German Words of Arabic Origin

German Language Coach; German Words of Arabic OriginLike many languages, German has evolved to include words, which originated from other languages; many of these are surprisingly derived from Arabic. Arabic words feature commonly in many Western languages and were most often introduced centuries ago.

However you drink it, ‘Kaffee’ derives from the Arabic ‘qahwa’. Coffee drinking originated in 15th century Yemen and the word was introduced to most Western languages around 200 years later.

Developed through a few languages, ‘Aprikose’ (apricot) derives from the Arabic ‘al-barqūq’.

‘Babbaghā” is where ‘parrot’ originates from, which in German is ‘Papagei’ – not very far removed at all. The main difference being that the Medieval ‘b’ phonic was replaced by the European ‘p’.

Almost identical in spelling and pronunciation, ‘Al-kohl’ is the original Arabic word for ‘Alkohol’, or alcohol in English. Interestingly, the word used to mean ‘fine powder’ but progressed through the centuries and became specifically a distilled spirit in the 18th century.

Both meanings of ‘Magazin’ (magazine) – the ammo holder for a gun and the published ‘book’ – come from an Arabic word. ‘Makhāzin’ first meant ‘store’ (which is where the ammo receptacle got its name) but it didn’t have the alternative meaning until the English language introduced it in the 1600s.

There are so many derivatives of ‘Zucker’ that it is hard to pinpoint the origin, however its earliest use was is fact from Arabic, as ‘sukkar’, as medieval Arabs produced sugar on a vast scale.

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