From Middle High German brōt, from Old High German brōt (attested since the 8th century), from Proto-Germanic *braudą, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰrew- (“to seethe, to boil”); an extension of Proto-Indo-European *bʰerə- (“to well up, to boil, to be in motion (as of fire or water)”). Originating from the same root are Brühe, Brei, braten and brennen.
Germanic Cognates with identical meaning include Old Saxon brōd (> Low German Broot, Brot), Old Dutch *brōd (> Dutch brood, Afrikaans brood), Old English brēad (> Modern English bread, Scots breid), West Frisian brea and Old Norse brauð (> Icelandic brauð, Faroese breyð, Norwegian brød, Swedish bröd, Danish brød).
Non-Germanic-Cognates include Ancient Greek βρύτος (brutos, “fermented barley beverage”), Latin ferveo (“to be hot, to boil, to burn”), fermentum (“fermentation, leaven”), Albanian mbruaj (“to knead”), Old Armenian բորբ (borb, “bright, aflame”). Originally, the meaning of Brot was "what has been fermented, leaven" and may be a nominal derivative from Proto-Germanic *brewwaną (“to brew”) (> German brauen). It replaced the older Laib (“loaf”) which was the more common term in Old High German (cf. the use of hlāf and brēad in Old English).
Alternative etymologies derive Brot and its cognates from Proto-Germanic *braudaz, *brauþaz (“broken piece, fragment”) and from Proto-Indo-European *bʰera- (“to split, beat, hew, struggle”) (cf. Swedish bryta (“to break”), Albanian brydh (“weak, mild”), English brittle). A conflation of both roots could also be possible.
- ^ Pfeifer, Wolfgang. 1995, 2005. Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Deutschen. München: dtv. ISBN 3423325119.
German Low German
- (in many dialects, including Low Prussian) bread (foodstuff made by baking dough)
- (in some dialects, including Low Prussian) a piece (loaf, slice) of bread
- ('bread', or especially 'a piece of bread'): Brotke (Low Prussian, diminutive)
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