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Riemen (etymology 1)


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle High German rieme, from Old High German riomo, from Proto-Germanic *reumô (strap, thong, belt), from Proto-Indo-European *rewH- (related to Russian рыть (rytʹ)). Cognate with Old English rēoma (ligament, membrane). More at rim.

Because of its superficial similarity to Russian ремень (remenʹ), some early Russian dictionaries posited a connection between the words, either deriving the Slavic one from the Germanic one (as Chudinov did), or deriving the Germanic word from the Slavic one (as Dal did). The latter suggestion is impossible, as the Germanic pedigree of Riemen is impeccable; the former suggestion is also impossible, according to Vasmer, for phonological reasons.


Riemen m (genitive Riemens, plural Riemen, diminutive Riemchen n)

  1. strap (long, narrow, pliable strip of leather, cloth, or the like)
  2. belt (band used in a machine to help transfer motion or power)


  • Aleksandr Nikolaevich Chudinov, Словарь иностранных слов, вошедших в состав русского языка (Dictionary of Foreign Words that are included in the Russian Language), 1910
  • Vladimir Ivanovich Dal, Толковый словарь живого великорусского языка (Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language), 1863—1866
  • Max Vasmer, Этимологический словарь русского языка (Etymological Dictionary of the Russian Language), 1964—1973: "Праслав. *rеmу, род. п. *rеmеnе. Ввиду ст.-слав. примеров [...] заимствование из герм. (ср. д.-в.-н. riumо 'ремень', ср.-в.-н. rieme) невозможно. В противном случае ожидалось бы *rjumenь." ("Proto-Slavic *remy, gen. *remene. In light of OCS examples [...] a borrowing from Germanic (cf. OHG riumo "ремень", cf. HG rieme) is impossible. Otherwise, one would expect *rjumen.")
Riemen (etymology 2)

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle High German rieme, from Old High German riemo, from Latin rēmus (oar). The word was chiefly restricted to the technical languages of seafaring (Middle Low German rēme) and navigation on the Rhine, in both of which Ruder has indicated primarily the rudder. Compare Dutch riem.


Riemen m (genitive Riemens, plural Riemen)

  1. oar (implement used to propel a boat or ship)
Usage notes[edit]
  • The word is now current in the terminology of seafaring and watersports, and is familiar to those acquainted with either. Otherwise it may be unknown to many, even well-educated, native speakers.
Derived terms[edit]