Fressen vs essen


In unit 13.7 we are introduced to the verb form fraß - the past participle of fressen, which means to eat.   
Is this interchangeable with the (apparently) more common verb essen, or is the former a bit old-fashioned?



"Fressen" is used when speaking about animals eating.




Thanks, that makes sense.
(In context, it relates to the wolf in the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale.)


David K

Years ago, I read a book about Lenny Bruce, an American comic in the last 50s and early 60s who became famous for defying the FCC laws which forbid the use of dirty language on TV.  Apparently the word "fressen" in Yiddish is slang for certain kinds of sexual activities that we probably cannot or should not mention here either.


Hi there,

The verb "fressen" in German really just means "eating" and refers to animals. Also there is a proverb with "fressen" referring to survival in the wilderness but is being used in work life:" Fressen und Gefressen werden" ="eating and being eaten up" equivalent to " Do lunch or be lunch"/ "​ it's a dog-eat-dog world"



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