freten by sowe

Jim Parish jparish at SIUE.EDU
Mon Mar 3 00:21:23 UTC 2008

Joel S. Berson wrote:
> IIRC, my junior high school German teacher told us that "essen" was
> the polite term for humans, and if said of humans "fressen" had
> connotations of voracity or messiness.  And at least one on-line
> dictionary has "devour" for "fressen" (as well as "eat"), but not for
> "essen".  But I'm no expert, which is why I asked about "freten" vs.
> "etan".

As I understand it, the German word for "wolverine" is "fresser"; by way
of comparision, "glutton" is an alternative English name for the beast.

Jim Parish

The American Dialect Society -

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