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See also: zettel


ein Zettel.


  • IPA(key): /ˈt͡sɛtəl/, [ˈt͡sɛtl̩]
  • Hyphenation: Zet‧tel

Etymology 1[edit]

Early Modern High German zeddel, zedel, from Middle High German zedele, zedel, a loan from Italian cedola, from Medieval Latin cedula, schedula, the diminutive of scheda, scida (strip of papyrus) ultimately from Ancient Greek σχίδη (skhídē, splinter, fragment). Cognate to Low German Zeddel, Palatine Rhine Franconian Zeddel, English schedule.

The spelling with -tt- was found from the 15th century in Upper German; the spelling with -dd- persisted until the 19th century, primarily in authors from Central or Northern Germany. Luther mostly writes zedel, Goethe alternates between zeddel and zettel. The (now obsolete) spelling variant zettul is influenced by French cédule.

Occasional weak inflection was found in Middle High German and persisted into the 18th century. The original feminine gender was retained until Luther's time, but occasional masculine or neuter gender was found by the late Middle High German period. The masculine gender has predominated since the 19th century.

Alternative forms[edit]

  • zedel (archaic, Early New High German)
  • zeddel (regional and archaic)
  • ziddel (regional (Thuringian) and archaic)
  • zöttel (regional (Bavarian) and archaic)
  • zättel (regional (Alemannic) and archaic)
  • zettul (archaic, Early New High German and 19th century)
  • Zeddel
  • Zettul m or n


Zettel m (genitive Zettels, plural Zettel)

  1. a small or loose piece of paper, slip
    • 1635, Jacob Bidermann, Cenodoxus, p. 71:
      der schutzengel [...] sträuet etliche zettele nider, darauf schöne sprüch aus heiliger schrift wider die hoffart
      the guardian angel scatters a number of loose pages from above, on which are fine sayings from the holy writ against the sin of pride
  2. note, message, letter
    • 1511, Albrecht von Eyb, Spiegel der Sitten, Augsburg, 92v. (O 2b):
      name er sollich zedel der klagen, verprennet sy und sprach
      he [Constantine] took such letters of complaint [against the bishops], burned them, and said [...]
  3. poster, placard, public notice
    • 1725, Chr. Thomasius, Gedanken und Erinnerungen, Marburg, 3, 104:
      ohnerachtet herr d. Pf. meinen zettul vom schwartzen brette hatte abreiszen lassen
      nevertheless Mr. d. Pf. had my poster taken down from the [university's] bulletin board
Derived terms[edit]
  • Hungarian: cetli

Further reading[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

A technical term in weaving recorded from the later 15th century (in Middle High German in the compound zettelgarn). The noun is derived from the verb zetten (scatter; spread out, arrange) via the suffix -el denoting tools (as in Hebel, Stößel). The verb zetten itself is from Proto-Germanic *tadjaną (to strew, scatter), whence also English tath (dung).

In German translations of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream the name of the weaver Nick Bottom (one of the "rude mechanicals," from bottom "a ball or skein of thread," replaced by a German technical term of weaving following Christoph Martin Wieland, 1762).


Zettel m (genitive Zettels, plural Zettel)

  1. (weaving) warp
    Synonyms: Kettfaden, Werft
    • 1493, Urkundenbuch Stuttgart ed. Adolf Rapp, Stuttgart, 1912, p.560:
      kainen zettel innemen oder wúrken, er hab in dann selbs gezettlet
      [he should] take over or work no warp, unless that he has himself warped it
    • 1530, Zürcher Bibel, Leviticus 13:48:
      wenn [] an einem kleid eines aussatzes maal sein wirt, es sey ... am zettel oder am eintrag
      The garment also that the plague of leprosy is in, whether [] it be in the warp, or woof []


Derived terms[edit]





Zettel m (plural Zettel)

  1. note

Further reading[edit]