Mies van der Rohe's Misbegotten Change of Name

Before becoming linked to the famous architect who was trying to escape it, the German word mies (rotten) made its way from Hebrew, to Yiddish, to a thieves’ argot called Rotwelsch.

Mies Van Der Rohe at his desk. Frank Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images.

Mies Van Der Rohe at his desk. Frank Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images.

Observation
May 22 2019
About the author

Philologos, the renowned Jewish-language columnist, appears twice a month in Mosaic. Questions for him may be sent to his email address by clicking here.


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More about: German, History & Ideas, Mies van der Rohe, Yiddish