From kneipen, a dated variant of kneifen (“to pinch, to squeeze”), from Middle Low German. The noun originates in mid-19th century student slang and is based on the idea of a crowded pub where people, as it were, squeeze and poke each other. Kneipe became the most common word for “pub” during the 20th century.
Kneipe f (genitive Kneipe, plural Kneipen)
The term Kneipe typically refers to a pub that does not serve hot food, which is the predominant rule for pubs in German-speaking Europe. Pubs that do serve hot food are more likely to be referred to as Wirtschaft or Lokal, although they may also be called Kneipe.
- Kneipe in Duden online