A dread of fruit?!

On Friday we were talking once again about the cultivation of asparagus. This time it was my Hungarian acquaintance who confused two similar sounding words (recall my Pferd and Feld confusion): befruchtet and gefürchtet. The confusion arose as we were asking if he used der Dung on his fields. Der Dung is a cognate between English and German but not between German and Hungarian where it is trágya or ganéj (the former, at least according to dict.cc, seems to have more of the “fertilizer” meaning). Since we were talking about fields, explaining der Dung by saying it was used to make sure the fields were fertilized, befruchtet, made some sort of sense. However, on hearing the word befruchtet, he immediately thought we were talking about something negative, probably through furchtbar – “awful, dreadful, terrible” – which some would say der Dung is!

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