German Word of the Week: Nothaft

The cruel reality of nothaft.

So I'm reading through the latest gout of news about The Continuing Crisis, when I come across this:

Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates fell for the seventh consecutive week, moving these rates to the lowest since the survey began in April 1971," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist.

I wonder how Frank Nothaft would react if you told him his name was not a German word (g). I guess he probably wouldn't care. But how would he react on being told that if 'nothaft' were a German word, it would mean "emergency custody"? That might prompt some rumination.

And if you told him that the Nazis (would have) used it to terrorize dissidents and minorities? I bet that'd be good for at least 10 minutes of anguished reflection…

4 thoughts on “German Word of the Week: Nothaft

  1. Not quite. First, “Nothaft” is an old family name meaning “Not habend, leidend” i.e. destitute, a starveling, a “have not” if you want.

    Second, -haft is a suffix which can be used to turn a word into an adjective/adverb, which may be used to attach the meaning of said word to something else. Compare Wahr/wahrhaft true/truthful. So I’d understand “Nothaft” as an adverb meaning “having the quality of suffering, misery, hardship”, if it was used by a very creative writer of course.

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