Page:A simplified grammar of the Danish language.djvu/52

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danish grammar.
en Led, a side; et Led, a link; wicket-gate.
en Lod, a portion; et Lod, a plummet, ounce-weight.
en Mor, a moor (Dan.) et Mor, moire (silk fabric).
en Nögle, a key; et Nögle, a ball of thread (Dan.)
en Rim, a hoar-frost; et Rim, a rhyme.
en Segl, a sickle; et Segl, a seal; sail (Norw.)
en Spand, a bucket; (Dan.) et Spand, a span; team of horses; bucket, (Norw.)
en Söm, a seam; sewing; nail (Norw.) et Söm, a nail (Dan.)
en Vår, spring (of the year); et Vår, a pillow-case.
en Öre, a piece of money; et Öre, an ear.

In former times there was a larger number of such words than at present, for the tendency here, as elsewhere in Dano-Norwegian, is to simplify and minimize rules and exceptions. Thus many words having different meanings, which were formerly distinguished by differences of gender, are now reduced to one gender, while their special significance is often indicated by some slight but definite accentuation. Danes and Norwegians in some cases use different genders, as Smäld, 'crack,' 'smack,' which the former refer to the neuter, and the latter to the common gender.

Danish adapts itself with the most facile readiness to the formation of compounds, the gender of which is regulated by that of the last word in the compound group; as, et Moderland (n.), 'a mother-land;' en Klædebod, 'draper's shop;' Handklædetöj (n.), 'towelling.'