Plautdietsch word of the day: emsonst

Plautdietsch word of the day: emsonst

Pronounced: em-zonst

What it sounds like: a mild sunburn

Example: Leina had given 6 jars of sour gurtje to Mrs. Jacob Thiessen for wedding faspa when their daughter Judy from Altona got married. She had always added garlic to her gurtje even though the Mennonite Treasury didn't call for it. Leina called it her secret ingredient even though Hein complained about the garlic. 

It was a wonderful wedding and ceremony, although it dragged on a bit, as it usually did when Prädja Tjnals Jinta was called on to do the ceremony. It was like a Sunday service plus an added hour for weddings. But for the guests, it was well worth the wait. They had perishky, tweibach, Bothwell cheese curds, bread and butter pickles, raspberry jam, rhubarb squares....

and of course,….Leina’s sour gurtje. Some of the guests complained that there wasn't enough varscht in the perishky and others said the gertje were too sour. Yet all in all, it was a wonderful wedding.  The young couple bought a farm 5 miles south of Gnadenthal.

After a year, the Peita Tee-shu still had still not returned the empty jars. This began to irritate Leina. One day she said to Hein,. “Ya know,. dee jläsa kome nich emsonst! (one does not get those canning jars for free!) Leina got a bit red faced when the Tee-shu finally brought them back,…. filled with beets! "I didn’t want to bring back the canning jars empty. I hope you like the beets" said the Tee-shu.

emsonst means: free, without expected payback, no charge

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Would you like to learn more Plautdietsch? The ultimate low German dictionary ever published is still available.   This amazing dictionary is the most complete reference of a language that was only used verbally for almost 500 years. Professor Jack Thiessen undertook the immense project of putting together a definitive and comprehensive dictionary to preserve this unique language. It makes a great gift for the younger generation who would like to learn and understand the spoken low German language of their parents and grandparents.   It also makes a great gift for those who have forgotten many of the unique words and Plautdietsch phrases that have been used by Mennonites in the past 5 centuries. Order your copy and enjoy Plautdietsch like never before!

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