Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Welcome to my world!

No, really.
Yet the two have shared producer duties on the staggeringly ambitious project they call Spiegelworld, a blend of cabaret, circus and burlesque housed in an authentic spiegeltent on a pier near the South Street Seaport. In its inaugural season last summer, wildfire word of mouth lured thousands of curious New Yorkers to the tent, under the Brooklyn Bridge. They said that despite limited advertising, “Absinthe,” Spiegelworld’s risqué vaudeville cabaret, played to capacity crowds from the third week of its two-month run. This year an expanded season of Spiegelworld will run for three months, from July 2 through Sept. 30.

One thing that stuck out from the article is the claim that "spiegel" is a Flemish word. When I was in Holland last February a Dutch person claimed that my name must be Dutch, not Deutsch, since it wasn't Schpiegelberg. I know that my family came over from Prussia in the 1800's, and there is the famous German magazine Spiegel. Anyone out there with better linguistic knowledge than me?

3 comments:

Terminal Degree said...

"Spiegel" means mirror, and a Berg is a mountain. In a German dialect "Spiegel" might be pronounced "Schpiegel," but I've never come across the actual spelling of "Schpiegel" in German.

Your name sounds German to me.

It's possible that "Spiegeltent" could be both German and Flemish/Dutch:
http://www.abc.net.au/melbourne/stories/s1210137.htm

Daniel Wolf said...

Scott:

Spiegelberg is a perfectly acceptable name and orthography in German, Dutch/Flemish, and Yiddish, although Yiddish might favor a Schp- or Shp-. "Spiegel" is "mirror" in all three languages, likewise "Berg" is mountain. The current white pages for Germany lists 340 entries for Spiegelberg, spread throughout the country, and there is a small town/village named Spiegelberg in Swabia.

The fact that your relations came from Prussia is telling, but doesn't give much detail, as there were bits and pieces of Prussian state territory from the Baltic to Southern Germany (part of the present city of Frankfurt was part of Prussia then, for example).

Scott Spiegelberg said...

My dad provided the following information: Your ancestors came from the village of Klein Benz, Kreis Naugard (a kreis is a "county"), province of Pommern, country of Prussia. This area is on the eastern side of the Oder River, in today's Poland. It is a very short distance east and a bit north of Stettin (German), today it is called Szczecin. This area is about 30 miles south of the Baltic Sea.