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Hose and hose

English hose and German die Hose are one of those pairs of false friends that you might actually never really notice, because they’re just so different and the hose is also not all that common.

But German die Hose is the word for pants. And note that die Hose is used in singular! The plural is die Hosen and it’s only used for multiple pairs of pants.

  • Meine Hose ist nass.
  • My pants are wet /pair of pants is wet.
  • Ich habe nur zwei Hosen.
  • I only have two (pairs of) pants.

What’s most interesting about this pair of false friends is the family. Because believe or not, they’re actually related to das Haus and house. The original core theme of the family was a sense of covering, hiding and die Hose was simply a word for the “leg covering”. English had that, as well, but then a French fashion trend brought pantaloons, a bit like the skinny jeans of their time, and that word got shortened to pants.

The English hose, on the other hand, focused on the notion of being a long round tube. The German word for that is der Schlauch, by the way, which is related to the English word slough, in the sense of snake skin.

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