Etymology of Yiddish "emetser" (עמעצער)

  • elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Wiktionary says

    Perhaps from Middle High German ieman(d)s, originally genitive of ieman (“somebody”), but since the 15th century also attested as basic form. The suffix -er would have been added by analogy with the pronominal/adjectival declension (as also happened in the oblique cases of cognate German jemand); /n/ was lost by dissimilation.

    Alternatively from Middle High German (ich) enweiz wer (“I don’t know who”), a common construction expressing indefiniteness, also reduced to neiz wer. Compare Alemannic German neiwer. For the construction see also Old Norse nǫkkurr and Romanianniște. The /m/ would be due to assimilation of -nw-, but the /ts/ (instead of /s/) is difficult to explain with this approach.

    עמעצער - Wiktionary
     
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