From Middle High German mensche, mensch, from the Old High German mennisko, a substantivization of the adjective mennisk, from man (whence modern German Mann). (The word is retained as an adjective in some German dialects.) Compare Yiddish מענטש (mentsh), Dutch mens, Swedish människa, all with the primary sense of ‘person’ or ‘human being’.
- Mensch is a weak noun in the standard language but is part of a group of nouns with a stark tendency to be strong colloquially so one might hear dem Mensch instead of dem Menschen.
- In older literature, the genitive des Menschens may occur.
- English (via Yiddish): mensch