K äppi -- end piece of bread?

Chris Waigl chris at LASCRIBE.NET
Sun Apr 26 22:34:51 UTC 2009

On 26 Apr 2009, at 23:06, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
> Michael Sheehan wrote:
>> A caller to my language program mentioned that her mother-in-law's
>> family=
>> used to call the end pieces of bread "the copy." Working on sound
>> alone,=
>> I
>> came across the Germanic K=E4ppi, a head covering or cap. I could
>> understa=
>> nd an
>> analogy being constructed between an end piece of bread and a cap,
>> but is=
>> there a real or a fancied connection here?
> -
> I myself would not assume any connection with the exact word "Käppi",
> since the sound does not seem very similar (more-or-less /k&pi/ or
> /kEpi/ vs. /kapi/ or /kOpi/, I think). German "Kappe" (more-or-less
> /kap@/) is a better match. In Grimm's dictionary one citation reads:
> <<_der obere abschnitt, die kappe des brotes heiszt in Preuszen_
> sohnche: das sohnche kriegt die frau.>>. This is the only example of
> "Kappe des Brotes" which I can find and it's not clear to me whether
> it
> has any relevance. My naive translation: "The upper section, the cap
> of
> the bread, in Prussia is called _sohnche_: _The sohnche gets the
> woman._"

Uh, the other way round. Given that German *does* have case endings,
word order is more liberal than in English: "the woman gets the /

> ("Sohnche" apparently = "Söhnchen" = "little son" or so.)
> Somebody more competent in German can perhaps say for sure what this
> means: maybe it refers to the "upper crust" of society rather than
> to a
> literal piece of bread?

I'm familiar with a good bunch of informal/dialectal words for the end
piece of a loaf of bread -- Anschnitt (dial. Anschnittl), Knörzchen
(dial. Knörzla), Kanten, Knorst, Kniisle (had to look up how they
spell this -- dial. of course), Krüstchen...

Some googling brings up about a dozen more variants, and I see that
some (not me, but that's ok) have "Kappe" (cap) as a "neutral" term.
(My "neutral" term would be "Anschnitt"). Käppi is simply a diminutive
of Kappe.


Chris Waigl

Chris Waigl -- http://chryss.eu -- http://eggcorns.lascribe.net
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