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English Words with different meanings in German

English vs German: same word, different meanings

I got this idea from Ramnords post FUN WITH WORDS.

Please 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 elephant 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)

Do you know also such words with a different meaning in your language ????

If yes, just tell us, please!!!

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Comment by Rose Iris on December 10, 2018 at 21:22

Hahaha, dear Olga. Funny, funny!!! I like your humor.

Hahaha...a given gift isn't a gift in German...it's poison...but it's given...hahaha. I like this kind of wordplay.

Thanks for your humorous contribution.

Comment by Rose Iris on December 10, 2018 at 20:54

Thanks for your detailed explanation, Mishaikh.

The English language is considered an Indo-European language, so its origin is very close to the German language, but the English increasingly developed in a different direction, and in the scientific division is closer to the Mandarin than to the actual related languages. The history of English goes back to the 5th century AD when England was conquered by various Germanic tribes, including the Angles and the Saxons. During this time, English was formed, from which later the name England was derived. The resulting Old English, which was spoken into the 11th Century, had much more similarities with the other Indo-European languages, including the German.
The European languages have Indian roots. (6000-3000 years before the Christian time counting.)
Influences from other languages have developed and changed the languages throughout history. That continues to this day.

Comment by O. M. on December 10, 2018 at 15:17

Wow, Rose,...such a great and detailed work!!! I am impressed!!!. And most of all I like the word "gift"...lol..and if to think... both must have the same roots ))) "To give someone"...only depends what..and to whom...heh

Thank you. I will never think the same about the words GIFT and NOT anymore.

Comment by Mishaikh on December 10, 2018 at 13:51

You did a really nice work  Rose to compile these words.

English and Urdu are somewhat same in nature.

Urdu contains most of Arabic, Persian and Turkish words.  (Urdu is itself a Turkish word).

Similarly English has borrowed words from Latin, Spanish, Greeks French Even from Arabic and Urdu like mother - maather in Persian and Arabic, Father as paither in Persian.

Comment by Onee-chan on December 10, 2018 at 6:28

Most of the words you mentioned is one syllable, while Indonesian words are mostly more than one.

Interesting to know it.

Comment by Onee-chan on December 10, 2018 at 6:26

Hi Rose!

Wow! What a long list! I may not remember it right now, lol. But, let me see...

'Rock' (ROK in Indonesian) means skirt. We have the same meaning for this. :))

'Angel' means difficult in Javanese (my local language) :D

Thank you for sharing. 

Comment by Rose Iris on December 9, 2018 at 17:43

Thanks, Estanis. Nice ones!!! Reading the meanings of such words, is always funny and interesting.

Thanks for telling us.

Comment by Estanis on December 9, 2018 at 10:52

Yes Rose, we must be careful with such possible misunderstandings, sometimes they took me to odd even funny situations. At school teachers taught us they are 'false friends' English words same or similar to Spanish but different meaning. These are some common false friends:

Comment by Rose Iris on December 9, 2018 at 10:34

Thanks, bet, AG, Fizzy, for stopping by and leaving your comments on my post.

Fizzy, hahaha...I just imagine that. You are right. It would be funny.

Comment by Fizzy on December 9, 2018 at 7:50

my language is different.  We used it as the same as English meaning.  Its interesting though.. if someone whois not fluent in English meet English speaker and talk.. that would be totally messed up.. ^^

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