Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online

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The “Sondersprache” (special language) Rotwelsch was used for secret communication among marginal groups within the German language area from the Late Middle Ages onward and was usually seen as a language of criminals. The remarkably high proportion of words with Hebrew and Yiddish roots in Rotwelsch suggested a close connection between Judaism and delinquency, wher…

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Ristau, Daniel, “Rotwelsch”, in: Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online, Original German Language Edition: Enzyklopädie Jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur. Im Auftrag der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig herausgegeben von Dan Diner. © J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart/Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland 2011–2017. Consulted online on 07 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2468-8894_ejhc_COM_0759>
First published online: 2017
First print edition: 20221116

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