Only in York County

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More on the German-language origins of ‘strubbly’

When we last talked about being ‘strubbly,’ I shared a comment from Roy Flinchbaugh, talking about how he did not find in his dictionaries a reference to it coming from the German word struppig – in fact, he didn’t find that word – but rather strubbelig.

Struppig, had been suggested by Mark G. from Austria, a former Yorker, and after reading Roy’s comment, Mark went back and did even more digging on the origins of what we say as ‘strubbly’ in Pa. Dutch!

Mark writes, “I was just reading Roy’s comments and decided to look a little deeper into this word. What I have found is that it depends on the dictionary used as to which word is represented. I use mainly the Langenscheidts Taschenw├Ârterbuch (Langenscheidt’s pocket dictionary) and it is done in the new German Orthography (kind of like updated spellings and pronunciations). Strubbelig is not in the book but struppig is. In other dictionaries (Webster’s, Collin’s, etc…) both words appear. I guess it just depends on the version one is reading. I have also checked out a non-pocket edition of Lang and found both words there. Now I have also called my brother-in-law over in Burgenland regarding this. He related to me that older generation German speakers usually use strubbelig while those born post-boom use the struppig word in its place. Therefore I can see why some of the newer word books that have been updated show only struppig (German is an ever evolving language – more on that another time). So Roy is correct as in that when it comes to older writings the original words are usually kept intact and therefore strubbelig would be seen. Looks like we got divergence within a divergence, haha. Hope all is well back in York!”

Mark, we appreciate all the research, and we hope all is well for you over in Austria!

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