PADUTCH-LIFE-L ArchivesArchiver > PADUTCH-LIFE > 2004-11 > 1099670832
From: "marysaerie" <>
Subject: Re: [PD-LIFE] German Alphabet B
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2004 11:09:15 -0500
WOW, Richard. How great! Thank you; and keep it coming!
Just one question: geboren means born; what is gebacken?
Mary in her Aerie
----- Original Message -----
From: Richard Emlin Reed
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 9:13 AM
Subject: [PD-LIFE] German Alphabet B
In another attempt to revive interest in our Pennsylvania-Dutch culture, I offer you my little essay on the letter B as it was used in the PA-D dialect.
One would thnk that the letter B is always pronounced bee; but not so. The German word for bed is Bett. Going to bed, a German might say. "Ich geh ins Bett". A PA-Dman would say, "Ich geh in'spett". Keep in mind that the sound is somewhere between a b and a p; but closer to p than b. However, if a PA-Dman said,"Under the bed; he would say, "Un'er dem Bett". Confusing, huh? An internal b is often pronounced vee. Aber, meaning but, is pronounced ahber in German; in PA-D, it is pronounced ovvo, short o, front and back. Sieben, meaning seven, is zeeben, zivva in PA-D. Then there are words like gebacken and geboren where the b is pronounced like a b. B at the end of a word was usually pronounced like a p. Leib was prounced lipe; Lob - lope. This transferred to English. The nickname Bob is pronounced Bahb in English; PA-Dmen pronounced it Bop. Crib, English C r i b, PA-Dmen said crip. We were robbed (ropdt).
There was a family in Newmanstown who spelled their name Bubp. It was pronounced Bup. I just checked the internet; there are lots of Bubps. I wonder if those who have removed from the PA-D influence pronounce it Bub.
Returning to the front B; we have the case of Rebecca which, incidentally, was an alter name for Margaret at one time. The child was baptized Margaret; but was called Rebecca. Of course, the nickname for Rebecca was Becky, which the PA-Dmen pronounced Pecky; but with a soft g sound; so it sounded like Peggy. Even now, Peggy is a diminutive for Margaret.