Talk:spiel

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A scotch word? Thats funny, in german "spiel" means match / game, a word one uses all day ...

I think you'll find Scotch is a drink. However, I had expected etymology to be from the German word spiel and really, I think this page is probably in need of some more citation.

The suggested Scottish etymology was copied from Wikipedia (it is no longer in the article) where it was added by user Mais oui! at 08:08 on 22 November 2005, based on a reference (Dictionary of the Scots Language) that mentions only the Scottish word with no indication that it was the source of the modern word. The modern German clearly has the same source as the old Scottish, and both pre-date American usage, so how do we decide whether the word was taken to America by the Scots, the Germans, or as a Yiddish word? The OED has only the German etymology, but they have not yet updated their entry for the Third Edition. Dbfirs 22:36, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
@Dbfirs, Angr: I would remove the Scots, and perhaps put the German and Yiddish side by side (Yiddish is often confused for German, but personally this word has always had an association with Jewish culture to me, so I suspect the Yiddish connection). How does that sound? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:50, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
I think there may be two etymologies for two or three distinct words here. There is a Scots word spiel (pronounced /spiːl/) that means "any kind of game or play" or more specifically "a curling match" (The Concise Scots Dictionary, ISBN 0-08-028492-2), and I would not be at all surprised if that word has penetrated into Scottish English as well. Then there's the Yiddish/German word (pronounced /ʃpiːl/) meaning "length, persuasive speech; sales pitch". If the stuff about rap music is true, that's a third meaning (I don't know how it's pronounced) and may well be a third etymology. The Yiddish/German word is the only one that's even in my passive vocabulary, let alone my active vocabulary; I'd want to see citations for the other two meanings before we say anything about them. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:10, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
Like Angr, I've only met the word when it came over from America sometime in the 1980s (the earliest British usage I can find is in Prophecy in Early Christianity and the Ancient Mediterranean World by David E. Aune in 1983 -- he talks about the "spiel" of travel guides.) I agree that we should split the entry by pronunciation and etymology. Perhaps the old "Scotch" sense belongs under a Scots language header, though it might well have found its way into Scottish English. Dbfirs 20:05, 19 August 2015 (UTC)