, (ge)kipft (obs.) to snip sth. chip, chipped, chipped
Kiste box chest
Krücke crutch crutch *krukjō
Kühle coolness chill *kaliz
Recke warror wretch *wrakjô
Stank stench, odor, smell stench *stankwiz
strecken, streckte, (ge)streckt to stretch stretch, stretched, stretched *strakjaną
Stück piece stitch *stukkiją
tränken, tränkte, (ge)tränkt to water drench, drenched, drenched *drankijaną
Proto-Germanic *p[edit]
German f, ff ~ English p[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Affe monkey, ape ape *apô
auf on, upon, up up *upp
greifen, griff, (ge)griffen to grab, to grip, to take effect grip, gripped, gripped *grīpaną
Harfe harp harp *harpǭ
Haufe(n) heap heap *haupaz
helfen, half, (ge)holfen to help help, holp/helped, holpen/helped *helpaną
Hilfe help help *helpō, *hulpiz
hoffen, hoffte, (ge)hofft to hope hope, hoped, hoped *hupōną
Hüfte hip hip *hupiz
laufen, lief, (ge)laufen to walk, to run leap, leapt/leaped, leapt/leaped *hlaupaną
offen open open *upanaz
raufen, raufte, (ge)rauft to scuffle, to tuffle rip, ripped, ripped *ruppōną
reif mature, ripe ripe
schaffen, schuf, (ge)schaffen to accomplish sth., to manage, to cope with sth. shape, shope/shaped, shapen/shaped *skapjaną
scharf sharp; hot, spicy (food) sharp *skarpaz
Schiff ship ship *skipą
schlürfen, schlürfte, (ge)schlürft to sip, to slurp slurp, slurped, slurped
stief- (prefix) step- (prefix) step- (prefix) *steupa-
tief deep deep *deupaz
Waffe weapon weapon *wēpną
werfen, warf, (ge)worfen to throw warp, warped, warped *werpaną
German pf ~ English p[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Apfel apple apple *aplaz
hüpfen, hüpfte, (ge)hüpft to hop hop, hopped, hopped *huppōną
Kampf battle, fight, struggle camp
Krampf cramp cramp *krampō
Kropf crop, goitre crop *kruppaz
Pfad path path *paþaz
Pfahl pole pole
Pfennig a denomination of coin penny *panningaz
pflegen, pflegte, (ge)pflegt to groom, to nurse, to tend so./sth. play, played, played *plehaną, *plegōną
Pflug plow plough/plow *plōgaz
Pfuhl quagmire, mudhole pool *pōlaz
Rumpf hull, torso, trunk rump
stampfen, stampfte, (ge)stampft to stamp stamp, stamped, stamped
stampfen, stampfte, (ge)stampft to stamp stomp, stomped, stomped
stapfen, stapfte, (ge)stapft to trudge step, stepped, stepped *stapjaną
Stumpf stump stump *stumpaz
tapfer brave, plucky dapper *dapraz
Tropfe(n) drop drop *drupô
Proto-Germanic *t[edit]
German s, ss, ß ~ English t, tt[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Ameise ant ant *ēmaitijǭ
aus out, out of, from out *ūt
beißen, biss, (ge)bissen to bite bite, bit, bitten *bītaną
-, besser, best- better, best -, better, best -, *batizô, *batistaz
das that that *þat
dass/daß that that *þat
essen, aß, (ge)gessen to eat (human) eat, ate, eaten *etaną
Fass barrel, keg, drum, cask, vat vat *fatą
fressen, fraß, (ge)fressen to eat (animal) fret, frate/fretted, fretten/fretted *fraetaną
Fuß, Füße foot foot, feet *fōts
Gasse lane gate *gatwǭ
Geiß goat goat *gaits
Grieß semolina grit *greutą
groß big, huge, large great *grautaz
grüßen, grüßte, (ge)grüßt greet greet, greeted, greeted *grōtijaną
Hass hate hate *hataz
hassen, haste, (ge)hasst to hate hate, hated, hated *hatōną
Hornisse hornet hornet *hurznutō
Kloß lump, dumpling clot *klūtaz
Kloß lump, dumpling clout *klūtaz
lassen, ließ, (ge)lassen to let let, let, let *lētaną
Los lot, fate lot *hlutą
messen, maß, (ge)messen to measure mete, meted, meted *metaną
müssen, musste, (ge)musst to must (mote), (must), -, - *mōtaną
Nuss nut nut *hnuts
reißen, riss, (ge)rissen to tip, to tear write, wrote, written *wrītaną
scheißen, schiss, (ge)schissen to shit shit, shitted, shitted *skītaną
schmeißen, schmiss, (ge)schmissen to throw smite, smote, smitten/smited *smītaną
schießen, schoss, (ge)schossen to shoot shoot, shot, shot *skeutaną
Schweiß sweat sweat *swait-
Sessel chair settle *setlaz
sitzen, saß, (ge)sessen to sit sit, sat, sitten/sat *sitjaną
vergessen, vergaß, vergessen to forget forget, forgot, forgotten *fragetaną
was what what *hwat
Wasser water water *watōr
Zwielicht twilight, dusk twilight
German tz, z ~ English t, tt[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
furzen, furzte, (ge)furzt to fart fart, farted, farted *fertaną
Herz heart heart *hertô
Hitze heat heat *haitį̄
Katze cat cat *kattuz
kurz short curt *kurtaz
ritzen, ritzte, (ge)ritzt to scratch write, wrote, written *wrītaną
Salz salt salt *saltą
Schürze apron shirt *skurtijǭ
setzen, setzte, (ge)setzt to place, to put, to set, to sit down set, set, set *satjaną
sitzen, saß, (ge)sessen to sit sit, sat, sitten/sat *sitjaną
Stelze stilt stilt
stürzen, stürzte, (ge)stürzt to fall down, to dash, to throw start, started, started *sturtijaną
Warze wart wart *wartǭ
Weize(n) wheat wheat *hwaitijaz
Witz joke wit *witją
Wurzel root wort *wrōts
Zagel tail tail *taglą
zäh chewy, tough tough *tanhuz
Zahl number, figure tale Proto-Germanic *talō
zählen, zählte, (ge)zählt to count tell, told, told *taljaną
zahm tame tame *tamaz
Zange pliers, pincers, tongs tong
zart delicate, tender tart
Zaum bridle team *taumaz
Zaun fencing town *tūną
Zecke tick tick
Zeichen sign token *taikną
Zeh toe toe *taihwǭ
zehn ten ten *tehun
zehren, zehrte, (ge)zehrt to live on sth. tear, tore, torn *teraną
Zeit time tide *tīdiz
zerren, zerrte, (ge)zerrt to tug, to drag sth., to wrench tear, tore, torn *teraną
Zeug stuff, things toy *teugą
Ziegel brick, tile tile *tigulǭ
Zimmer room timber *timrą
Zinn tin tin *tiną
Zitze tit (of an animal) tit
zu to, too to, too *tō, *ta
zucken, zuckte, (ge)zuckt to jerk tuck, tucked, tucked *tukkōną
Zunge tongue tongue *tungǭ
zwei two twain *twai
Zweig twig twig *twīgą
zwink(er)n, zwink(er)t, (ge)zwink(er)t to blink, to wink twink(le), twink(el)d, twink(el)d
Zwist turmoil, strife, discord twist
zwölf twelve twelve *twalif

Proto-Germanic Fricative Consonants[edit]

Proto-Germanic *f[edit]
German f ~ English v[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
elf eleven eleve(n) *ainalif
Fass barrel, keg, drum, cask, vat 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]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
doch still, yet though *þauh
hoch high high *hauhaz
German ch ~ English gh /f/[edit]
German Meaning of German word English cognate Proto-Germanic root
keuchen, keuchte, (ge)keucht to pant cough, coughed, coughed
lachen, lachte, (ge)lacht to laugh laugh, laughed, laughed *hlahjaną
zäh chewy, tough tough *tanhuz
Proto-Germanic *s[edit]

Both languages exhibit some tendency to rhotacization.

German s ~ English r[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English 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.

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

Proto-Germanic Liquid Consonants[edit]

Proto-Germanic *l[edit]
German l, ll ~ English , l (∅)[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
solch- such such *swalīkaz
welch- which which *hwilīkaz
walken, walkte, (ge)walkt to churn, to tumble sth.; to knead (coll.) walk, walked, walked *walkaną
wollen, wollte, (ge)wollt to want, to will (chiefly for "to want"); [I] want/will - (will), would, would *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]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
da there there *þar
Welt world world *weraldiz
wo where where *hwar
German r ~ English [edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Sprache language, speech speech *sprēkijō
sprechen, sprach, (ge)sprochen to speak speak, spoke, spoken *sprekaną
wider against with
wieder again with
Zwirn thread twine *twiznaz

Proto-Germanic Nasal Consonants[edit]

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

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

German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
ander- other other *anþeraz
Donnerstag Thursday Thursday *Þunras dagaz
ein- a, an a, an *ainaz
Ellenboge(n) elbow elbow *alinabugô
Gans, Gänse goose goose, geese *gans
Knoten knot knot
König king king *kuningaz
Mund mouth mouth *munþaz
Natter grass-snake adder *nadrǭ
Rabe raven raven *hrabnaz
Stern star star *sternǭ
Waffe weapon weapon *wēpną
Wunsch wish wish
wünschen, wünschte, (ge)wünscht to wish wish, wished, wished *wunskijaną

Proto-Germanic Semivowels[edit]

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

German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Balg hide, bellows bellow(s) *balgiz
Felge felly, rim fallow *falgō
folgen, folgte, (ge)folgt to follow follow, followed, followed *fulgijaną
schwelgen, schwelgte, (ge)schwelgt to indulge (in sth.), to wallow swallow, swallowed, swallowed *swelganą
Talg tallow, suet tallow *talgaz
German lg ~ English lly[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Balg hide, bellows belly *balgiz
Felge felly, rim felly *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[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
Zagel tail tail *taglą
Ziegel brick, tile tile *tigulǭ
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
Tropfe(n) 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
Rücke(n) back, ridge ridge *hrugjaz
Wecke(n) 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]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
gelb yellow yellow *gelwaz
Schwalbe swallow (animal) swallow *swalwǭ
Proto-Germanic *mb[edit]
German mm ~ English mb[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
dumm dumb dumb *dumbaz
Kamm comb comb *kambaz
klimmen, klomm, (ge)klommen to climb climb, clomb/climbed, clumb/climbed *klimbaną
Lamm lamb lamb *lambaz
Proto-Germanic *mf[edit]
German nf ~ English f, v[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
fünf five five *fimf
sanft soft soft *samftijaz
Proto-Germanic *rs[edit]
German rsch ~ English ss[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root}
Arsch arse ass *arsaz
Barsch perch bass (fish) *barsaz
Proto-Germanic *sl[edit]
German schl ~ English sl[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root}
Schlacht killing, battle (on)slaught
schlecht bad slight *slihtaz
Schlehe sloe sloe
Schleim slime slime *slīmą
schlicht plain, simple slight *slihtaz
schlimm bad slim *slimbaz
schlummern, schlummerte, (ge)schlummert to slumber, to doze slumber, slumbered, slumbered Proto-Germanic *slūm-
schlürfen, schlürfte, (ge)schlürft to sip, to slurp slurp, slurped, slurped
Proto-Germanic *sw[edit]
German schw ~ English sw[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Schwalbe swallow (animal) swallow *swalwǭ
Schwan swan swan *swanaz
Schwarm swarm swarm *swarmaz
Schwein swine swine *swīną
Schweiß sweat sweat *swait-
schwelgen, schwelgte, (ge)schwelgt to indulge (in sth.), to wallow swallow, swallowed, swallowed *swelganą
schwellen, schwoll, (ge)schwollen to swell swell, swelled, swollen/swelled *swellaną
Schwert sword sword *swerdą
schwimmen, schwamm, (ge)schwommen to swim swim, swam, swum *swimmaną
schwören, schwor, (ge)schworen to swear by/on so./sth. (NOT: to curse) swear, swore, sworn *swarjaną
Proto-Germanic *wr[edit]
German r ~ English wr[edit]
German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
rächen, rächte, (ge)rächt to avenge, to take revenge wreak, wrought/wreaked, wrought/wreaked *wrekaną
Recke warror wretch *wrakjô
reißen, riss, (ge)rissen to tip, to tear write, wrote, written *wrītaną
ringen, rang, (ge)rungen to wrestle wring, wrang/wrung/wringed, wrung/wringed *wringaną
ritzen, ritzte, (ge)ritzt to carve, to scratch write, wrote, written *wrītaną

Proto-Germanic *∅[edit]

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

Irregular and Singleton Cognates[edit]

German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Abend evening eve, even *ēbanþs
Ameise ant ant *ēmaitijǭ
Arsch arse arse *arsaz
beid- both both
Blut blood blood *blōþą
bluten, blutete, (ge)blutet to bleed bleed, bled, bled *blōþijaną
Bräutigam bridegroom bridegroom *brūdigumô
Brodem vapor, strong smell breath *brēþiz
Donner thunder thunder *þunraz
Donnerstag Thursday Thursday *Þunras dagaz
dreißig thirty thirty *þrīz tigiwiz
dröge dull dry *drūgiz, *draugiz
Dunst damp, haze, mist dust *dustą, *dunstą
Eiland island island *awjōlandą
Elch elk elk *elhaz, *algiz
fassen, fasste, (ge)fasst to grab, to grasp fetch, fetched, fetched *fatōną
Freitag Friday Friday *Frijjōz dagaz
frieren, fror, (ge)froren to freeze, to be cold freeze, froze, frozen *freusaną
fünfzig fifty fifty *fimf tigiwiz
Furche furrow furrow *furhs
gehen, ging, (ge)gangen to go go, (went), gone *gāną
genug enough enough *ganōgaz
Habicht hawk hawk *habukaz
Hafen harbor haven *habnō
Hanf hemp hemp *hanapiz
Haupt- (prefix) main, major, chief head *haubudą
Haupt head head *haubudą
(ver)heeren, (ver)heerte, (ver)heert to devastate harry, harried, harried *harjōną
Hengst stallion hench(man) *hangistaz
Hirsch deer hart *herutaz
Hulst holly holly *hulisaz
ich, mein, mir, mich I I, mine, me *ik, *ek
ihr, euer, euch, euch you ye/you, your, you *jūz
jetzt currently, now yet
keck bold, perky quick *kwikwaz
Kloß lump, dumpling clod *klūtaz
Kloß lump, dumpling cloud *klūtaz
Knopf button, knob knob
können, konnte, (ge)konnt to can - (can), could, couth/could *kunnaną
Krippe crib crib *kribjǭ
Lenz spring Lent *langaz
machen, machte, (ge)macht to do, to make make, made, made *makōną
Magd maidservant maid *magaþs
Magd maidservant maid(en) *magaþs
manch- some many *managaz
mischen, mischte, (ge)mischt to mix mix, mixed, mixed *miskijaną
Molch salamander, newt mole
Montag Monday Monday *mēniniz dagaz
mürbe ‎ tender, soft mellow *marwaz
nagen, nagte, (ge)nagt to gnaw gnaw, gnawed, gnawed *gnaganą
nicht not not
Pflaume plum plum *prūmǭ
rauh/rau rough rough *rūhwaz
Regen rain rain *regnaz
Reich empire, realm (bishop)ric *rīkiją
Ross horse horse *hrussą
saugen, saugte, (ge)saugt to suck suck, sucked, sucked *sūkaną, *sūganą
schichten, schichtete, (ge)schichtet to stack, to layer shift, shifted, shifted *skiftijaną
schlagen, schlug, (ge)schlagen to hit, to slay slay, slew, slain *slahaną
Schwester sister sister *swestēr
sechzig sixty sixty *sehs tigiwiz
selten rare, seldom seldom *seldana
sollen, sollte, (ge)sollt shall, should, supposed to - (shall), should, should *skulaną
Sonntag Sunday Sunday *sunnōniz dagaz
Spinne spider spider *spinþrô
Steige hen-coop sty
Sumpf swamp swamp *sumpaz
Sünde sin sin *sundī
süß sweet sweet *swōtuz
Tracht garb draught/draft *drahtuz
treffen, traf, (ge)troffen to hit so./sth., to strike sth.; to meet so. drub, drubbed, drubbed *drepaną
vierzig forty forty *fedwōr tigiwiz
wir, unser, uns, uns we we, our, us *wīz
wirbeln, wirbelte, (ge)wirbelt to swirl, to whirl whirl, whirled, whirled *hwerbaną
zäh chewy, tough tough *tanhuz
Zahn, Zähne tooth tooth, teeth *tanþs
zeigen, zeigte, (ge)zeigt to show teach, taught, taught *taikijaną
zwanzig twenty twenty *twai tigiwiz
Zwerg dwarf dwarf *dwergaz

Archaic, Obsolete, Rare or Dialectical Cognates[edit]

German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic root
Ameise ant emmet *ēmaitijǭ
Bär boar boar *bairaz
bleiben, blieb, (ge)blieben to remain beleave, beleft, beleft *bilībaną
Degen epee, rapier; hero, warrior (arch.) thane *þegnaz
drucken, druckte, (ge)druckt to print thrutch, thrutched, thrutched
drücken, drückte, (ge)drückt to press, to push thrutch, thrutched, thrutched
du, dein, dir, dich you thou, thine, thee *þū
Fachs head hair fax *fahsą
Friede(n) peace, tranquility frith *friþuz
Frosch frog frosh *fruskaz
fürder(hin) henceforth further *furþeraz
gar cooked, done (food), even yar *garwaz
Heilige saint hallow *hailaz
Helm helmet helm *helmaz
Holz wood holt *hultą
jen- that yon *jainaz
Käu/Keu jaw, donkey jowl jaw
kennen, kannte, (ge)kannt to know ken, kent/kenned, kent/kenned *kannijaną
kiesen, kor, (ge)koren to choose choose, chose, chosen *keusaną
kipfen, kipfte, (ge)kipft to snip sth. chip, chipped, chipped
Knabe boy knave *knabô
Kobe(n) stable, shed, nook, pigsty cove *kubô
kund known couth *kunþaz
Lachs salmon lax *lahsaz
Leiche corpse lich *līką
leid uncomfortable loth *laiþaz
lesen, las, (ge)lesen (z.B. ein Buch, Beeren) to read (e.g. a book); to gather (e.g. berries) lease, leased, leased ('gather') *lesaną
Leute, leute people lede *liudiz
Morgen, morgen morning, tomorrow morn *murganaz, *murginaz
Morgen, morgen morning, tomorrow morrow *murganaz, *murginaz
Obst fruit ovest *ubatją
Pfühl pillow pillow
rauben, raubte, (ge)raubt to rob reave, reft/reaved, reft/reaved *raubōną
röten, rötete, (ge)rötet to redden rud, rudded, rudded *rudjaną
Sang chant, singing song *sangwaz
Schlacht killing, battle slaught
schreiben, schrieb, (ge)schrieben to write shrive, shrove/shrived, shriven/shrived *skrībaną
Seil rope, cable, wire sole *sailą
Suhle mire, wallow sole
Wagen car, vehicle wain *wagnaz
Wald forest weald/wold *walþuz
wehren, wehrte, (ge)wehrt to defend, to fight wear, wore/weared, worn/weared ('defend') *warjaną
werben, warb, (ge)worben to recruit, to advertize wharve, whorf/wharved, whorven/wharved *hwerbaną
Wicht gnome wight *wihtiz
wissen, wusste, (ge)wusst to know wit/wot, wist, wist *witaną
Wurm worm wyrm *wurmiz
Zähre tear tear *tahrą
zween two twain *twai
zwink(er)n, zwink(er)t, (ge)zwink(er)t to blink, to wink twink, twinked, twinked

Borrowings into Proto-Germanic[edit]

Greek Borrowings into Proto-Germanic[edit]

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

Latin Borrowings into Proto-Germanic[edit]

German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Proto-Germanic form Latin root
Drache dragon drake *drakô dracō
Meile mile mile *mīlijō mīlia
Pfund a measurement of mass pound *pundą pondō

Borrowings into Proto-West Germanic, and 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.

Greek Borrowings into Proto-West Germanic, and Old German and Old English[edit]

German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Greek root
Teufel devil devil διάβολος (diábolos)

Latin Borrowings into Proto-West Germanic, and Old German and Old English[edit]

German cognate Meaning of German cognate English cognate Late Latin root
Altar altar altar altare
Bischof bishop bishop episcopus
falsch false, wrong false falsus
Kopf head cup cuppa
Kugel hood, cowl cowl cucullus
Kupfer copper copper cuprum
Mönch monk monk monachus
opfern, opferte, (ge)opfert to sacrifice offer, offered, offered offerō
Pfeffer pepper pepper piper
Schrein shrine shrine scrīnium

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