Das Verb „brauen“ im Helgoländischen: mit Beibehaltung der starken Flexion und reich entwickelter Semantik


  • N. Århammar



The verb „brew“ in the North Frisian dialect of the North Sea island of Heligoland is in two respects remarkable: first it has retained its original strong inflection (section 1) and secondly it developed a number of special meanings during the 19/20th century (section 2). I have tried to demonstrate how this great diversity came about: The starting point for the
semantic development was probably the analogy ʽbrew kettleʼ (for beer brewing) ~ ʽsteam boilerʼ (of steam-boats). In a small seafaring nation a shift of meaning from ʽbrew (beer)ʼ → ʽdrive (a ship)ʼ may seem rather natural; less so the further steps via *ʽmove in generalʼ → ʽwalk briskly, runʼ and so on (→ ʽlive, keep house, manage to get on well (as a single)ʼ
and ʽbe busy, workʼ etc.). Sense 8. of the dictionary entry, a figurative meaning, stands apart, namely ʽconcoct, contrive, prepare, bring about, causeʼ: spec. evil, mischief, trouble, woe (OED). It is noted that this sense was developed in most Germanic languages and it probably represents a much older sprout on the helig. brau-tree than do the senses 2. to 7. In
section 3, I deal with the helig. idiom Bin brau ʽto bring into disorderʼ and the helig.-wfris. parallel uun Bin ~ yn ʼe/ʼt bûn ʽin disorderʼ. – In the appendix the revised and enlarged word article brau with its prefix compounds is presented