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My great aunt Edith keeps this list of her favorite words tacked on the refrigerator:

Atlas
Chance
Detail
Frost
Hand
Magnet
Orange
Ring
Sand
Tiger
Winter
Wolf

My great uncle Mark has this list of his favorites:

Angel
Art
Bad
Boot
Gift
Hall
Kind
Mutter
Rat
Stern

Which one of them would like the word Listen?

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  • $\begingroup$ both list are sorted....purposefully ?.....Also if it is to Listen then answer is always Great Aunt ;) $\endgroup$ – user2408578 May 20 '15 at 13:11
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    $\begingroup$ @user2408578: I don't think that the order of the words is important. But I'd say that the words in the lists were purposefully written with a capital letter. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm May 20 '15 at 13:25
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Your

great uncle Mark

likes the word "Listen". Here's why:

All words can be English or German words. The words in Aunt Edith's list have the same meaning in German and in English. (Or there is at least one common meaning. "Ring" in German means a round band of metal, but not a call on the phone.) The words in Uncle Mark's list have a different meaning in English and German. "Gift", for example, means poison. And "Listen" means lists and has nothing to do with hearing.

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  • $\begingroup$ This explanation does not fit for at least 'mist' and 'rock'. $\endgroup$ – jarnbjo May 20 '15 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ @jarnbjo: Why not? (Hmm, not sure about the spoiler policy in comments.) $\endgroup$ – M Oehm May 20 '15 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ As you already said yourself: The same music style is called rock both in English an in German. 'Mist' can in German also have the meaning of 'fog', just as 'mist' in English. $\endgroup$ – jarnbjo May 20 '15 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ The music style is called Rock, but it's essentially an English word. (But it's awkward that Jazz is in the aunt's list, which isn't really a German word, just a word that is used in German, like Rock.) The traditional meaning of Rock is coat or skirt. I've never heard Mist to mean spray or fog in German. It might be a dialect word, though. (Mist means dung. It's also a rather mild swear word.) $\endgroup$ – M Oehm May 20 '15 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ there's a term for these, bw: Cognates vs False Cognates $\endgroup$ – DLeh May 20 '15 at 20:03

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