mensch

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See also: Mensch, mènsch, and Mënsch

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Yiddish מענטש(mentsh, an honorable person), from Middle High German mensch, mensche, mennische, from Old High German mennisko (man, human being), from Proto-Germanic *manniskaz (human). The spelling mensch was influenced by German Mensch; compare the alternative spellings. Doublet of mennish and mensk; compare also mense. For the semantics, compare Latin humanē (kindly, courteously), English humane.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /mɛn(t)ʃ/
    • (file)
    • Rhymes: -ɛnʃ
    • Rhymes: -ɛntʃ

Noun[edit]

mensch (plural mensches or menschen)

  1. A person (chiefly male) of strength, integrity, and honor or compassion.
    • 1960, Billy Wilder, I. A. L. Diamond, The Apartment:
      Doctor Dreyfuss [to C. C. Baxter]: Be a mensch!
    • 2004, Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty, New York: Bloomsbury, OCLC 1036692193, page 428:
      Lionel Kessler, relaxing perhaps on a Louis Quinze day bed, garlanded all round with lines of beauty, seeing welcome proof that his clever maligned young friend was a mensch.
    • 2006 February 20, Paul Krugman, “The Mensch Gap”, in The New York Times[1], ISSN 0362-4331:
      Where have all the mensches gone? The character of the administration reflects the character of the man at its head.
    • 2008 December 28, George Solomon, “My Little Red Book”, in The Washington Post, page D01:
      Olie Kolzig: Goalie for the Washington Capitals who spent most of 16 seasons between the pipes for the team until being released in 2008. Had the longest career of any Capital. Now plays for Tampa Bay. The ultimate mensch, in my book.
    • 2008, Dwight S. Huggins, Into the Greenhouse Vol. VI: Dreams, →ISBN:
      She was an Amerindian, and stout. She was a real mensch, [] a hard working person, who took pride in her job, which was to spray from an aerosol can a particular base.
  2. A gentleman.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

mensch m or n (plural menschen, diminutive menschje n)

  1. Obsolete spelling of mens

German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Mensch (human being). Coined as (gender-neutral) alternative to man (one) for the same reason as frau, which see. Compare the use of they (vs she vs he) in English to refer to a generic or specific person whose gender is unknown.

Pronunciation[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

mensch

  1. (indefinite, informal, slang, rare) one, they (indefinite third-person singular pronoun)
    • 2000, Jan Schwarzmeier, Die Autonomen zwischen Subkultur und sozialer Bewegung →ISBN, page 66:
      „Nichtverhandeln war mehr ein Gefühl, daß mit dem Staat eh nichts vernünftiges anzufangen ist, daß mensch nur übers Ohr gehauen wird, wenn mensch sich auf Gespräche mit den Regierenden einläßt []
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
    • 2010, Sandra Glammeier, Zwischen Verleiblichter Herrschaft und Widerstand →ISBN, page 92:
      Dies ist nach Landweer (1999: 45) aber nur möglich, wenn mensch sich irgendeine noch so vage Verantwortung dafür zuschreibt, Objekt von Demütigung geworden zu sein.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
    • 2013, Werner Ablass, ZEN: ohne wie ein Huhn auf der Stange zu sitzen →ISBN, page 233:
      ZEN könnte unerwähnt bleiben, wenn mensch sich in seinem natürlichen Zustand erfahren würde.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)