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See also: lugen and Lügen



From Middle High German liegen, from Old High German liogan, from Proto-West Germanic *leugan, from Proto-Germanic *leuganą, from Proto-Indo-European *lewgʰ-.

The expected form is early modern German liegen; that with -ü- has been standardized to avoid homophony with unrelated liegen (to lie, be in a horizontal position). The vowel is due, on the one hand, to rounding in the vicinity of /l/, which was common in some dialects, and on the other hand to the inherited 2nd and 3rd person-singular present forms (in non-diphthongizing dialects such as Alemannic German). The form was also reinforced by the nouns Lug and Lüge. Compare Low German legen, lögen, Dutch liegen, English lie, Danish lyve, Swedish ljuga.


  • IPA(key): /ˈlyːɡən/, [ˈlyːɡən], [ˈlyːɡŋ̩]
  • (file)


lügen (class 2 strong, third-person singular present lügt, past tense log, past participle gelogen, past subjunctive löge, auxiliary haben)

  1. (intransitive) to tell a lie; to lie (to intentionally give false information)
  2. (intransitive, less often) to give false information (unintentionally)
    Wie alt sind Sie? — Ehm... lassen Sie mich nicht lügen... Zweiunddreißig.
    How old are you? — Er... don’t let me tell you something wrong... Thirty-two.


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