I’ll take a receipt with that tree…

On Thursday I made the mistake of doing some shopping, along with a ton of other Hamburgers, and when my turn came I was thrown by the simple question Tüte dazu? – “A bag for/with that?” Being left speechless doing simple transactions is nothing new, however it prompted me to look up another word that I •thought• I was hearing during transactions: *Kassenbaum. Why a combination of die Kasse – “till, checkout or cash register” – and der Baum – “tree” – had made sense to me, given German compound nouns are usually quite logical, is quite puzzling!  Of course, the word I was hearing is der Kassenbon, so perhaps I can excuse my mishearing given the second noun in the compound, der Bon, is taken from French and pronounced as either /bɔŋ/ – a bit like the English word “bong” – or /bõ:/ – which with its nasalization has no English parallel unless, as in this case, you count loanwords from French.

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2 thoughts on “I’ll take a receipt with that tree…

  1. Michael Deis says:

    How interesting – have never heard Kassenbon before – I wonder if its a Hamburg expression. I’ve only remember coming across Kassenzettel or Quittung (in a taxi).

  2. Michael Deis says:

    Well, I would correct my post but there doesn’t seem to be an edit function. Meant to say:

    I only remember coming across Kassenzettel or Quittung (in a taxi).

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