Fiets 'ersatzpaard'. De etymologische kwestie revisited en beslecht?

Gunnar de Boel, Luc de Grauwe


Abstract – To date there is no convincing etymology of the Dutch word fiets ‘bicycle’. This is not surprising, as the origin of the word seems to lie in Germany. It is attested there, along the border with the Netherlands, but also more inland. In German, as in Dutch, several folk etymological transformations of the original word for ‘bicycle’ (the French vélocipède) occur, more often than not based on the notion that bicycles are substitutes for horses. The Latinate prefix vice- serves exactly this purpose. The German pronunciation of vice-, however, made the etymology of fiets unrecognizable to Dutch speakers.

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© Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde | ISSN (print): 0040-7550 | eISSN (online): 2212-0521