VerMeer's Geographer

VerMeer's Geographer
The Geographer, by Vermeer, c. 1669


The word "Stammtisch"

Stammtisch is a terrific German word I first heard from the late Dr. H. O. J. Brown, a seminary professor and mentor of mine, someone for whom I have a deep love, respect and admiration.  It was at the beginning of a course I took from him, my first through RTS Charlotte, mostly lectures in Wittenberg, Germany--on his famous "Reformation tour" course given for something over 10 years during the summer, from the '90s up to 2006, when I first took it in 2004.  Anyway, Brown in his usual kind but serious, instructive way, cheerfully growled, "Well, err, ummm, 'Stammtisch' is an old German word, which can't quite be translated into English.  It is related to the English 'stem' or 'stump'  and means something like, 'a regular meeting with friends at a reserved table at a restaurant or pub to get back to your roots.'"   I've since confirmed this with native Germans I know--while chatting at Stammtisch with them, no less.

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