English vs German: same word, different meanings

1103291005Freundschaftspins-England-DeutschlandPlease note that the words below are the same only in writing but not in pronunciation. Still interesting and fun to know it, though. 🙂




GIFT a present poison
DANK chilly wet gratefulness, thanks
STARK bare, grim, harsh strong
KIND nice, generous a child
HUT small building a hat
ROCK a stone; to move back and forth a skirt
STOCK a share in a company a cane
MITTEN a glove in the middle
SAGE a wise person say [first person, present tense]; also a saga
LINKS plural of link, connections left [opposite to right]
TOLL a charge for road usage fantastic
BOOT a tall shoe boat
LUNGE a sudden thrust lung
GUT intestine or stomach good
MIST light fog dung, manure
NOT in no way an emergency
LAST at the end freight, burden
HANDY easy to handle cellular phone [new word]
MOST superlative of many apple cider [Southern Germany, Austria]
RIND a tough outer covering, of cheese for example an individual of cattle
LOT a considerable quantity a plumb
TALK speak talc
BAD evil, harmful bath
RAT a rodent advice
TRUNK the nose of an elefant a drink (together with some people)
LIED past tense of “to lie” a song
HALL a large room a short echo
FAST quickly almost
BRIEF short a letter
SAME identical, e.g., at the same time a seed
BALD lacking of natural covering, e.g., hair soon
SOLD past tense of “to sell” a soldier’s salary
LAG to fall behind past tense of “legen” (intransitive verb, i.e., lie)
GLUT an oversupply embers
LACK to be deficient lacquer
WAR an armed conflict past tense of “sein” (to be)
TOT a small child dead (adverb)
TOTE to carry by hand as in tote-bag dead (adjective)
GRAB to seize a grave
LIST a sequence craftiness
JAMMER one that jams misery
KIPPER a fish cured in salt a dump truck
STERN firm and unyielding a star
DICK short form of Richard; colloquial for penis stout, corpulent
SEE to behold with your eyes a lake
ART The production of beautiful forms of sound or shape a species
ANGEL a spiritual being attendant upon God a fishing rod
BAT A flying mammal; a wooden club past tense of “bitten” (to ask for something)
HAT a head covering third person present tense for “haben” (to have)
MUTTER to speak indistinctly in a low voice mother
LEG a lower extremity in a human imperative for “legen” (to lay)
LOG the fallen trunk of a tree past tense of “lügen” (to lie)
TEE a t-shaped peg to place a golf ball on tea
MADE past tense of “to make” a maggot
SUCH As in “such as” imperative for “suchen” (to search)
LURCH to roll or pitch suddenly a salamander
MARK a sign or visible impression marrow (like “Knochenmark” bone-marrow)
QUALM a sensation of doubt, uneasiness (“to have no qualms about it”) thick smoke
MAUL to bruise or tear (“mauled by a wild animal”) the mouth of an animal (“das Maul halten” to shut up)
WELT a ridge or bump raised on the skin by a lash or blow the world
If you know another word whose meaning is entirely different and preferably of a different root in English and German but whose spelling is the same (“false cognate”), please send an email.

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4 responses to “English vs German: same word, different meanings”

  1. samalbahaykubo says :

    Reblogged this on Samal English Language Services.

  2. An ostrichized Individual says :

    TL;DR is at the bottom.

    Many of these have different pronunciations. I don’t think anyone who spoke both languages would confuse something that’s gut (goot) with their own stomach (gut). It’s quite evident that homophones and synonyms are completely different things, even in the same language. This is based on the concept of “context.” I can only hope that anyone reading a different language would not be so quick to assume that similarly spelled words must share a common meaning. I’ve read five other posts regarding the (mis)use of words or the weird (perfectly explainable) syntax of the English language on this site, and so far all I’ve inferred is that people are still pretentious when it comes to things like this. The blanket term “Grammar Nazis” wouldn’t exist if people stopped mistaking “education” (i.e. knowledge/learned behavior/experience) for intelligence (i.e. being able to reason/adapt/understand). Then again, they’d have to also conclude that grammar, syntax, and semantics are separate things. Don’t get me wrong, I am a “logophile”, yet still, I must admit that the meaning of words is much less important than what people infer. “Common usages” are socially acceptable for a reason. Trying to “save” the English language most likely stems from an inability to change brought on by a false sense of importance that – I surmise – is created by “English Majors” who get a “boner” from correcting people’s colloquialisms in a vain attempt to showcase their knowledge of such trivial things.
    By no means did I wish to prattle on, and I meant no offense to anyone/everyone who gets “their jollies” from these articles. I suppose you will think me a hypocrite due to the presentation of my argument, but I merely view these types of articles as entertainment (i.e. good for a quick laugh or a “oh yeah” moment), and I find it somewhat unnerving that some people consider these sorts of things “educational.”

    Knowledge is fun, but there’s always room for interpretation. Also, one should never assume that words of a foreign language mean the same thing because it’s spelled the same. “Grammar Nazis” are pretentious (most of the greatest authors, playwrights, etc. in history loved to break the rules).

    Guten tag (Stomach in children’s game).

    “I can admire the woman who is sleeping in the backseat of the car on the shoulder of the highway by the lake under the stars in the middle of the summer for one reason: I can’t make a constituent out of ‘her.’ “

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