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נטעי גבריאל, in הלכות נשואין, volume 2, chapter 118, section 8, footnote 11, cites the מהרי״ל‬ (biographical information):

שכשהיה קורא לאשתו אמר בלשון‬ ‫אשכנז הער״ט איר ניט כדרך העולם שהזיווגים אין מזכירין שמותיהן‬ ‫כשקורין זה את זו או זו את זה‬

Or, in my own translation:

When he would call his wife, he'd say in German[1] "הער״ט איר ניט", in accordance with the way the world acts, that couples calling one another don't mention one another's names.

Any idea what German[1] words are being transliterated as "הער״ט איר ניט", or what they mean?

[1] actually some dialect of what we now call Early New High German, I suppose

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I wonder if this was always his practice, or just when other people were around. And I'm not sure what's unique about the practice if "the world" indeed acted that way; what phrase did everyone else use? – Dave Aug 22 '12 at 20:14
stumbled across this while searching, might shed light on the whole concept (I only read the first page): hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=42519&pgnum=485 – Menachem Aug 23 '12 at 5:51
up vote 5 down vote accepted

הער״ט איר ניט = Did you not hear.

I have heard some Chasidim who call their wife Her-nor הער-נאר = Listen

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Note that the pronoun "איר" (versus the more commonplace "דו") denotes a level of honor and respect. – Dave Aug 22 '12 at 20:11
do you know what that phrase is supposed to convey? – Menachem Aug 22 '12 at 20:44
@Menachem - Something like "Yo!" in modern parlance (though obviously a lot more refined). – Dave Aug 22 '12 at 22:00
@Dave, re "...denotes a level...": was that true in the Maharil's days, too? – msh210 Aug 22 '12 at 22:39
@msh210 - If I'm not mistaken, "ihr" is the plural form of "du," so when used in the 2nd person it inherently carries an sense of respect. – Dave Aug 22 '12 at 23:20

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