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Germanic words of non-Indo-European origin

Population genetic studies have provided incontrovertible evidence that ancient Germanic culture and ethnicity arose from the fusion of the Mesolithic inhabitants of Scandinavia (linked to Y-DNA haplogroup I1) and Indo-European people (associated with haplogroups R1a and R1b). Although the bulk of Germanic words have an Indo-European origin, a substantial number of fundamental vocabulary appears to be non-Indo-European, most probably inherited from the indigenous pre-Bronze-Age inhabitants of Scandinavia and/or North Germany. Sigmund Feist was the first to postulate this Germanic substrate hypothesis in 1932. Here are examples of pre-IE words in Germanic languages. Words in brackets are Indo-European. Note that some words derived from the same root have acquired different meanings in various Germanic languages.

Animals

Modern English
Old English
Dutch
German
Old High German
Old Norse
Proto-Germanic
Proto-Indo-European
bear
bera
beer
Br
bero
bjrn
*beron
(*rtko)
bull
bula
bul
Bulle
boli
*bullon
(*tauros)
boar
bar
(Keiler)
beer
ber
(*tworkos)
carp
karper
Karpfen
karpfo
(*kophelos)
chicken
cicen
kieken
Kken
kjuklingr
dog (hound)
docga
(hond)
(Hund)
(hunt)
(hundr)
(*hundas)
(*kuntos)
dove
dufe
duif
Taube
dufa
tuba
*dubon
eel
l
aal
Aal
al
all
laz
horse
hors
ros
Ro
hros
hross
*hursa
(*gheyos, *hekwos)
lamb
lamb
lam
Lamm
lamb
lamb
*lambaz
(*heg[w]hnos)
lark
lawerce
leeuwerik
Lerche
lvirik
*laiw(a)rikon
ram
ramm
ram
(Schafbock)
ram
sheep
sceap
schaap
Schaf
scaf
stork
storc
(ooievaar)
Storch
storah
storkr
*sturkaz
toad / paddock
tadige
pad
(Krte)
padda

Plants

Modern English
Old English
Dutch
German
Old High German
Old Norse
Proto-Germanic
Proto-Indo-European
berry
berie
bere (M.Du.)
Beere
ber
*basjom
(*h[a]ogeh[a], *dhreghes-)
leek
lc
look
Lauch
louh
laukr
*lauka
oak
ac
eik
Eiche
eih
eik
*aiks
(*perk[w]us)
oat
ate
(haver)
(Hafer)
(hafri)
(*khabran)
(*h[a]ewis)
reed
hreod
riet
Riet
hriot
*khreudom
(*nedos, *yoinis)
weed
weod
wieden
*weud

Body parts

Modern English
Old English
Dutch
German
Old High German
Old Norse
Proto-Germanic
Proto-Indo-European
back
bc
bak (M.Du.)
(Rcken)
*bakam
(*hepo)
body
bodig
(lichaam)
(Krper)
botah
(*kreps)
bone
ban
been
Bein
bein
*bainam
(*host)
brain
brgen
brein
(Gehirn)
*bragnam
(*mosghos)
cheek
ceace
kaak
(Backe)
*kaukon
finger
fingor
vinger
Finger
fingr
*fingraz
(*polik[o]s)
leg
(shank)
been
Bein
leggr
*lagjaz
(sok[w]t)
liver
lifer
lever
Leber
lebara
lifr
*librn
neck
hnecca
nek
Nacken
hnach
hnakkr
*khnekkon
(*mono, *kolsos)
shoulder
sculdor
schouder
Schulter
scultra
*skuldro
(*dous, homsos)
skull
schedel
Schdel
skalli
toe
ta
teen
Zehe
zecha
ta
*taikhwo
womb
wamb
wam
Wamme
wamba
vomb
*wambo

Adjectives & Adverbs

Modern English
Old English
Dutch
German
Old High German
Old Norse
Proto-Germanic
Proto-Indo-European
broad
brad
breed
breit
breir
*braithaz
dear
deore
duur
teuer
tiuri
dyrr
*deurjaz
dim
dimm
timber
dimmr
*dimbaz
gray/grey
grg
grauw
grau
grao
grar
*grisja
idle
idel
eitel
ital
narrow
nearu
nare (M.Du.)
*narwaz
shy
sceoh
schuw
scheu
sciuhen
*skeukh(w)az

Title, status, occupation

Modern English
Old English
Dutch
German
Old High German
Old Norse
Proto-Germanic
Proto-Indo-European
bride
bryd
bruid
Braut
brut
*bruthiz
child
cild
*kiltham
king
cyning
koning
Knig
kuning
konungr
*kuninggaz
(*reg)
knight
cniht
knecht
Knecht
wife
wif
wijf
Weib
wib
vif
*wiban

Construction, transports, materials & weapons

Modern English
Old English
Dutch
German
Old High German
Old Norse
Proto-Germanic
Proto-Indo-European
bow (n.)
boga
boog
Bogen
bogi
*bugon
dam
dam
Damm
dammr
*dammaz
gate
geat
gat
Gasse
gat
*gatan
house
hus
hus
Haus
hus
*husan
keel
kjlr
*keluz
keg
kaggi
lane
lanu
laan
ln
pack
pack
pakki
path
p
pad
Pfad
pfad
*patha
roof
hrof
roef
(Dach)
rof
hrof
*khrofaz
sail
segl
zeil
Segel
segal
segl
*seglom
sea
s
zee
See
sr
*saiwaz
ship
scip
schip
Schiff
skif
skip
*skipam
shoe
scoh
schoen
Schuh
scuoh
skor
*skokhaz
silver
seolfor
zilver
silber
sillabar
silfr
*silubra
(*arg-ent)
steel
style
staal
Stahl
stahal
stal
*stakhlijan
tin
tin
tin
Zinn
zin
tin
*tinom
weapon
wpen
wapen
wafen
waffen
vapn
*wpnan

Miscellaneous

Modern English
Old English
Dutch
German
Old High German
Old Norse
Proto-Germanic
Proto-Indo-European
beacon
beacen
baken
(Leucht)bake
bouhhan
*baukna (W.Germ.)
buy
bycgan
*bugjanan
begin
beginnan
beginnen
beginnen
beginnan
*beginnan
dream
droom
Traum
troum
draumr
*draugmas (W.Germ.) ?
drink
drincan
drinken
trinken
trinkan
drekka
*drengkan
drive
drifan
drijven
treiben
triban
drifa
*dribanan
dwarf
dweorh
dwerg
Zwerg
twerg
dvegr
*dweraz
flee
fleon
vlieden
fliehen
flja
fliohan
*thleukhanan
ground
grund
grond
Grund
grunt
grunn
*grundus
ice
is
ijs
Eis
iss
*isa
leap
hleapan
lopen
laufen
hlaupa
*khlaupan
luck
geluk
Glck
mood
mod
moed
Mut
muot
mor
*motha
race
rs
rasen
rasen
ras
*rs
scathe
skaa
schaden
schaden
scadon
*skath
shake
sceacan
schokken
schtteln
skaka
*skakanan
soul
sawol
ziel
Seele
seula
sala
*saiwalo
start
steortian
storten
strzen
sturzen
*sturtjan
steal
stelan
stelen
stehlen
stelan
stela
*stelanan
steam
stymen
stoom
*staumaz
swell
swellan
zwellen
schwellen
swellan
svela
*swelnanan
swallow
swelgan
zwelgen
schwelgen
swelahan
svelgja
*swelkh
thing
ing
ding
ding
ding
ing
*thengan
top
top
top
Zopf
zopf
toppr
*tupaz
trend
trendan
*trandijanan
wonder
wundor
wonder
Wunder
wuntar
undr
*wundran



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