Missingsch is a type of Low-German
Low German
Low German or Low Saxon is an Ingvaeonic West Germanic language spoken mainly in northern Germany and the eastern part of the Netherlands...

-coloured dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

 or sociolect
In sociolinguistics, a sociolect or social dialect is a variety of language associated with a social group such as a socioeconomic class, an ethnic group, an age group, etc....

 of German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

. It is characterised by Low-German-type structures and the presence of numerous loanword
A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept where the meaning or idiom is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German Lehnwort,...

s (especially calque
In linguistics, a calque or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal, word-for-word or root-for-root translation.-Calque:...

s) from Low German in High German.


A more technical definition of Missingsch is that it is a type of contact variety
Language contact
Language contact occurs when two or more languages or varieties interact. The study of language contact is called contact linguistics.Multilingualism has likely been common throughout much of human history, and today most people in the world are multilingual...

, specifically a type of German variety with a Low German
Low German
Low German or Low Saxon is an Ingvaeonic West Germanic language spoken mainly in northern Germany and the eastern part of the Netherlands...

 (or Low Saxon) substratum
In linguistics, a stratum or strate is a language that influences, or is influenced by another through contact. A substratum is a language which has lower power or prestige than another, while a superstratum is the language that has higher power or prestige. Both substratum and superstratum...

. This is the result of linguistic, cultural, educational and political Germanisation
Germanisation is both the spread of the German language, people and culture either by force or assimilation, and the adaptation of a foreign word to the German language in linguistics, much like the Romanisation of many languages which do not use the Latin alphabet...

 of the region that is now Northern Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. This process of Germanisation began in earnest in the late seventeenth century, after the demise of the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

 and thus the erosion of its Middle-Saxon
Middle Low German
Middle Low German is a language that is the descendant of Old Saxon and is the ancestor of modern Low German. It served as the international lingua franca of the Hanseatic League...

-speaking power. Pressures to adopt German and at the same time being held back by insufficient access to formal (by now solely German language) education in the lower social classes led to various stages of transition from Low German to High German. These generally low-prestige language varieties continued to be spoken (rarely written) until the late twentieth century, though some people still continue and promote them now, very often for their supposed entertainment value, typically in comical veins.

Perhaps the best-known remaining domain of Missingsch is that of "Klein Erna jokes"—usually told entirely in Missingsch—in which laconic humour glorifies low-class wit and comments on working class conditions; e.g.
  • Mamma aus'n Fenster: „Klein Erna, muscha die Katze nich immer an Schwanz ziehn!“ Klein Erna: „Tu ich scha auch gaa nich. Die Katze zieht immer, ich halt ihr bloß fest!“ (Mum callin' down from the window: "Li'l Erna, stop pullin' the cat's tail, will ya?!" Li’l Erna: “But it ain't me doin' it! The cat keeps pullin'. I'm jus' holdin' 'er.")
  • Mamma: „Klein Erna, komm ra-auf, Füße waschen, Mamma braucht die Kumme gleich zu Sala-at!“ (Mum: "Li'l Erna, come on upstai-airs! Time to wash yer fee-eet! Mum needs the bowl for saaalad!")
  • Klein Erna geht mit ihr'n Heini in Dunkeln spazieren. Und wie sie inne Gegend von Bismarckdenkmal sind und 'n büschen rumknutschen, sagt Klein Erna mit'n mal: „Heini, wis ma sehn, wo ich an Blinddaam opariert bin?“ „O ja, Klein Erna, zeig mal her!“ „Kuck mal, da unten, wo die vielen Lichter brennen, da is das Hafenkrankenhaus. Da bin ich an Blinddaam opariert!“ (Li'l Erna's walkin' with 'er Ricky in the dark. An' as they're by the Bismarck Memorial an' are doin' a bit o' knoodlin', says Erna, “Say, Ricky, d'ya wanna see where I had my appendix out?" "Oh, yes, Li'l Erna. Come on! Show me!" "Look, down there, where all the lights are, that's where the Harbour Hospital is. That's where I had my appendix out.")

From a linguistic point of view, Missingsch varieties did not become extinct as such. They merely developed into more "cleaned-up”" northern varieties of German, varieties that use numerous Missingsch elements, especially in their casual registers. As such, Missingsch has been influencing the development of Standard German, mostly indirectly by way of northern German dialect contributions. Obvious examples are Low Saxon loanwords such as tschüß 'bye' (cf. Low Saxon: adschüüß, tschüüß). However, most influences are not as clearly noticeable as they involve lexical
In linguistics, the lexicon of a language is its vocabulary, including its words and expressions. A lexicon is also a synonym of the word thesaurus. More formally, it is a language's inventory of lexemes. Coined in English 1603, the word "lexicon" derives from the Greek "λεξικόν" , neut...

 and idiomatic
Idiom is an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is comprehended in regard to a common use of that expression that is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made...

 choices. A case of lexical choice is Sonnabend (cf. Low Saxon Sünnavend, Standard German Samstag) 'Saturday'.

There are numerous parallel cases to that of Missingsch. These are found in many situations in which languages came to be supplanted by other languages. Within a Northern European context there is the case of Stadsfries in the northern parts of the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 and the case of sociolect
In sociolinguistics, a sociolect or social dialect is a variety of language associated with a social group such as a socioeconomic class, an ethnic group, an age group, etc....

s of Scottish English
Scottish English
Scottish English refers to the varieties of English spoken in Scotland. It may or may not be considered distinct from the Scots language. It is always considered distinct from Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic language....

 that have particularly strong Scots
Scots language
Scots is the Germanic language variety spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster . It is sometimes called Lowland Scots to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic, the Celtic language variety spoken in most of the western Highlands and in the Hebrides.Since there are no universally accepted...


While there have been many varieties of Missingsch throughout Northern Germany, those of larger cities are best known, such as those of Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

, Bielefeld
Bielefeld is an independent city in the Ostwestfalen-Lippe Region in the north-east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. With a population of 323,000, it is also the most populous city in the Regierungsbezirk Detmold...

, Bremen, Flensburg
Flensburg is an independent town in the north of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. Flensburg is the centre of the region of Southern Schleswig...

 and Danzig.

The name “Missingsch” refers to the city of Meissen
Meissen is a town of approximately 30,000 about northwest of Dresden on both banks of the Elbe river in the Free State of Saxony, in eastern Germany. Meissen is the home of Meissen porcelain, the Albrechtsburg castle, the Gothic Meissen Cathedral and the Meissen Frauenkirche...

 (Meißen), which lies outside the traditional Saxon-speaking region (although the state in which it is situated at one time acquired the misleading name Saxony, originally the name of what is now Northern Germany). Meissen's Central German dialect was considered exemplary and was highly influential between the fifteenth century and the establishment of Modern Standard German. The name Missingsch is the Low Saxon equivalent of what in German is Meißnerisch, rather than, as often stated, derived from the German name Meißnerisch.

Contrary to popular belief, Missingsch is not a dialect of Low German. Furthermore, it is also not simply High German with a Low German accent, as it is often described. Its Low German/Low Saxon influences are not restricted to its phonology
Phonology is, broadly speaking, the subdiscipline of linguistics concerned with the sounds of language. That is, it is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning in any spoken human language, or the field of linguistics studying this use...

 but involve morphological
Morphology (linguistics)
In linguistics, morphology is the identification, analysis and description, in a language, of the structure of morphemes and other linguistic units, such as words, affixes, parts of speech, intonation/stress, or implied context...

 and syntactic
In linguistics, syntax is the study of the principles and rules for constructing phrases and sentences in natural languages....

 structures (sentence construction) and its lexicon
In linguistics, the lexicon of a language is its vocabulary, including its words and expressions. A lexicon is also a synonym of the word thesaurus. More formally, it is a language's inventory of lexemes. Coined in English 1603, the word "lexicon" derives from the Greek "λεξικόν" , neut...

 (vocabulary) as well. It is a type of German variety with the minimally qualifying characteristic of a clearly noticeable Low German/Low Saxon substratum.

Traditional German varieties of Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 qualify as Missingsch as well, though few people today think of Berlinerisch
Berlinerisch, Berlinisch, or Berliner Schnauze is a dialect of Berlin Brandenburgish spoken in Berlin. It originates from a Mark Brandenburgish variant...

 as a Missingsch variety. Berlin is still surrounded by traditionally Low-German-speaking areas of the southeastern or Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...

 type. Before it became the center of the Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n state, Berlin, too, was Low-German-speaking. As such it adopted German earlier than did other northern centers. Typical Berlinerisch is thus technically a Missingsch group with an additional Western Slavic (probably Old Lower Sorbian
Lower Sorbian
Lower Sorbian is a Slavic minority language spoken in eastern Germany in the historical province of Lower Lusatia, today part of Brandenburg. It is one of the two literary Sorbian languages, the other being Upper Sorbian....

) substratum, since before Saxon
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

 and Low Franconian colonisation
Colonization occurs whenever any one or more species populate an area. The term, which is derived from the Latin colere, "to inhabit, cultivate, frequent, practice, tend, guard, respect", originally related to humans. However, 19th century biogeographers dominated the term to describe the...

 the area was Slavic
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...


In his novel Schloss Gripsholm (Gripsholm Castle
Gripsholm Castle
Gripsholm Castle is a castle in Mariefred, Södermanland, in Sweden and is regarded as one of Sweden's finest historical monuments. It is located by lake Mälaren in south central Sweden, in the municipality of Strängnäs, about 60 km west of Stockholm....

), Kurt Tucholsky
Kurt Tucholsky
Kurt Tucholsky was a German-Jewish journalist, satirist and writer. He also wrote under the pseudonyms Kaspar Hauser, Peter Panter, Theobald Tiger and Ignaz Wrobel. Born in Berlin-Moabit, he moved to Paris in 1924 and then to Sweden in 1930.Tucholsky was one of the most important journalists of...

 broaches the issue of Missingsch and provides samples.

Phonological characteristics

  • Missingsch phonology
    Phonology is, broadly speaking, the subdiscipline of linguistics concerned with the sounds of language. That is, it is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning in any spoken human language, or the field of linguistics studying this use...

     tends to be closely related, if not identical, to that of the corresponding Low Saxon varieties. Noteworthy among these in the Northern Low Saxon area are the following:
    • Long /aː/ is pronounced semi-rounded ([ɒː]) as in most Low Saxon varieties; e.g. Abend [ʔɒːmt] ~ [ʔɒːmp] (Standard [ˈʔɑːbənt]) 'evening', Straßenbahn [ˈstrɒːsm̩bɒːn] (Standard [ˈʃtʁɑːsənbɑːn]) 'tramway', 'streetcar'.
    • Short vowel
      In phonetics, a vowel is a sound in spoken language, such as English ah! or oh! , pronounced with an open vocal tract so that there is no build-up of air pressure at any point above the glottis. This contrasts with consonants, such as English sh! , where there is a constriction or closure at some...

      s are lengthened before sonorant
      In phonetics and phonology, a sonorant is a speech sound that is produced without turbulent airflow in the vocal tract; fricatives and plosives are not sonorants. Vowels are sonorants, as are consonants like and . Other consonants, like or , restrict the airflow enough to cause turbulence, and...

      s, without any other change of articulation; e.g. Ball [baˑl] 'ball', Kind [kʰɪ̃ˑnt] 'child', auch [ʔaˑʊx] 'also', Land [lãˑnt] 'land', 'country'.
    • There is a noticeable degree of nasalisation before syllable
      A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. For example, the word water is composed of two syllables: wa and ter. A syllable is typically made up of a syllable nucleus with optional initial and final margins .Syllables are often considered the phonological "building...

      -final nasal consonant
      In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; , pronounced with the back of the tongue; , pronounced in the throat; and ,...

      s; Kind [kʰɪ̃ˑnt] 'child', Köm [kʰø̃ːm] 'caraway schnapps', lang [lãˑŋk] 'long'.

} is assimilated to preceding /n/; e.g. Kinder = Kinner [kʰɪ̃ˑnɝ] 'children', anders = anners [ʔãˑnɝs] 'different'.
    • In original Missingsch, as in most Low Saxon varieties, syllable-initial /s/ followed by /p/ or /t/ does not take on a ʃ sound; e.g. Straße [ˈstrɒːse] (Standard [ˈʃtʁɑːsə], Low Saxon Straat [ˈstrɒːt]) 'street', Sprache [ˈsprɒːxe] (Standard [ʃpʁɑːxə], Low Saxon Spraak [ˈsprɒːk]) 'language'.
    • What are affricate consonants in other German dialects tend to be fricative in Missingsch; e.g. Zeit [saˑɪt] 'time', Pferd [feɝt] 'horse' (cf. Standard Zeit [tsʰaɪt], Pferd [pfʰeʁt]).
    • Aspiration
      Aspiration (phonetics)
      In phonetics, aspiration is the strong burst of air that accompanies either the release or, in the case of preaspiration, the closure of some obstruents. To feel or see the difference between aspirated and unaspirated sounds, one can put a hand or a lit candle in front of one's mouth, and say pin ...

       of voiceless stop
      Stop consonant
      In phonetics, a plosive, also known as an occlusive or an oral stop, is a stop consonant in which the vocal tract is blocked so that all airflow ceases. The occlusion may be done with the tongue , lips , and &...

      s and affricates is limited to the syllable with main stress
      Stress (linguistics)
      In linguistics, stress is the relative emphasis that may be given to certain syllables in a word, or to certain words in a phrase or sentence. The term is also used for similar patterns of phonetic prominence inside syllables. The word accent is sometimes also used with this sense.The stress placed...

      ; e.g. Pocke [ˈpʰɔke] (Standard [ˈpʰɔkʰə]) 'pock', pikant [piˈkʰãˑnt] (Standard [pʰiˈkʰant]) 'spicy', Peter [ˈpʰeːtɝ] (Standard [ˈpʰeːtʰɚ]) 'Peter', Papa [ˈpʰapa] (Standard [ˈpʰapʰɑ] or [pʰɑˈpʰɑ]) 'dad'. (Unaspirated variants tend to be heard and spelled as voiced by the average North German, hence the spelling Pogge, Peder and Pabba.)
    • Syllable-final /r/ is realized as a vowel and merges with certain preceding vowels; e.g. fertig [ˈfɛætɪç] ~ [ˈfɛːtɪç] 'ready’', ‘completed’, warten [ˈvaːtn̩] ~ [ˈvɒːtn̩] 'to wait', Korb [kʰɔɝp] ~ [kʰɔːp] 'basket', Körper [ˈkʰœæpɝ] 'body'
    • Preceding a syllable-final velar consonant, /l/ tends to change into a high vowel; e.g. Milch [mɪˑiç] (Standard [mɪlç]) 'milk', Balken [ˈbaˑɪkŋ̩] (Standard [ˈbalkʰən]) 'beam', solch [zɔˑɪç] (Standard [ˈzɔlç]) 'such', welk [vɛˑik] (Standard [vɛlk]) 'withered', Erfolg [ʔɝˈfɔˑɪç] (Standard [ʔɝˈfɔlk]) 'success'. (Similar cases of assimilation of /l/ can be observed in Bavarian
      Bavarian , also Austro-Bavarian, is a major group of Upper German varieties spoken in the south east of the German language area.-History and origin:...

    • Final /ɡ/ is always pronounced as a fricative, and the preceding vowel is usually short; e.g. richtig [ˈrɪçtɪç] (southern [ˈrɪçtik]) 'correct', Tag [tʰax] (southern [tʰɑːk]) 'day', Berg [bɝːç] 'mountain', 'hill', Zug [tsʰʊx] ~ [sʊx] (southern [tsʰuːk]) 'train', 'draught', weg [vɛç] (southern [vɛk]) 'away', but Weg [veːç] (southern [veːk]) 'way' (cf. Low Saxon: richtig [ˈrɪçtɪç] 'correct', Dag [dax] 'day', Barg [baːx] 'mountain', 'hill', Tog [tʰɔx] 'train', 'draught', weg [vɛç] 'away', but Weg [vɛç] 'way’'vs Weeg’ [veːˑj] ~ [veːç] 'ways'). To express this orthographically, many people spell these richtich, Tach, Berch, Zuch, wech and Weech respectively (in Low Saxon richtich, Dach, Barch, Toch, wech, Wech and Weeg ~ Weech respectively).
    • In original Missingsch, syllable-initial /r/ is apical ([r], as in Italian
      Italian language
      Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

       and as in original Low Saxon). Uvular /r/ ([ʁ], as in Standard French
      French language
      French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

      , Danish
      Danish language
      Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

       and Modern Hebrew
      Hebrew language
      Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

      ) became acceptable with advanced Germanisation
      Germanisation is both the spread of the German language, people and culture either by force or assimilation, and the adaptation of a foreign word to the German language in linguistics, much like the Romanisation of many languages which do not use the Latin alphabet...

      . (The same happened to Low Saxon is some communities.)

Lexical characteristics

  • Missingsch uses numerous Low Saxon words and expressions:
    • phonologically adapted loans; e.g.
      • Buddel [ˈbʊdl̩] (< Low Saxon Buddel [ˈbʊdl̩], cf. Standard German Flasche) 'bottle'
      • dröge ~ dröög ~ drööch '(awfully) dry' (e.g. food), 'boring' (< Low Saxon dröge [ˈdrøˑɪɡe] ~ dröög’ [ˈdrøːɪj] 'dry') in addition to ordinary German-based trocken [ˈtrɔkŋ̩] 'dry'
      • Fahrtuch [ˈfɒːɝtux] (< Low Saxon Fahrdook [ˈfɒːɝdɔʊk], cf. German Wischtuch) 'cleaning rag'
      • Klöterbüchse [kløːtɝˌbʏkse] (< Low Saxon Klœterbüx(e) [klœːtɝˌbʏks(e)] ~ [kløːtɝˌbʏks(e)], Standard German Rassel) '(baby) rattle'
      • Schiet [ʃiːt] inoffensive for 'dirt', 'inferior stuff', 'problem', 'nuisance', 'nonsense' (< Low Saxon Schiet with the same meanings) in addition to the offensive German-based cognate
        In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin. This learned term derives from the Latin cognatus . Cognates within the same language are called doublets. Strictly speaking, loanwords from another language are usually not meant by the term, e.g...

         Scheiße 'shit', 'crap'
      • Sott [ˈzɔt] ~ Sutt [ˈzʊt] (< Low Saxon Sott [ˈzɔt] ~ Sutt [ˈzʊt], cf. Standard German Ruß) (1) 'soot', (2) 'luck'
      • Sottje [ˈzɔtje] ~ [ˈzɔtʃe] ~ Suttje [ˈzʊtje] ~ [ˈzʊtʃe] (< Low Saxon Sottje [ˈzɔtje] ~ [ˈzɔtʃe] ~ Suttje [ˈzʊtje] ~ [ˈzʊtʃe] < Sott [ˈzɔt] ~ Sutt [ˈzʊt]; 'soot', cf. Standard German Schornsteinfeger) 'chimney-sweep'
    • calques and semi-calques; e.g.
      • Bickbeere [ˈbɪkˌbeːre] (< Low Saxon Bickbeer [ˈbɪkbeːr] ~ [ˈbɪkbɛːr], cf. Standard German Blaubeere, Heidelbeere) 'blueberry'
      • Blumenpott [ˈbluːm(ː)pɔt] (< Low Saxon Blomenpott [ˈblɔˑʊm(ː)pɔt], cf. Standard German Blumentopf) 'flowerpot'
      • Grünhöker [ˈɡryːnhøːkɝ] (< Low Saxon Gröönhœker [ˈɡrœɪnhøːkɝ] ~ [ˈɡrɔˑɪnhøːkɝ], cf. Standard German Gemüsehändler) 'greengrocer'
      • Grünzeug [ˈɡryːntsɔˑɪç] ~ [ˈɡryːnsɔˑɪç] (< Grööntüüg [ˈɡrœɪntyːç] ~ [ˈɡrɔˑɪntyːç], cf. Standard German Gemüse) 'vegetable(s)'
      • Handstein [ˈhaˑn(t)staˑɪn] ~ [ˈhaˑn(t)ʃtaˑɪn] (< Low Saxon Handsteen [ˈhaˑn(t)stɛˑɪn], cf. Standard German Waschbecken) 'wash basin'
      • Kantstein [ˈkʰaˑn(t)staˑɪn] ~ [ˈkʰaˑn(t)ʃtaˑɪn] (< Low Saxon Kantsteen [ˈkʰaˑn(t)stɛˑɪn], cf. Standard German Bordstein) 'curb stone'
      • Stickhusten [ˈstɪkˌhuːstn̩] ~ [ˈʃtɪkˌhuːstn̩] (< Low Saxon Stickhoosten [ˈstɪkˌhɔʊstn̩], cf. Standard German Keuchhusten) 'whooping cough'
      • Wurzel [ˈvʊˑɝtsl̩] ~ [ˈvʊˑɝsl̩] (< Low Saxon Wortel [ˈvɔˑɝtl̩] ~ Wottel [ˈvɔtl̩], literally ‘root’) 'carrot' (cf. Standard German Möhre 'carrot', Wurzel 'root')
      • zus(ch)nacken [ˈtsʰuːˌsnakŋ̩] ~ [ˈtsʰuːˌʃnakŋ̩] ~ [ˈsuːˌsnakŋ̩] ~ [ˈsuːˌʃnakŋ̩] (< Low Saxon tosnacken [ˈtʰɔˑʊˌsnakŋ̩], cf. Standard German zureden, ermuntern) 'encourage'

Many of the above-mentioned words are used in casual-style Northern German dialects that descended from Missingsch at least in part.

Morphological and syntactic characteristics

  • as in Low Saxon, no distinctive marking for dative case and accusative case, using one or the other German marker for both cases; e.g.
    • Wenn du mich (dat.) das nich geben tus(t), denn kanns(t) du mich (acc.) nich besuchen or Wenn du mir (dat.) das nich geben tus(t), denn kanns(t) du mir (acc.) nich besuchen (cf. Low Saxon: Wenn du mi dat nich geven deihs(t), denn kanns(t) (du) mi nich besöken, Standard German: Wenn du es mir nicht gibst, darfst du mich nicht besuchen.) 'If you don't give it to me (dat.) you may not visit me (acc.).'
  • Genitive constructions are as in Low Saxon; e.g.
    • seine Deerns Fernseher, seine Deern ihr Fernseher, der Fernseher von seine Deern (cf. Low Saxon: sien Deerns Feernseher, sien Deern ehr Feernseher, de Feernseher vun sien Deern, Standard German: der Fernsehapparat seiner Freundin) 'his girlfriend's television set'
  • In the Northern Low Saxon area, Missingsch uses das for both 'that' (Standard das, Low Saxon dat) and 'it' (Standard es, Low Saxon dat); e.g.
    • Ich mach das nich. (cf. Low Saxon: Ik mag dat nich.) 1. 'I don't like that.' (Standard German: Ich mag das nicht, Mir gefällt das nicht.), 2. 'I don't like it.' (Standard German: Ich mag es nicht, Mir gefällt es nicht.) (N.B.: The Missingsch sentence Ich mach das nich can also mean 'I don't do that/it', because what in Standard German is (ich) mag ([mɑːk]) '(I) like' in Missingsch coalesces with what in Standard German is (ich) mache ([ˈmaxə]) '(I) make'.)
  • tun ‘do’ used to emphasise verbs; e.g.
    • Arbeiten tu ich heute nich. (cf. Low Saxon: Arbeiden do ik vundaag nich, Standard German: Ich arbeite heute nicht.) 'I don't work today (but I do something else).'
    • Tu ihn das man mal geben! (cf. Low Saxon: Do em dat man mal geven!, Standard German: Gib es ihm nur!) 'Do give it to him!', 'Go on and give it to him!'
  • man (< Low Saxon man 'only', cf. Standard German nur ‘only’) used to signal permission, advice or mild command; e.g.
    • Denn komm Sie man rein! (cf. Low Saxon: Denn kümmt (Se) man rin!, Standard German: Dann kommen Sie nur herein!) 'Come on inside then!'
    • Lass ihr man! (cf. Low Saxon: Laat ehr man!, Standard German Lasse sie nur!) 'You'd better let her be', 'Don't mind her!', 'Forget about her!'
  • Da (there) and hier (here) are not compounded with a following prepositions; e.g.
    • Da habbich kein Geld für (cf. Low Saxon: Dor heff ik keen Geld för, Standard German: Dafür habe ich kein Geld.) 'I don't have any money (to spare) for that/it.'
    • Hast (du) da was gegen?, Hassa was gegen? (cf. Low Saxon: Hest (du) dor wat gegen?, Standard German: Hast du etwas dagegen?) 'Do you have anything against that/it?', 'Are you opposed to that/it?', 'Do you have any objection?'
    • Da! Hier kannst dir maal was Schönes von kaufen. (cf. Low Saxon: Dor! Hier kannst di mal wat Schööns vun köpen. Standard German: Da! Hiervon kannst du dir einmal etwas Schönes kaufen.) 'Here you go! Buy yourself something nice with this.'
  • development of the prepositions auf [ʔaˑʊf] op, an and zu [ˈtsʰuː] ~ [ˈsuː] 'to' to adjective
    In grammar, an adjective is a 'describing' word; the main syntactic role of which is to qualify a noun or noun phrase, giving more information about the object signified....

    s denoting 'open' and 'closed', as happened in Low Saxon with corresponding up [ʔʊp] ~ op [ʔɔp] and to [ˈtʰɔˑʊ] (and only to a limited degree in Standard German, possibly under northern influence); e.g.
    • Mach das Fenster auf! ~ Machas Fenster auf! (< Low Saxon Maak dat Finster op!, cf. Standard German Öffne das Fenster!) 'Open the window!'
    • Die Tür könn wir nu zumachen (< Low Saxon De Döör künnt wi nu tomaken, cf. Standard German Die Tür können wir jetzt schließen) 'We can close the door now.'
    • Bei die aufe Tür kommp all so’n Viechzeug rein (< Low Saxon Bi de oppe Döör kümmt all so’n Krimmeltüüg rin!, cf. Standard German Bei offener Tür kommt alles mögliche Viehzeug herein, Bei offener Tür kommen alle möglichen Viecher herein) 'All kinds of critters come inside when the door is open.'
    • Bei die zue Gardine kann ich nich lesen (< Low Saxon Bi de toe Gardien kann ik nich lesen, cf. Standard German Wenn die Gardine zugezogen ist, kann ich nicht lesen) 'I can't read when the curtain is pulled shut.'

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