promotion image of download ymail app
Blanche. asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Who first coined the term "Nazi"?

I KNOW it comes from National Socialist German Workers Party but did the Nazis actually name themselves that? On posters you only ever see "Vote (or whatever) National Socialists", not "Nazis".

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Nazi derives from the shortening of Nationalsozialist [Representative Pronunciation]. According to the OED the first use was by The Times newspaper on 19th September 1930.

    It was a British definition and generally used in a slightly derogatory way, not by the Germans themselves.

    Source(s): Oxford English Dictionary
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Originally, the term Nazi was coined as a quick way of referring to the Party or ideology that would later be - and, to this day, remains - in close association with Adolf Hitler (the phrase is derived from the first four letters in the first word of the official name, Nationalsozialistische, German for "National Socialist," and often abbreviated with NS or the word Nazi). Nazi was also meant to mirror the term Sozi (a common and slightly derogatory term for the Nazis' main opponents, the socialists in Germany). However, the Nazis from the era of the Third Reich rarely referred to themselves as "Nazis," preferring instead the official term, "National Socialists." Nazi was most commonly used as a pejorative term, but its use became so widespread that, currently, some Neo-Nazis also use it to describe themselves.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    1930, from Ger. Nazi, abbreviation of Ger. pronunciation of Nationalsozialist (based on earlier Ger. sozi, popular abbreviaton of "socialist"), from Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei "National Socialist German Workers' Party," led by Hitler from 1920. The 24th edition of Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache (2002) says the word Nazi was favored in southern Germany (supposedly from c.1924) among opponents of National Socialism because the nickname Nazi (from the masc. proper name Ignatz, Ger. form of Ignatius) was used colloquially to mean "a foolish person, clumsy or awkward person." Ignatz was a popular name in Catholic Austria, and according to one source in WWI Nazi was a generic name in the German Empire for the soldiers of Austria-Hungary. An older use of Nazi for national-sozial is attested in Ger. from 1903, but EWdS does not think it contributed to the word as applied to Hitler and his followers. The NSDAP for a time attempted to adopt the Nazi designation as what the Germans call a "despite-word," but they gave this up, and the NSDAP is said to have generally avoided the term. Before 1930, party members had been called in Eng. National Socialists, which dates from 1923. The use of Nazi Germany, Nazi regime, etc., was popularized by German exiles abroad. From them, it spread into other languages, and eventually brought back to Germany, after the war. In the USSR, the terms national socialist and Nazi were said to have been forbidden after 1932, presumably to avoid any taint to the good word socialist. Soviet literature refers to fascists.Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

    There is a story that indicates that the use of Nazi was because the German words were too long and abbreviated by the Geman postal system.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Lomax
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The German word was Nationalsozialist. The Germans have long had a habit of stringing two or more words together to make one very long word - and then suddenly noticing that the new word is, indeed, very long; and shortening it. Thus Nazi. It would've been natural to any German to use the term.

    Another example from that period is Fliegerabwehrkannon - which listerally means flying-defence-gun, and was shortened to Flak - a term which was then borrowed by the Allies.

    • 6 years agoReport

      The issue with that hypothesis is that "nazi" was already a word. It mean a low rank-and-file soldier. I don't know where you come up with you assumptions, but the members of the NSDAP never referred to themselves as "Nazis," only their opponents, sticking only because it was derogatory.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.