The word common originally referred to a quality that several people had in common (example: “All these people have German as their mother tongue”). It is related to the Latin communis / commune and the English mean (or indirectly common ).
Outside of these and other established expressions, it is often used colloquially today as a synonym for 'malicious' (in the sense of sneaky ). The noun meanness today only denotes an indecent, devious act.
Field of meaning
It has a similar meaning in the adjective general (as opposed to special ), which means something like 'comprehensive', 'general' or 'applicable to all or the vast majority', for example for the proverbial common man . With public and the whole of is population designated an area. What belongs to the general public belongs to everyone together, not to anyone alone, but can often be used by each individual (see commons ).
The process of inferring general validity from an observed number of similar individual phenomena is called generalization .
- Common or common denotes the general assembly of all mercenaries who belonged to a heap among the mercenaries of the early modern era , something similar can already be found in the constitution of the army assemblies in Greek and Roman antiquity.
- In the German army until 1918 anyone who belonged to the war people as a simple soldier without rank was referred to as a commoner . The name was common from the 18th to the 20th century.
- Already pejoratively it referred to the common people ("the common people ") early on and soon meant " vulgar ".
- Legal meanings
- Common owners of a medieval property, such as B. a castle, were referred to as common .
- The common danger as a legal term (e.g. in § 323c StGB) presupposes that significant legal interests (e.g. life or property) of a large number of people are specifically endangered.
- The common law applies - as opposed to the particular law that applies only to a part of the territory - a territory as a whole. Since its reception from the 14th century, that is, from the late Middle Ages to the end of the Old Kingdom in 1806, Roman law was considered to be “ common law ” (“ius commune”) in the entire area of the empire. Roman imperial law or local territorial law took precedence as particular law, but only if they could be proven. In practice, common law was the governing law in numerous individual states because it did not have to be proven.
By 1900 at the latest, common law in the German Empire was replaced by the entry into force of the civil code . In other former territories of the Old Kingdom, it continued to apply for a long time, for example in Common Dutch Law , which is still in effect today for some territories and areas of law in former colonial areas of the Netherlands ( e.g. in South Africa and Zimbabwe, which were populated by Boers ).
- In Upper German place names, common can stand for place or community .
- A district of the Bavarian municipality of Bindlach also bears the name Gemein .
- Common as an adjective means colloquially (especially in children's language) " treacherous ", "malicious", "nasty", "schofel". A “mean act” in this sense is a meanness .
- In 1982 Ivan Illich published the book "From the Right to Meanness".
- Adelung, Grammatical-Critical Dictionary of High German Dialect, Volume 2. Leipzig 1796, pp. 548–549
- common in the dictionary
- Dtv-Lexikon, Volume 7 (Frau-Gold), Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich, 1976, page 140