freten by sowe

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 3 03:46:36 UTC 2008

"Fresser" and "Vielfrass" are German words for the "European*
wolverine and "glutton" the usual English word for it. Back in the
day, dictionaries used to illustrate "glutton" with a picture of that
animal. Down in Texas, "glutton" was the standard BE term for an
unnecessarily-hearty eater. Later in life, I was much taken aback to
discover that "glutton" is a word of Latin origin and not one that had
sprung, full-blown, from the cotton field.


On Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 7:21 PM, Jim Parish <jparish at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       Jim Parish <jparish at SIUE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: freten by sowe
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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.
>  FWIW.
>  Jim Parish
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
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