What does "FER-MAY-GHEN" mean?
February 19, 2011 5:47 PM Subscribe
German speakers, please tell me what this word means (and how it's actually spelled).
posted by Srudolph to Writing & Language (29 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My father's parents were German immigrants in St. Louis, and he spoke German as a child before learning English in school. When I was growing up, my father used a lot of German words and phrases that we called "Mirtsching (our surname) words."
For instance, "Jahrmarkt," meaning an annual market or fair, referred to something crowded and full of people that was more trouble than it was worth -- "Ach, that place is such a Jahrmarkt, I'd rather stay home."
The word we pronounced "fer-may-ghen" referred to my father's workbench in the garage. We expanded it to mean anybody's particular place where they worked or made things, like my mother's sewing room. "Safety pins? Probably in mom's fermayghen."
Do you know the proper spelling of the word or phrase? And what does it really mean?