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H.L. Mencken (1880–1956). The American Language. 1921.

Page 103

Sauerkraut and noodle, as we have seen, came in during the colonial period, apparently through the so-called Pennsylvania Dutch, i. e., a mixture, much debased, of the German dialects of Switzerland, Suabia and the Palatinate. The later immigrants contributed pretzel, pumpernickel, hausfrau, lager-beer, pinocle, wienerwurst (often reduced to wiener or wienie), frankfurter, bock-beer, schnitzel, leberwurst (sometimes half translated as liverwurst), blutwurst, rathskeller, schweizer (cheese), delicatessen, hamburger (i. e., steak), kindergarten and katzenjammer. 36 From them, in all probability, there also came two very familiar Americanisms, loafer and bum. The former, according to the Standard Dictionary, is derived from the German laufen; another authority says that it originated in a German mispronunciation of lover, i. e., as lofer. 37 Thornton shows that the word was already in common use in 1835. Bum was originally bummer, and apparently derives from the German bummler. 38 Both words have produced derivatives: loaf (noun), to loaf, cornerloafer, common-loafer, to bum, bum (adj.) and bummery, not to mention on the bum. Loafer has migrated to England, but bum is still unknown there in the American sense. In England, indeed,