OT query: "Elise"--slang in German?

Tom Kysilko pds at VISI.COM
Tue Feb 28 19:47:28 UTC 2006

Our daughter's first piano teacher claimed that "Elise" in the title of the
Beethoven piano piece was a mis-reading of sploppily-written "Therese" and that
this Therese was in fact a student of Beethoven's.  OTOH, the piece has been
widely known as "Für Elise" for so long that the correct title may not matter

On your first question, this same daughter currently lives in Vienna and may be
able to respond.

--Tom Kysilko

Quoting "Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at UMR.EDU>:

> A student has asked me if "Elise" is Viennese slang for "attractive woman"
> and whether this might be what Beethoven had in mind when he wrote his piece
> "Für Elise." --- A search of Google turns up some vague (and probably
> incorrect) references to both.
>    Would anyone on the ads-l list know about "Elise" possibly being slang and
> whether there really was a woman named Elise for whom Beethoven wrote his
> piece?
>    Any help would be much appreciated.
> Gerald Cohen
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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