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See also: qualm



Alternative formsEdit


The word was borrowed from Middle Low German[1] into High German in the 16th century.[1][2]

The most plausible assumption is that the word is connected to quellen,[1] so that the Middle Low German noun quallem (steam, water vapor; smoke) with its m-suffix in the sense of “(the) welling up, (the) swelling up, (the) springing up” is likely cognate to the verb quellen (well up, swell up; surge up, of rage and pain).[2] The Proto-Indo-European root is perhaps *dʰeuə- (spray, swirl, whirl) or its extended form *dʰwel-.[1] The latter is existent in the Old High German noun twalm (benumbment, bemusement), documented since the 8th century, and its Middle High German equivalent twalm (compare Old Saxon dwalm and Old English dwolma) that eventually could have become qualm.[1] However, the documented meanings are not in accord with this assumption.[1] (Compare Quark for another instance of tv- becoming qu-.)


  • IPA(key): /kvalm/,[3] [kʋalm], [kv̥alm][4]
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: Qualm


Qualm m (genitive Qualms or Qualmes, no plural)

  1. smoke, particularly when very dense or regarded as unpleasant; fume
    beißender, dichter, dicker, weißer, schwarzer Qualm; einen starken Qualm ausstoßen
    acrid, dense, thick, white, black smoke/fumes; to give off strong fumes
    • 1964, Dieter Noll, Die Abenteuer des Werner Holt: Roman einer Heimkehr (Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 1964), page 307 (GoogleBooks; retrieved 19 July 2015)
      Fern erhob sich die Silhouette der Brikettfabrik mit ihren Schloten, und die Schornsteine spien Qualm aus, schwarzen, undurchdringlichen Rauch, der sich wie ein Vorhang vor den Horizont legte. In dieser Wand aus Wolken und Qualm und Morgendunst stand blutrot die Sonnenscheibe.
      Far off rose up the silhouette of the briquette factory with its smokestacks, and those chimneys disgorged thick fumes, black, dense smoke, that drew before the horizon like a curtain. In this wall of clouds and thick fumes and morning haze stood blood-redly the Sun′s disc.



See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Friedrich Kluge, revised by Elmar Seebold: Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. 24th, checked through and expanded edition. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin/New York 2001, →ISBN, p. 734.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Qualm” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache
  3. ^ Max Mangold and Dudenredaktion: Duden Aussprachewörterbuch. In: Der Duden in zwölf Bänden. 6th edition. Volume 6, Dudenverlag, Mannheim/Leipzig/Wien/Zürich 2005, →ISBN, p. 659.
  4. ^ Eva-Maria Krech, Eberhard Stock, Ursula Hirschfeld, Lutz Christian Anders et al.: Deutsches Aussprachewörterbuch: Mit Beiträgen von Walter Haas, Ingrid Hove, Peter Wiesinger. 1st edition. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin/New York 2009, →ISBN, p. 853.

Further readingEdit