How to Say Glove in German

by Expath Language School

Do Germans wear two pairs of shoes in winter?



The word “Handschuh” literally translates into English as “hand-shoe” and means “glove”.

“Handschuh” can refer to any type of glove worn on the hands, from ordinary winter gloves to surfing gloves to surgical gloves.

History of The Word

Although this word has frequently been rated one of the funniest German concepts by English speakers, a logical etymology (word history) of both the English “shoe” and the German “Schuh” makes it seem a lot less silly:

A theory is that both words originate from the Old High German word “scuoh”, meaning “to cover” or “to coat”, or even farther back, the Proto-Indo-European root “skeu”, meaning “to cover” — from which we also get the word “obscure”.

Put into this light, it makes sense for a “shoe” to be used to cover any type of appendage. Now the only mystery is why the actual shoe isn’t called “Fuss-Schuh”.