Why little, not Viennese?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Jan 24 16:49:00 UTC 2013

At 1/24/2013 08:56 AM, Amy West wrote:
>On 1/24/13 12:00 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
>>Date:    Tue, 22 Jan 2013 18:17:03 -0600
>>From:    Julia Graney<jcgraney at HOTMAIL.COM>
>>Subject: Re: Earliest Known Occurrence of the Term "Hot Dog" Pushed Back to
>>           1886, (Corrected Citation)
>>doesn't "wiener" refer to Vienna?  German for viennoise? =20
>Yes, exactly.

Although I would say "viennoise" is French for "wiener".

>So why the author equates it with "little", when he gets
>it right for "wurst" which indicates some knowledge of German, is what
>I'm wondering about. I'm wondering if there's a) some wordplay based on
>the English "wee" ("little") or b) if there's been some semantic shift
>of some sort.

"weenie" = "a (small) penis"?  And resemblance of appearance to a
Wurst?  So "wiener" became "little"?


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

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