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.



-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

  • The suffix is not used for creating nouns with which verbs are supposed to be done, e.g. *Finnels, the finding. The common words for finding are Fund or dat Finnen. Though sometimes it does, as for Drinkels (a drink). Other words for a drink are Drink (cognate to English drink) or Drank (cognate to Dutch drank).
  • Some dictionaries whose authors lack knowledge of Middle Low German or general Low German dialects and developments might mistake this as a plural -s and thus either create a pseudo-singular or mistake this for a plurale tantum.
  • Some words are found with either the suffix -els or with a variant, 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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