What is the Etymology of “Krepel”?

Krepel is a 3 cornered stuffed piece of dough that we eat on Purim, Hoshana Rabah, and Erev Yom Kippur.


Wikipedia says it's "probably derived from the Old High German kraepfo meaning grape." However, I would think it's more likely related to crepe (French for a type of pancake that's often filled, much like a krepel).


I don't know.

However, the Online Etymology Dictionary says English grapple is from Middle English grapple from Old French grapil, "hook", diminutive of Old French grape, "hook", from a Germanic source.

Wikipedia claims (without any source given) that Yiddish קרעפל is "probably derived from the Old High German kraepfo meaning grape. The Middle English word grapple is related (from a grape vine hook)", which seems to have multiple mistakes (if we believe the Online Etymology Dictionary), but may be correct in that Yiddish קרעפל is related to Germanic words meaning "hook".

Note also German Krapfen, "doughnut", which, Wiktionary claims, is from OHG krapho, given as "hook".

R'Alex's answer suggests a relation to French crêpe, which is purportedly, and again purportedly, from Latin crispus, "curled", via Old French. While this may be possible, of course, this layman would sooner believe a derivation from Germanic sources.

Update: I've now asked for assistance from someone on Wiktionary who actually knows some etymology, at least in Germanic languages, and in response to my request he's posted the etymology to Wiktionary. He says it's actually from (not, as I had suspected, cognate to) German Kräppel, "a fried pastry", related to Krapfen, etc. (See there for all the gory details.)

  • msh210, Why would you sooner believe a derivation from Germanic sources? Plenty of other languages strongly influenced Yiddish. Among them Hebrew, Aramaic, the Slavic languages, French, Spanish and even Turkic! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yiddish_language hubpages.com/hub/Origin-of-Yiddish-words merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yarmulke I understand that Yiddish is a dialect of the old High Germanic family but that is just the skeleton of the language. – Yahu Mar 2 '11 at 23:48
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    Sure, many Yiddish words come from non-Germanic sources (compare English, which has loads of words from Old French (via the Norman conquest) and many from other languages, too), and there's nothing about this word in particular that makes me think that it didn't. But considering the plausible Germanic derivation supplied by etymonline and Wiktionary (both of which are generally good sources) for similar-seeming words, and considering Wikipedia's derivation of קרעפל, my money is on a Germanic root. – msh210 Mar 3 '11 at 5:21
  • ...but, as I said, I'm a layman. – msh210 Mar 3 '11 at 5:35
  • What is plausible about the Germanic derivation? In what way are krepelach like hooks? – Yahu Mar 7 '11 at 21:08
  • What I called plausible was the derivation of similar words, like Krapfen and grapple. Grapple means "hook". I would have guessed Krapfen is from the utensil used to pull them out of the hot oil in which they fry, but dwds.de/?kompakt=1&qu=Krapfen claims (if I understand it correctly with the help of Google's machine translation) that it's actually from the original hook-like shape of such things. – msh210 Mar 7 '11 at 21:31

ספר הפרנס סימן קיב לקשנוס שקורין קרעפליכה

The earliest mention of kreplach seems to be a 13th century Judeo-German writer called the Parnas. It reads luchsohns which are called krepalicha. So it would be Old French or High German.

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    Hi user2217! Welcome to Mi Yodeya and thank you for this interesting data point. If you can know any other biographical information about this Sefer Haparnes please consider editing it into your post. Also, you should consider choosing a more meaningful user name for yourself, unless you have some particular affinity to the number 2217. I look forward to seeing you around! – Double AA Dec 28 '12 at 7:14

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