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See also: Kahl



From Middle High German kal (inflected kalwe), from Old High German kalo, chalo, from Proto-Germanic *kalwaz (naked, bald), from Proto-Indo-European *galw- (naked, bald). The form kahl (instead of *kalb) is based on the Middle High German uninflected stem. However, the lengthened vowel points to influence by varieties that reduce -lw- to -l- even in open syllables; these include Middle Low German kāl (inflected kāle). See the same development in fahl. Cognate with Dutch kaal, English callow, and further Italian calvo, Russian голый (golyj, nude), Persian کل(kal).



kahl (comparative kahler, superlative am kahlsten)

  1. bald, hairless
  2. (figuratively, of land etc.) barren, bleak, empty, stark, bland

Usage notes[edit]

  • Now used chiefly in the figurative sense or of portions of the skin: eine kahle Stelle (a bald spot). Of persons one more commonly says kahlköpfig or glatzköpfig (both literally "bald-headed"). Even more usual is the expression er hat eine Glatze (literally he has a bald head).


Further reading[edit]

  • kahl” in Duden online