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Defendant in German: Beklagte

Defendant in Dutch: Verweerder

Swedish, Danish, Frisian and Icelandic also have their own unique Germanic word for it, whilst English uses a French variant of it.

My question is, does English have an actual Anglic/Germanic word for "defendant"? Our sister languages do so, why not us?

I looked for synonyms of "defendant", and Google came up with "accused, prisoner at the bar; appellant, litigant, respondent; suspect, suspected person". Do they even have the same meaning as "defendant"? Also, they don't sound Germanic.

  • Use a thesaurus to find the synonyms of "defendant", then check out their etymologies. – Hot Licks Nov 28 '17 at 3:10
  • I did. Google came up with "accused, prisoner at the bar; appellant, litigant, respondent; suspect, suspected person". Do they even have the same meaning as "defendant"? Also, they don't sound Germanic. – E.Groeg Nov 28 '17 at 3:14
  • What about accused appellant defendant litigant offender prisoner suspect, or any of the others at thesaurus.com? And did you Google etymology suspect, eg, to find their origins? – Hot Licks Nov 28 '17 at 3:18
  • Google the etymologies of "beklagte" and "verweerder." "Defendant" might not seem like such an outlier in context. Verweerder seems to have been formed within Dutch (~="weathered"), beklagte seems to have roots in MLG, and defendant derives from French and ultimately Latin. They're just separate paths. – RaceYouAnytime Nov 28 '17 at 4:05
  • Suspect comes from Latin. – E.Groeg Nov 30 '17 at 6:53
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In common use in AE, there is NO Germanic equivalent. I can't say with 100% certainty such a term does not exist, but even if it did, you'd never hear it in daily life. For all intents and purposes, "defendant" is THE only word.

  • After researching and researching, it looks like it is the only word. – E.Groeg Nov 30 '17 at 6:54

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