Posted by: Author | September 23, 2011

Friday Facts- September 23, 2011- U Boats

I’m writing Book Two in the Gambler’s Inheritance trilogy. It occurs just after WWII. I’ve been doing some research and wanted to share something I just happened upon in the research sites I’ve looked at. I like the sound of this word so I wanted to share it. We’ve all heard of the submarines the Germans used in WWI and WWII and we’ve all called them U boats. Have you ever seen the German word for them? It’s a great word. It’s Unterseeboot. It means under sea boat. So easy. How cool is it that a German word is so easily translated to English?

In English, we call our own under sea boats submarines and the German ones U boats. In German, they call ours the same thing they call theirs. Same kind of boat, same name.  I think I know why we differentiate ours. Or I have an opinion anyway (shocking, I know, that I have an opinion). What do you think is the reason?



  1. Unterseeboot sounds much more sensible than submarine, don’t you think? Why do we always try to complicate names?

    • I don’t know why we complicate but I’m guessing it’s ’cause we can. Of course sub in Latin is under and marine refers to water, so it kind of makes sense.

  2. I like the word submarine. I guess because of the image it creates in my head. 😉

    • When I hear submarine, I always think of one of two things: Ringo Starr singing Yellow Submarine or The Hunt for Red October movie.

  3. Oh my gosh, I was just going to say the same thing about the song “Yellow Submarine”. That dang thing gets in my head and runs around for awhile before it grows silent again.

    I think calling the boat a submarine and U boat is just in keeping with the American need for nicknames and slang. We assign names to about everything.

    • I know what you mean, Lavada, it’s been in mine off and on since I wrote this post! LOL!

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