Friday, May 22, 2009

Greman* , Geman* (for German)

A former coworker of mine used to refer to computer glitches, or input errors generally, as "gremlins." Today we find four instances of Greman* in OhioLINK (one with a [sic] to indicate that the mistake is on the original) and seven for Geman* + German*. (Note: I often find the Boolean "and" to be an effective way to home in on and isolate the results I'm looking for.) According to Richard Hooker's website European Middle Ages: "In both Celtic and Germanic, the word German means something like 'the fierce men' or, contrarily, 'the friendly men.' Who knows?" Other sources claim it means "spear man," "man of war," and (my favorite) "neighbors who shout."

(German devil, from the website of Alan Olswing, author of the book Vintage Grass Growing Clay Heads.)

Carol Reid

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