Saturday, May 31, 2008
The issue has come up whether "fink" in slang has something to do with German "Fink"--the German word for "finch." The dictionaries on the web I have looked at (quickly) claim that the origin of fink is unknown, but my German dictionary suggests something interesting: It lists under "Fink" not only the primary meaning, the songbird "finch", but also a slang meaning, "tosher". Now, I have never heard of "tosher," but this is what my friend Wiki says: "A tosher is someone who scavenges in the sewers, especially in London during the Victorian period." This is interesting b/c German "Dreckfink" means a dirty person who loves to play in the mud. This suggests to me that English "fink" may actually have something to do with German "Fink". But then again, why hasn't someone found this out yet?
Posted by Ulrich at 2:37 PM · ·