Guten Rutsch: A Yiddish Origin?

gutenrutschGermans don’t just wish each other Happy New Year, they express their hope that you have “a good slide into the new year.” After I learned how to make this new year’s wish in grammatically correct German — “Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr” — I was curious about the origin of this fitting phrase. Many sources claim that the phrase comes from the Yiddish term Rosh Hashanah which designates the Jewish New Year. While there are other theories about the origin of “Guten Rutsch,” the German Consulate in the U.S. has stated that “it is actually the ‘corruption’ of a phrase adopted from Jews wishing each other a “Guten Rosh”, a good beginning.”

Regardless of the origin, it feels right to slide away from the old year and into the new one. So in the final days of this year, I wish my readers a good slide into 2014.

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2 Responses to Guten Rutsch: A Yiddish Origin?

  1. Ohel Hachidusch says:

    Thank you, Donna, it´s beautiful. May I place your post into the blog (Feldgeflüster) of our website? Einen guten Rutsch für euch alle! Lasst den schnellen Sam vor sonst gibt´s eine Kollision. Best wishes, Etha

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