Brats and Brauts

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jul 15 08:23:41 UTC 2001

At 11:58 AM -0700 7/15/01, Jewls2u wrote:
>To be honest about why I thought a brat was a braut, it looks more German.
>When I told my German mother I thought a brat was a braut, she laughed. When
>I told her how many hits came up on a Google search with braut she said (in
>the way that German mother's do) "Well, they are all very wrong."
>I started wondering how far braut had seeped into common usage, so I
>searched through some online cookbooks. There were no hits on brautwurst.
>Bratwurst, on the other hand, produced 95 recipes. One of which was baked
>raccoon, stuffed with bratwurst. I must confess if this dish were served to
>me, I would require lots and lots of ketchup.
This is consistent with the idea mooted earlier in this thread that
it's largely "brat" (the sausage kind, with a back vowel) that one
would be tempted to respell as the homophonous (for those in the
relevant dialect--not mine) "braut", while there is no parallel
motivation to reconfigure "bratwurst", in the absence of any
unpalatable homograph.  So it's "bra(u)ts and beer", but
"bra(*u)twurst and beer".  Of course, there are 223 google hits on
"brautwurst" (harder to tell about
"braut", since as noted it is the German word for 'bride'),
reflecting the fact that the underlying form has now shifted to
"braut" for many eaters (if not cookbook writers).


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