pretzel


Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

pret·zel

 (prĕt′səl)
n.
A soft or brittle glazed biscuit that is usually salted on the outside and baked in the form of a loose knot or stick.

[German Brezel, from Middle High German brēzel, prēzel, from Old High German brēzila, brezzitella, from Medieval Latin bracellus, alteration of Medieval Latin *brāchiātellus, diminutive of Latin bracchiātus, having branches like arms (in reference to the traditional form of a pretzel said to be made to look like arms folded in prayer), from bracchium, arm, from Greek brakhīōn, upper arm; see mregh-u- in Indo-European roots.]
Word History: In the early 1800s, the pretzel was considered a stereotypically German food, and the first known occurrences of the word pretzel in English date from the first half of the 1800s and are often found in descriptions of the German diet. Pretzel comes from a German word that is now spelled Brezel in modern standard German. The English spelling pretzel with p probably reflects the pronunciation of Brezel in one of the dialects of southern Germany. In many of these dialects, the letters b and p are pronounced identically when they occur at the beginning of a word, and they have a sound that reminds English speakers of a p. In Germany, pretzels are traditionally associated with Lent and Easter, and the overlapping strands of dough in a pretzel are said to represent the arms of a person with hands folded in prayer. In fact, German Brezel is ultimately derived from the Latin word for "arm," bracchium. Brezel comes from the Medieval Latin word bracellus, which referred to some sort of baked item, presumably like a pretzel. This Medieval Latin word is thought to be a shortened version of another Medieval Latin word, *brāchiātellus, that does not happen to be attested in any written documents preserved from the Middle Ages. In Latin, *brāchiātellus would literally mean something like "little thing with arms." It is the diminutive of another Medieval Latin word braciātus that is actually attested in surviving Medieval Latin documents and refers to some sort of baked good eaten by monks on holidays. This Medieval Latin word developed from the Latin bracchiātus, meaning "having boughs or branches like arms," itself a derivative of Latin bracchium, "arm." In this way, the history of the word pretzel accords with the widespread tradition that a monk living in France or northern Italy invented the knotted shape of a pretzel in order to symbolize arms folded in prayer.

pretzel

(ˈprɛtsəl)
n
(Cookery) a brittle savoury biscuit, in the form of a knot or stick, glazed and salted on the outside, eaten esp in Germany and the US
[C19: from German, from Old High German brezitella; perhaps related to Medieval Latin bracellus bracelet, from Latin bracchium arm]

pret•zel

(ˈprɛt səl)

n.
a usu. crisp, dry biscuit, typically in the form of a knot or stick, salted on the outside.
[1815–25, Amer.; < German Pretzel, variant of Bretzel; Old High German brizzila < Medieval Latin bracellus bracelet]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pretzel - glazed and salted cracker typically in the shape of a loose knotpretzel - glazed and salted cracker typically in the shape of a loose knot
soft pretzel - a pretzel made of soft bread
Translations
perec
precel

pretzel

[ˈpretsl] Ngalleta f salada

pretzel

[ˈprɛtsəl] nbretzel m

pretzel

nBrezel f

pretzel

[ˈprɛtsl] nsalatino
References in periodicals archive ?
Three years after Philly Pretzel Factory opened its first store on Long Island, the fast-growing national chain will soon have 10 locations here.
National Pretzel Day is celebrated all around the country every year on April 26 since 1983.
Our subscribers can now claim a delicious pretzel from Auntie Anne's West Orchards.
In honor of National Pretzel Day on April 26, Wetzel's Pretzels, the innovator in super-premium hot and fresh pretzels, will host its third annual "National Wetzel Day" celebration by offering a FREE Original Pretzel to every Wetzel's customer.
Dallas, Texas-based private equity firm CenterOak Partners LLC has completed a majority investment in Pasadena, California-based soft pretzel store owner and franchisor Wetzel's Pretzels LLC, the company said.
Ben's Soft Pretzels raised $30,000 for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund during National Pretzel Day, April 26, by encouraging customers to redeem a free pretzel In exchange for a $1 donation to the fund.
2Melt Dip a pretzel threequarters of the way into the warm chocolate, lift it out of the chocolate and gently shake it to allow excess chocolate to drip off.
Fast food chain Wendy's brings in "Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger" exclusively to the Philippines, obviously a take from the Bacon Nation of America.
Pretzel Making at Home provides an excellent pairing of recipes with color photos throughout by Alex Farnum, and provides keys on how to make a variety of pretzels by hand.
The pretzel market in the United States totals close to $600 million annually, with over 300 million lbs of pretzels and pretzel products produced.
Farm Rich introduces Stuffed Pretzel Bites: A tasty twist on a classic snack.