Low GermanEdit


From Middle Low German -else, from Old Saxon -isli, -islo; from Proto-Germanic *-isliją. Cognate with Dutch -sel, Swedish -else, Old English -else.


  • IPA(key): /əlsə/, [əlts], [əlz]


-els n

  1. Creating, from a verb, a noun which is created by the action of this verb (not necessarily one with which the verb is supposed to be done).
    Backels ‎(pastry): that which is baked (in a wider sense anything baked like bread and cakes) — from backen ‎(to bake)
    Radels ‎(riddle): that which is guessed — from raden ‎(to guess); compare German Rätsel, Dutch raadsel, Old English rǣdelse
    Riemels ‎(rhyme): that which is rhymed — from riemen ‎(to rhyme)

Usage notesEdit

  • Some dictionaries whose authors lack knowledge of Middle Low German or southern Low German dialects (i.e. do not know about the original form -else) might mistake this ending as having a plural -s and thus either create a pseudo-singular or mistake it for a plurale tantum.
  • Some words might show a variant form which is not in general use, like -elsch or -sel. For example, the word Schüddels is more commonly found as Schüddelsch, and the word Fegels has nearly disappeared and gave place to its variant Feegsel.
Derived termsEdit

Alternative formsEdit

Old EnglishEdit


A metathetic form of Proto-Germanic *-isliją, from Proto-Germanic *-is-, a noun particle + Proto-Germanic *-lij-, a verbal particle. More at -sian, -lian


-els m

  1. (masculine suffix for inanimate objects) suffix creating nouns from verbs
    rǣdels ‎(counsel, advise, riddle, enigma)
    rēcels ‎(incense, frankincense)
    wǣfels ‎(covering, cloak, garment)




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