Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jan 24 01:51:56 UTC 2002

At 6:37 AM -0500 1/24/02, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
>>There's a neat folk etymology sponsored by that particular goose.
>>"Gunsel" was originally "ganzel" < Yiddish gendzl 'little goose', for
>>a boy, especially a young punk, or sometimes a young gay man
>Perhaps some Germanicist can explain why the umlaut is omitted ... i.e. (in
>my primitive conception) why it's like "gansel"/"gunsel" rather than
>-- Doug Wilson

Note that based on the derivation I cited above, borrowed from the
HDAS, the English version really *ought* to be "genzel" or "gentsel"
rather than "ganzel" > "gunsel", and while the current version
reflects folk etymology, it's harder to imagine that having happened
if the vowel really were [E] before the reanalysis.  So as Doug says,
it's puzzling--unless there was a spelling pronunciation, which seems
unlikely, how and why would "gendzl" have turned into (back-voweled)


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