Low German

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Low German edition of Wiktionary
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Alternative forms[edit]


Because northern Germany (Low Germany), where it is spoken, is lower in elevation than southern Germany.


Low German (uncountable)

  1. A West Germanic language spoken in Low (i.e. Northern) Germany and north-eastern parts of the Netherlands, and formerly also in large parts of eastern and north-eastern Europe, which developed out of Middle Low German from Old Saxon; often treated as a dialect group of German (or Dutch) for convenience, but widely recognized as a separate language.
  2. (linguistics) Any of a number of West Germanic languages, primarily spoken in northern Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, that did not undergo the High German consonant shift; the group thereof.
    • 1951, Joseph Wright, A Middle High German primer, 4th ed. revised by M. O'C. Walshe, p. 1:
      (Low Franconian (Dutch) is a dialect of Low German).
    • 1983, Henry W. Sullivan, Calderón in the German Lands and the Low Countries: his reception and influence, 1654-1980, part of the series Cambridge Iberian and Latin American Studies, published by Cambridge University Press, page 9:
      Low German itself falls into two divisions: a western division, namely Low Franconian, the parent (with the admixture of Frisian and Saxon elements) of Flamish and Dutch; and an eastern division, Low Saxon or, as it is simply called, Low German (Plattdeutsch). High German (Hochdeutsch) became [...]
    • 2016 (originally 2001), John M. Jeep (ed.), Michael Frassetto, Joan A. Holladay, Edward R. Haymes, Stephanie Cain Van D'Elden (associate eds.), Medieval Germany: An Encyclopedia, published by Routledge (originally by Garland Publishing), p. 266 (section German Language, Dialects)
      [...] we may distinguish:
      Low German, containing:
      Low Franconian (lower Rhine), known from some psalm translations.
      Old Saxon (modern Lower Saxony), best known from the poem Heliand.
  3. (nonstandard) Any of many German dialects that are not the official standard although they are usually referred to only as "Platt".




(West Germanic language, descended from Old Saxon):

(West Germanic languages that are not High German):

Derived terms[edit]


  • German: American Low German



Low German

  1. in, of or relating to Low German
    • 1983, Philip Baldi, An Introduction to the Indo-European Languages, p. 127 (note: it has the chapters 10 Germanic, 10.2. West Germanic; 10.2.2. German; Low German; High German; Yiddish, the quoted part is from
      The Low German group contains, in addition to Old Saxon, Low Franconian, the ancestor of modern Dutch-Flemish, and Afrikans, a sixteenth-century import into South Africa brought by Dutch colonists.
    • M. Springer, Location in Space and Time, in: 2003, The Continental Saxons from the Migration Period to the Tenth Century: An Ethnographic Perspective, edited by Dennis H. Green and Frank Siegmund, p. 19:
      The linguists distinguish Old Low Franconian from the other Franconian dialects, e. g., Rhenish Franconian. Old Low Franconian belonged to the Low German language group, while the other Franconian dialects belong to High German.


See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]