Ducks, Dutch, and Deutsch

Cato Elder cato at
Thu Feb 24 22:32:56 CET 2011


In America "Dutchman" is often used to refer to German ancestors,
obviously because the German word for a "German" is "Deutscher."  I have
often heard people - who know the difference quite well between a German
and a Dutchman (from Holland) - still use the word.  My grandmother used
to call my grandfather at times a "bull-headed old Dutchman." 

"Bull-headed" was not a compliment!  [IMAGE]  (It means "stubborn.")  But
she knew the difference, and used "Dutchman" to mean "German."

Speaking of derivations, the German word for "duck" is "Ente" and is
related to the ancient Latin word "Anas, anatis" for duck.  "Anatine"
means "like a duck" in English.  In Ancient Greek, the word for a mallard
duck is "penelops" which gives us the female name "Penelope" as in the
wife of Odysseus.

Scholars think she is so named because of the ferocity of mother ducks
(and ducks in general) in guarding their nests!

Best Wishes!

L. Schulte

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