The German Ocean

From: x99lynx@...
Message: 16131
Date: 2002-10-10

"tgpedersen" <tgpedersen@... and Richard wrote:
> > My father told me that the North Sea used to be known as the German
> > Sea, but that that name became unacceptable...

<<Did he also tell you why you decided to adopt the Dutch term? ;-)
My guess is it has to do with finding a common terminology for areas
in meteorology...>>

<<German maps still have a "deutsche Bucht", the area at the mouth of the
river Elbe, probably a leftover of that German Ocean. It occurs also as an
area in the weather reports of the North Sea.>>

It is interesting to note that the (19th C) OED states that the word "German"
itself only comes into use in English in the 15th C. The first citation is
actually 1552 and defined by the Latin.

The name "German" apparently is not attested before that in English, except
perhaps it seems as "the German Ocean" which the OED calls a direct
translation from Ptolemy "for the sea east of Great Britain, the North Sea."

So it would appear in this case that book learning supplied a name long b
efore the name was even used.

Steve Long