Spieß

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See also: Spiess

German[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ʃpiːs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːs

Etymology 1[edit]

Formally from Middle High German spiez (pike), from Old High German spioz, of unknown origin. Cognate with Middle Dutch spiet, Old Saxon spiot.

Merged semantically with Middle High German spiz (spit), from Old High German spiz, from Proto-Germanic *spituz. Cognate with Dutch spit, English spit, Swedish spett. Etymological relation between the two merged words is possible, but uncertain.

Noun[edit]

Spieß m (genitive Spießes, plural Spieße, diminutive Spießchen n)

  1. a pointed rod, especially
    1. spit
      Hyponyms: Bratspieß, Drehspieß, Fleischspieß
      Heute Abend grillen wir Krabben am Spieß.
      Tonight we’ll grill crabs on the spit.
    2. pike
      Hypernyms: Jagdwaffe, Stichwaffe, Stoßwaffe, Waffe
      Coordinate terms: Forke, Lanze, Speer, Harpune, Hellebarde
      Hyponyms: Langspieß, Pike, Saufeder, Wurfspieß
      Er griff sich einen Zaunpfahl und verwendete ihn als Spieß.
      He grabbed himself a fence post and used it as a pike.
      • Luther Bible, Jesaja 2:4
        Da werden sie ihre Schwerter zu Pflugscharen und ihre Spieße zu Sicheln machen.
        and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.
  2. (chess, figuratively) skewer (tactic in the game of chess)
    Hypernym: Schachtaktik
    Durch einen Spieß setzte er den gegnerischen König ins Schach.
    With a skewer he put the opponent’s king in check.
Declension[edit]
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Ultimately from the word for “pike” in etymology 1 (Middle High German spiez). The use of this simplex for a pikeman is attested since the 14th century. Later on, non-commissioned officers often had the task of discouraging and, if necessary, kill deserters during battle, for which they used pikes. The contemporary use (ca. 1900) after the sergeant’s epee.

Noun[edit]

Spieß m (genitive Spießes, plural Spieße)

  1. (Germany, military) an appointment usually held by a Stabsfeldwebel or Oberstabsfeldwebel (OR-8/9), roughly equivalent to company sergeant major in the British Army and comparable to first sergeant in the U.S. Army
    Synonyms: Kompaniefeldwebel, (humorous) Mutter der Kompanie, (historic, now a rank) Hauptfeldwebel
    Hypernym: Dienstposten
    Hyponyms: (artillery, air defense) Batteriefeldwebel, (schools) Inspektionsfeldwebel, (flying personnel) Staffelfeldwebel, (marine) Wachtmeister
    Der Spieß ist Unteroffizier in einer Kompanie auf einem herausgehobenen Dienstposten.
    The Spieß is non-commissioned officer in a company in an important post.
    • 1972, Heinrich Böll, Wo warst du, Adam?, p. 31
      »Der Befehl ist erst heute morgen gekommen, vor einer Stunde«, sagte der Spieß.
      “The order arrived only this morning, an hour ago”, said the Spieß.
Declension[edit]

Further reading[edit]

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