Word of the Day

Monday, September 01, 2014


\OOR-shprah-khuh; German OOR-shprah-khuh\ , noun;
a hypothetically reconstructed parent language, as Proto-Germanic, the ancestor of the Germanic languages.
He might have been speaking Ursprache, for all that I understood. I was firmly in the present, watching the starlings cavort over and under the telegraph wires and the wind shimmer the young leaves into a muzzy Monet.
-- Will Self, My Idea of Fun, 1993
Kabbalists, Hermetics, Hasidic students of the Torah and the Talmud tried to reconstitute the Old Speech, the Ursprache, from these lost fragments.
-- A. S. Byatt, Babel Tower, 1996
Ursprache came to Enlgish in the 20th century from the German prefix ur- meaning "earliest, original" and Sprache meaning "speech."
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