German Low German form that in standard usage replaced High German dämisch, damisch from the same source. Various theories about the etymology have been suggested:

  • It may be cognate with Latin tēmētum.
  • It may be related to taumeln (to tumble), but this is unlikely since forms with t- are not attested.
  • It may be related to dämmern (to become dim), but this is also rejected by the Duden and Kluge.
  • The Duden derives it from the Low German verb dämelen "not quite in one's right mind".
  • Kluge suggests it is from Proto-Germanic *þēm-, which (along with the Latin cognate tēmulentus (drunk)) is from Proto-Indo-European *tem- (dazed, numbed).

It is not related to Dame, despite popular folk etymology.


  • IPA(key): /ˈdɛːmlɪç/ (standard; used naturally in western Germany and Switzerland)
  • IPA(key): /ˈdeːmlɪç/ (overall more common; particularly northern and eastern regions)
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: däm‧lich


dämlich (comparative dämlicher, superlative am dämlichsten)

  1. very stupid


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit

  • dämlich” in Duden online
  • dämlich” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache