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See also: ziege



From Middle High German zige, from Old High German ziga, from Proto-West Germanic *tigā. Ziege was originally found in Franconian dialects alongside otherwise exclusive Geiß. In Middle High German times, it established itself in the colonial dialects (East Central German) and also conquered vast areas of Low German, where the borrowing Middle Low German sēge was predominant since at least the 15th century (due to a virtual lack of domestic goat breeding). During the same time, curiously, Ziege was widely lost in West Central German and Upper Franconian, its original provenance. Its eventual victory in the standard language was reinforced by its use in Luther’s Bible.


  • IPA(key): /ˈt͡siːɡə/
  • (file)


Ziege f (genitive Ziege, plural Ziegen)

  1. goat
    Synonyms: (regional) Geiß f, (regional) Hippe
  2. (informal, derogatory) a stupid, stubborn person (usually female)
    Synonym: Zicke

Usage notes[edit]

  • The singular refers principally to female goats, though it might also be used for male ones. The plural is entirely neutral with regard to natural gender.
  • The female gender may be specified by means of the word Zicke, which is uncommon in literary German, however.


Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

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