Weib

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German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle High German wīp, from Old High German wīb, from Proto-West Germanic *wīb. Cognate with English wife.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /vaɪ̯p/, [väɪ̯p], [ʋäɪ̯p]
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪ̯p
  • Homophone: Vibe

Noun[edit]

Weib n (strong, genitive Weibes or Weibs, plural Weiber, diminutive Weibchen n or Weiblein n)

  1. (now often derogatory) woman, broad
  2. (now archaic) woman, wife
    • So sprach er [...]: „Weib, meine letzte Stunde ist da; alle Schätze, so ich allein besaß, sind dein und deiner Tochter.“
      So he said [...]: "Wife, my last hour is here; all the treasures that I possessed of myself are yours and your daughter's."
      (Emanuel Schikaneder, Die Zauberflöte (libretto), act II, scene 8.)

Usage notes[edit]

  • Weib usually cannot be a neutral term for “woman” in contemporary German (for that see Frau). Nonetheless, it is still rather a current word and may be more or less pejorative depending on context. It is most often heard among men, notably in the plural, in which case it has a macho ring to it, without being particularly abusive: Du weißt ja, wie die Weiber sind... − “Well, you know what women are like...” Perhaps comparable to the use of broad in American English. It might be used by a woman to convey an insulting tone: Dummes Weib! Wie konntest du das nicht wissen? − “Stupid woman! How could you not know that?”
  • In older German (well into the 19th century), Weib was a normal word for a woman, usually one of the “common people”, or someone's wife. This more neutral sense is still retained in many derived terms, particularly weiblich (female).

Declension[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Weib” in Duden online
  • Weib” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache

Hunsrik[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

Weib n (plural Weiver)

  1. woman

Further reading[edit]


Pennsylvania German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Compare German Weib, Dutch wijf, English wife.

Noun[edit]

Weib n (plural Weiwer)

  1. wife
  2. woman