Wednesday, August 23, 2006

nehmen, to take

The productive German verb nehmen, "to take," has largely been supplanted in English by the verb take. Nevertheless, cognates of nehmen have survived into English.

The most direct cognate is the archaic verb nim (nimmed), which means "to steal." More common in modern English is the adjective numb, based on the former past participle plus an unetymological -b, with the general idea of "taken of one's senses." A related word is nimble.

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