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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 German1 "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 German1 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
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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
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1 Answer 1

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
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@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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