SWEDISH WORD OF THE WEEK: WORD #104
If you're wondering why this post is so early (I normally post on Mondays), I am trying to fit in one last word before I depart on a week-long voyage to the Netherlands! I'm very excited to practice my Dutch and experience the culture of such a wonderful country! All previous words can be found here!
Separately, as if it were ooh-umbärlig.
SS: Enjoy the Netherlands!
Does this word have Swedish roots or does it come from German unentbehrlich? The word does not look very Swedish to me...
A little of both - it's ultimately derived from Low German umberen, which meant to miss something or someone. This lives on in modern High German entbehren, but it's been lost to time in modern Platt, which calls it e.g. missen or vemissen - the latter is obviously closer to High German vermissen.
But it was loaned into Swedish a very long time ago, and it existed in early Old Swedish as well.
There's actually another word in Swedish (and Danish) that evolved from the same roots but in a different direction - undvara, which means to spare something, as in "I guess I could spare a few minutes."