English Vocabulary

sorrow or worry

Some days ago an aquaintance of mine wrote an e-letter:

With great sorrow and deep regret I and my wife send our deepest condolences for the loss of X.

In German we know: "Sorge". But this probably means worry, and is more like "to be anxious about".
Whereas "sorrow" which ressembles our word Sorge as much, means a kind of sadness or grief.
What's your idea to that subject and how does your language makes differences in such cases?


  • I wonder, Holy Man, whether that two words aren't coming from a related origin.

    My Webster's gives "sorg" in Old English as origin of sorrow, akin to "sraga" in Old Slavik, meaning sickness.

    In the German Koebler etymological database, it's reading that the verb "sorgen" would come from Old German "sroen" meaning to become sour (sauer werden).

    Let's get a bit imaginative:
    At a loss of a beloved, people across the Channel are getting sorrowful, sad; they feel glum and leave it at that.
    Whereas in the same circumstances people across the Rhine get sour, they worry about something they don't accept and think of taking their revenge on the fate.
    It's a matter of temper.

    From now on at funerals of a friend I'll serve up Sauerkraut. (lol)
  • Thank you Gee for these fine remarks, which I appreciate very much. And what about worry?
    What is that Webster you are citing? And the German Koebler Database, I've never heard speaking of.

    Hopefully you are far away from the necessity to serve Sauerkraut.
  • Thanks the ethymologist for that totally convincing explanation!
    But tell me, Gee, how does your mother-language handle this item?
  • Good evening, St. Johann.
    My mother-language being originated from Romance I dunno whether it comprises a word related to the same root as Sorge/sorrow. In French "With great sorrow and deep regret" would be said something this way "Avec chagrin et désolation" or "Avec une profonde tristesse et une grande peine".
    Without referring to German I cannot detect that idea of worrying in the English expression.

    Good evening, Gwendo.
    The Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary - the old one I have got has been released in 1979 - is reknown for etymology of words. The Koebler database is to be found on line. Enter the name on your search engine.

    And, both of you, don't worry, be happy.
  • You don't have to bring Sauerkraut to a German funeral, Gee - at least in those cases where the late person doesn't leave any decent heir. In those cases the bereaved get sour by themselves.

    Sorry - stupid comment.
  • Sorry - a decent 'legacy'.
  • Copied, Snuggle. Should the heir have been left a decent legacy, or not, it doesn't matter. In both cases it's no use I bring Sauerkraut. You will care humorously to make it for the beraved.
    Funny, funny!
  • Oh, Gee is taking offence again and is trying to
    retaliate. Are you taking everything personal?
  • Oops. with Gee being in attendance we should
    be a model and grammatically correct, otherwise
    he runs the risk of emulating a bad example.

    "Do you take everything personalLY!"

    Tell me, Gee, what does is feel like to
    have a vulnerable self-esteeem with posting
    in an English forum as the only way out?

    Do you have a girlfriend or a wife?
    If no - no wonder. If yes - a piece of luck!
    Is that personal or not? What do you think?

    Hace a nice day and not too many fits ;-)

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