Weekly Word: Echt

The adjective echt means “real; authentic; genuine”. Sounds German, doesn’t it? Because it’s a real, authentic, genuine German word! It comes from Middle Low German echte, related to Old High German eohaft, meaning “customary”.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, echt can also be used as an adverb to mean “really” or “genuinely”, though the only examples I’ve found use it as an adjective. I discovered the word at A.Word.A.Day, which also provides an example sentence taken from an article in The Ithaca Journal: “…Pete Rush has provided echt polyester ’70s garb…”

English definitely borrows more French words than German words, but I think the German words are just as fun to say – or would it be more accurate to say they’re just as fun to mispronounce?