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To floss

I recently received a friendly e-mail. It reads:
Hallo Jordi,
ich habe einen Vorschlag für ein zumindest vom Englischen ins Deutsche umständlich zu übersetzendes Verb:
to floss
Viele Grüße
And indeed, Felix is right. German has the thing with which to floss, they call it “Zahnseide”, and Spanish has “hilo dental”. But the corresponding verb is not evident to me: Neither *zahnseiden (ich *zahnseide, du *zahnseidest, er *zahnseidet…) nor any Spanish equivalent are accepted terms, even though they could be understood with some good will (yo *hilodentaleo, tu *hilodentaleas…). Then to floss becomes “to use dental floss”. And I cannot think of something better or more accurate.

By the way: I could not have said to floss in my childhood, as the noun was known since 1759, according to Merriam-Webster, but the verb was nor coined until 1974. If English could add this word to its vocabulary, so might German and Spanish, if the speakers of these languages so want.

Oh my God! Flossing does not work! It is useless! Can I consider the problem solved because irrelevant?


Am 30.03.2014 um 07:20 von Stephen Conn
Hallo Jordi,

habe gerade den Artikel in der heutigen FAS gelesen und natürlich dann gleich die Webseite aufgemacht. Super! Bravo!

Viele Grüsse
Stephen Conn
Am 30.03.2014 um 08:27 von Jordi
Hallo Stephen!
Ich freue mich, dass Dir die Seite gefällt!
Herzliche Grüße zurück nach Heidelberg
Am 26.05.2014 um 10:45 von Julesomega
Remember the elegant maxim of the linguists: "You can verb any noun"
Am 27.05.2014 um 12:01 von Jordi
True linguists are to be admired indeed.

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