Which words have double meanings

"One plus one ..." - double words in German

The German language is full of words that are actually double words - composed of words that can also be used individually: Highway, Semolina pudding, Spaceman, Poet's word, front door, All-rounder, Scaredy rabbit, malicious joy, Blueprint - if you wanted, you could fill an entire lexicon with just such compounds.

One plus one is two

When two words come together, often only the meaning of the two individual words adds up: a Semolina pudding is a pudding made from semolina that front door the door to the house and the famous malicious joy the joy of harming others. But the Highway is not just a road for cars. They may be on it, but so are motorbikes and trucks. Maybe that's why they should be renamed Radbahn. Pedestrians are prohibited on the motorway. Even on the edge. There is no footpath along it Highway. And none Zebra crossing.

Like the stripes of a zebra

This multiple meaning is the single words automobile and train not to be noted. It only arises when they come together. As zebra and Stripes together suddenly mean a pedestrian crossing. That is the special thing about such compound words - they contain at least a bit more of meaning than is contained in the individual words on their own.

One plus one = new meaning

It is not uncommon for two words to result in a third word with a completely new meaning. For example Seat meat. You'd think that's just the part of the body you're sitting on. That's right - but again, not. who Has seat meatis someone with patience. With the perseverance to sit on the seat of your pants and not to get up until the task is finished.

Such a meaning appears in the compound word that would never have been noticed in the two starting words. Take that Bachelors. He doesn't need to be particularly young; especially not sociable. Because the Bachelor - whether young or old - is simply a man who is not married. A Impostor is not someone who raises a high pile. Always a fraud.

Animals that are not animals

A Sleepyhead is also not a piece of clothing (it used to be), but a person who is often tired and likes to sleep a lot. Jokers and Cowards are not rare animals that only occur in Germany, but people who like to joke or who are very scared - so much so that it is allowed to smile at them again.

Gossipers tell the latest gossip

Against it is a Clapper no more than the words gossip and Mouth already say: someone who opens his mouth and likes to poke at others. Regardless of whether that would be okay with them or whether it could hurt them. That's just it gossip.

Exported compounds

Only if the gossip With coffee is connected, something completely new arises: the Coffee gossip. Then that is not a gossip more and no specialty coffee either. It's a get-together over coffee and cake, where everyone talks to one another in an intimate way. In North America, the word has been adopted into English with the same spelling and meaning.

The coffee table is set

In general, it is precisely the compositions that one likes to borrow from German in other languages. About the Know-it-all. He doesn't necessarily know better. Maybe he just thinks so. But he's always someone who gets on people's nerves. One of these is also called in Finnish today besservisseri. A word like kindergarten was adopted into English very early - a few years after its invention in Germany. You don't need to explain to anyone today that the kindergarten is not a garden for children but a kind of preschool.

One plus one plus one equals one

By the way, when one jokes about small children, one also speaks of in German Dreikäsehochs. Strictly speaking, these are already three words, each of which cannot be seen in itself, that we are talking about children. But for such cases, speakers need a little Sure instinct.

Questions about the text

The following compound does not exist: ...

1. Bell hammer.

2. Impact drill.

3 bedrooms.

Jokers are ...
1. rare animals.
2. People who like to be funny.
3. Birds that are now extinct.

The saying "But you're a sleepyhead"means that someone ...

1. sleepwalking.

2. Reacts very slowly.

3. Wears a special hat.

Work order

Seat meatScaredy rabbitkindergarten: There are many words that have different meanings. Find more words and explain what they mean.

Author: David Eisermann

Editor: Beatrice Warken