Friday, December 6, 2013


I find this word a little odd and for a German word quite vague.

bergen - to recover, save something/someone by digging them our or uncovering them. Also can be used in terms of shipwrecks and their cargo.

Really? I would have though it would have something to with Mountaineering or mountain climbing. I mean we are always taught to look at the root word if we are stuck, right? The root word is Berg, I thought for sure that was a dead giveaway. But Alas it is not. Again German has pulled another trick out of its bag.

OK so that is odd and unexpected. No connection to Mountains, OK. Ooh, though you can bergen Skiers out of an avalanche. And Avalanches usually happens in the mountains so there is one possible connection. . . .

What I find vague is that this simple unassuming word, bergen means such a specific and technical thing. German and its love of direct wording just went out the window on this one.

Why couldn't bergen just have meant, mountaineering. What exactly is mountaineering? I don't know but it has to do with Mountains! See the direct connection?

Then with bergen meaning mountaineering, we could have some combination of  aus- auf-, heben/ ziehen/ graben, + von + aus. to mean to recover, save something/someone by digging them our or uncovering them. It doesn't matter what the word looks like any combination of those would work. Then with this new word all would be clear and right again in the world.

Where is die Ordnung when you need it.

das Bergen - recovery, salvage


die Bergen - Mountains (Plural from der Berg - mountain)


  1. I looked it up. As I thought, it comes from old germanic/slavic and has the same origin as "to bear" in english. In danish it is "baerge" In German you have also: geborgen sein, Geborgenheit, es birgt in sich. Duden says it could mean: auf einen Berg/Burg bringen (bring to a mountain/castle)

    1. Mike! Cool new words for me! I see a new post in the future.
      So Duden has a link to 'mountains' for this word, and it makes sense. Though I feel like we would have to re-enacted a scene from the Renaissance to be able to actual use it.