‘Burger’ and ‘burgher’

I can’t claim that incorrectly spelling burgher as burger is a common, everyday mistake. But the mix-up does occur, especially in student essays.

BurgerBurger and beer

  • a flat round of meat or other food that is fried or grilled and often served in a bread roll

Burgher

  • a (typically wealthy) citizen of a town or city
  • (in southern Africa) an Afrikaans citizen of a Boer republic; a civilian member of a local militia
  • (in Sri Lanka) a descendant of Dutch or Portuguese colonists

The spelling of burgher does vary in historical texts – the versions include burger, bourger and burgar. This is because the word was adopted from the original German or Dutch burger (meaning ‘citizen of a fortified town’) and only later assimilated to the English burgh (meaning ‘borough’).

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9 thoughts on “‘Burger’ and ‘burgher’

  1. The history of the word for town official is interesting. The process by which words ‘morph’ when being assimilated by other cultures is fascinating.
    Thanks for some more useful information.

    Like

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