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https://www.duolingo.com/residualninja

Etymology question - nieuwsgierig?

Hi there. Can a native speaker or someone with a really good dictionary explain the etymology of this word? I sometimes look for the "components" of a word that appears to be a combination of words (ex: ziekenhuis) to better memorize/understand the meaning, and when I chopped this one up the result was not at all what I anticipated. Thank you.

2 years ago

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Multitaal
Multitaal
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"Gierig" is here short for "begerig" which means lustful or eager. So it means eager after news.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Merrowmic
Merrowmic
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Gierig is also an Afrikaans word, basically meaning 'greedy'.

Nuuskierig is an Afrikaans adjective, meaning 'curious'.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/residualninja

Thank you. When I translate "gierig" from German to English with WordReference or Google Translate, the result is "greedy." There is no entry for the same word Dutch->English in WordRef. But when I translate the word from Dutch->English with Google Translate, it provides a word in English that has a similar meaning to "greedy" but in fact bears a racist connotation - it's a word that has largely fallen out of favor in English. Is this just an artifact of Google Translate's word choice? Because if there is no racial connotation in the Dutch word, I would consider sending Google Translate a message saying their word choice is inaccurate. Thanks again you two!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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I looked it up, and the only reason why it has a "racist" connotation is because part of the word is phonetically the same as a racist word. The word itself however is unrelated to that and hence is not racist in any way.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/residualninja

Sorry, just to clarify: are you referring to "gierig" here?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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No, the English word you were referring to on google translate.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/residualninja

Oh! I see what you're talking about now, El2theK: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversies_about_the_word_%22niggardly%22 I had (incorrectly, it seems) understood that there was consensus on the racialized origin of the term. Thanks for the clarification! Certainly still not a word that is commonly used in the US given our history. But this is all very helpful info, thanks folks.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/residualninja

Ah! That is very interesting. I would not have guessed that, especially with the spelling difference. Thank you very much. That will help me memorize the word better, too.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Multitaal
Multitaal
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Graag gedaan.
Yes, it is usually a good way to remember words. Also compare with the German word "neugierig".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JensBu
JensBuPlus
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Just to add that: in German it means "neugierig" which is like "eager for new" (curious). The components are neu and (be)gierig. wissbegierig is "eager for knowledge" (inquisitive, curious).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/residualninja

Cool!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Multitaal
Multitaal
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"wissbegierig" in Dutch is "leergierig" which literally means eager to learn.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/residualninja

Gee. Can't think of a single word that's the same in English. That's cool!

2 years ago