An Etymological Dictionary of the German Language/Annotated/Ferse

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Ferse, feminine, ‘heel, track, footsteps,’ from the equivalent Middle High German vërsen, Old High German fërsana, feminine; corresponds to Gothic fairzna (for *fairsna), feminine, Anglo-Saxon fyrsn, feminine (pointing to Gothic *faírsni-); English obsolete, the term ‘heel’ (Anglo-Saxon hêla) being used, in Scandinavian hœ̂ll; Dutch verzen, Old Saxon fërsna. Common, like Fuß, and numerous other terms relating to the body (Herz, Niere, Ohr, Nase, &c.), to Teutonic and the allied languages, and hence derived from the Old Aryan vocabulary; compare fersnó-, -ni-, from pre-Teutonic pē̆rs-nâ, -ni-, with Sanscrit pâršṇi-s, feminine (like Anglo-Saxon fyrsn in the formation of its stem), Zend pâšna, masculine, Greek πτέρνα, feminine, ‘heel, ham,’ Latin perna, ‘leg (of mutton, &c.), ham,’ pernix, ‘quick, speedy’ (for *persna, *persnix).