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From Middle High German felse, fels, from Old High German fels m (8. c), felis m (8. c), feliso m (8. c), felisa f (9. c), whence Old Saxon felis, Middle Dutch vels. Pfeifer is uncertain about the further origin. In one theory, he mentions the comparison to Old Norse fjall, Swedish fjäll, Sanskrit पाषाण (pāṣāṇá), Ancient Greek πέλλα (pélla), Old Irish all (from Proto-Celtic *ɸallom) and thus reconstructs Proto-Indo-European *pels-, *pelis-. In another theory he mentions, the Old High German, Old Saxon and Middle Dutch terms are taken as a continuation of Pre-Indo-European *palá- (mountain) whence also falaise (cliff).[1]


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Felsen m (strong, genitive Felsens, plural Felsen)

  1. rock
    Synonyms: Fels, Klippe



  1. ^ Wolfgang Pfeifer, editor (1993), “Felsen”, in Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Deutschen (in German), 2nd edition, Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, →ISBN

Further reading[edit]

  • Felsen” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache
  • Felsen” in Uni Leipzig: Wortschatz-Lexikon
  • Felsen” in Duden online
  • Felsen on the German Wikipedia.Wikipedia de