I saw a company (in germany) advertise its product by saying that it is "Proofed by [company name]".

Is that right? I was a little confused, i can imagine that it is "right", but it is common to say it like this? I would have expected that "Verified by ..." is more common, because the sentence with "proofed" just sounded awkware to me.

To me - as someone whose first language is not english - "proofed" sounds more like something is "something is bullet-proofed", or a house that is "burglar-proofed". At the same time, "proofed" in this context sounds to me like the german "geprüft" (lit. tested, verified) and someone just took proofed because it sounds so close.

  • Proofed can be proofread, text is proofed but it is most likely a translation error.
    – Lambie
    Feb 21, 2019 at 16:26

1 Answer 1


You're right. This is a so-called "false friend" situation, where a word in a speaker's native language has a cognate in a foreign language and the cognate is used as if it had the same meaning, when in actuality it has a somewhat or even very different meaning.

In English we have a wide range of adjectives with the proofed ending, including among others:






And these same words exist with a proof ending not only the adjectival past-participle proofed.

P.S> But the verb proofed is not commonly used transitively of products to mean that they have been "tested" or "verified" in some way.

  • Are you absolutely sure? google translater says that "proofed" can mean "geprüft" aka "verified" - i dont want to look like an idiot when i bring this up to the marketing team, i think ill just ask them first what they think it means... thanks! Feb 21, 2019 at 14:51

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