From Middle High German manec, from Old High German manag. The -ch- is due to the traditional fricative pronunciation of non-initial -g- in Central German dialects. The spelling became predominant in early modern German, possibly reinforced by the similar clusters in welch and solch. The original form has remained in mannigfach, manniglich, mannigfaltig, etc. Cognate with Dutch menig, English many, English -meal.
- Only the inflected forms are commonly used in colloquial and informal German.
- The bare form is sometimes used with a following adjective in literary German: manch schöner Tag instead of mancher schöne Tag – “many a beautiful day”. (Note the consequent change in the declension of the adjective.) The bare form without a following adjective is poetic.
- manch in Duden online