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Lumberjack scoring a tree

A notch is a tapering or wedge- shaped, natural or artificial incision.

A tree trunk can be felled by driving a notch. The felling technique consists of creating a break notch, a drop notch and a felling cut.

The kerbholz is a wood with a series of marks (notches) for writing down a count and served as a means of payment. It is sometimes referred to as a "notch" itself.

The notch cut (also wedge cut) is a simple and old carving technique in which triangular wedges are lifted out of the material (for example from wood) in order to create a larger pattern or picture (chip carving decoration). A finer carving technique for wood is, for example, the three-cut .

Notch in the mechanics

Notches change the course of the forces acting on the inside of bodies and moments reduce the strength of components compared to non-notched components. The effect is known as the notch effect . Notches in this sense do not have to be tapered, they can also be rounded cross-section changes, bores and the like. They are often undesirable weak points, but can also serve as predetermined breaking points . If the stress increases typical for a notch are caused by a change in the material properties, such as the modulus of elasticity , this is referred to as a material-related notch.

Etymology and distribution of the word "notch"

The West Germanic verb notch comes from the Indo-European root gerbh and had the meaning of scratch or scratch. Related words of notches in other languages ​​are kerven in Dutch and to carve in English. The Greek word gráphein (scratch and write), which can be found in " graphics ", is also related .

The word can be found in the terms Kerbtier or Kerfe for insects .


  • To have something wrong (formerly owed, owed for something today)
  • Always strike in the same notch (and thereby weaken the tree or, today, the position of another person in one place, always take up the same, often unpleasant topic)


  • Duden - German universal dictionary, Dudenverlag, Mannheim - Leipzig - Vienna - Zurich 2003, ISBN 3-411-05505-7
  • Duden - The dictionary of origin, Dudenverlag, Mannheim - Vienna - Zurich 1989, ISBN 3-411-20907-0