Where does the word food come from?

Why is the city of Essen called Essen?

  • Why is food actually called food?
  • Because there is such delicious food here?
  • No, that's not the reason
  • Nobody really knows why

Eat. Mmmmjamjam. Steakhouses, burger stalls - Essen is a mecca for foodies. That's why the question doesn't arise where the city got its name from, right?

Thought wrong. Eating doesn't take its name from food. But then where from? Nobody really knows.

"The name is extremely difficult to interpret," explains Dr. Klaus Wisotzky, head of the House of Essen History, in an interview with THE WEST. “Where the name Düsseldorf comes from is easy. In other cities, the interpretation turns out to be much more difficult or even impossible. "


• More topics from Essen:

A radical change after ten years: Many new stores will open in March on Limbecker Platz in Essen - these three have already been decided

Woman freaks out at Essen main train station and attacks mother with child for no reason

A trail for less chaos? This is behind the permanent barrier in the horror roundabout on Limbecker Platz


One thing is certain: the name has changed frequently over more than a millennium. The city was first mentioned in the 9th century - as Asnidhi. Via Astnidum, Astanidum, Asbidi, Asnid, Assinde, Asnida, Assindia, Essendia, Esnede, Essende and Essend, it finally became food.

>> Also curious: That's why Gelsenkirchen is called Gelsenkirchen

Where the name Asnidhi came from or what it means, not even Prof. Dr. Find out Paul Derks. The Germanist, who also taught for many years at the University of Duisburg-Essen, is considered the best expert on the interpretation of names for cities in the Ruhr area and the Lower Rhine.

Eating does not come from ash or from Esse

He took on the interpretation of the city of Essen and was able to determine with certainty: The theories that existed to date that the "ash" (tree) or the "Esse" (melting furnace) served as namesake are wrong.

Many name researchers have tried. In the meantime almost all interpretations have been rejected. Except one. Derks ‘thought that Essen originally meant" area to the east "has not yet been refuted.

"Asnidhi" as a counterpoint to "Westerdorp"?

Because at that time there was still a village to the west called "Westerdorp". It could have formed the opposite pole and gave Essen its name.

Unfortunately, it is out of the question that anyone will ever find out. "You can be sure: if Paul Derks can't interpret it, nobody will," prophesies Wisotzky.

>> Because it's so exciting: Why is Duisburg actually called Duisburg?

In the absence of evidence, Derks' educated guess is the most obvious.

Do you always want to know what's going on in Essen? Then click here and get the free food newsletter from DER WESTEN.