Tag Archives: sweep

Brush up on your Dickens?

It made me laugh today when I was doing some sweeping because the word fegen – “to sweep [with a broom]” – is pronounced very much like the name of the Dickens’ character “Fagin” from the novel Oliver Twist. And why is this funny?! Because dict.cc includes the entry die Straße fegen for which it gives the translation “to scavenge the street.” Perhaps this derives from the less common meaning of fegen –”to move fast” or schnell fahren – as in this sentence from Pons.eu Er kam um die Ecke gefegt – “He came tearing around the corner.” While I did make short work of the sweeping, I wouldn’t describe it as “tearing through” this task and I also failed to scavenge anything in my “Fagin.”

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