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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

ancient German territorial and administrative division, originally comprising several villages, surviving in place names such as Breisgau and Oberammergau; also in gauleiter (from leiter "leader"), title of the local political leaders under the Nazi system. Compare the first element in yeoman.


alt. (context Tibetan Buddhism English) A prayer box or small container worn as jewelry/jewellery and containing an amulet or similar item. n. (context Tibetan Buddhism English) A prayer box or small container worn as jewelry/jewellery and containing an amulet or similar item.


A Gäu landscape (Gäulandschaft) refers to an area of open, level countryside in the south German language ( Alemannic area, or in Switzerland). These regions typically have fertile soils resulting from depositions of loess (an exception is the Arme Gäue ("Poor Gäus" of the Baden-Württemberg Gäu).

The intensive use of the Gäu regions for crops has displaced the originally wooded countryside (→ climax vegetation – in contrast with the steppe heath theory and disputed megaherbivore hypothesis). The North German equivalent of such landscapes is börde.

See also:

  • Gau (territory) – also gives the etymology and language history of Gäu
  • Gäu – regions with the name
  • Natural regions referred to as Gäu plateaus:
    • Neckar and Tauber Gäu Plateaus
    • Gäu Plateaus in the Main Triangle
    • Werra Gäu Plateaus
  • Gäuboden
  • Altsiedelland | Altsiedel landscape

Category:Soil science Category:Toponymy Category:Ecosystems Category:Rural geography Category:Human habitats Category:Agriculture in Germany

Gau (territory)

Gau ( Dutch: gouw, Frisian: gea or goa) is a Germanic term for a region within a country, often a former or actual province. It was used in medieval times, when it can be seen as roughly corresponding to an English shire. The administrative use of the term was revived as a subdivision during the period of Nazi Germany in 1933–1945. It still appears today in regional names, such as the Ambergau.

Gäu (Baden-Württemberg)

The name Gäu (derived from the Roman pagus - a territory ruled by a lord - or from the Alemannic gou for Gau - a region) is used primarily today for a sparsely wooded cultural landscape type, that has evolved on the South German Scarplands between the Black Forest, the Stromber and Heuchelberg in the west and the Swabian Jura and Swabian Keuperwald Hills in the east. Because the region is further subdivided into the Oberes Gäu or Korngäu, Heckengäu, Strohgäu and Zabergäu it is also referred to as die Gäue (pl).

Usage examples of "gau".

He says, that Gau signified in the language of the country a house: and that the purport of the word Gaugamela was the house of a camel.

Chancellor, so the communication went on, had graciously accepted the gift of the Gau of Danzig and declared his intention of keeping the shepherd Prinz along with his other dogs.

A village would be inhabited by a gau, an agglomeration of several sibja groups, combined into a subtribe and headed by a hereditary petty chieftain.

I soon recognized another sign that told me when I was nearing the habitation of a sibja or a gau, and whether I wished to visit it or more prudently ride wide around it.

If he does not, he is banished from the society of all other human beings, shunned by everyone of his nation, his tribe, his gau, his sibja, even his nearest family.

And, of other nationalities, this and that small tribe or gau or even sibja that he has persuaded to gamble for greatness.

There Theodoric, Soas, Pitzias and Herduic, each taking with him a portion of our troops, fanned out in different directions from west to east, going off to canvass every least tribe and gau and sibja for new recruits to add to our army.

Friedrich Gaus, who participated at the evening meeting, a high-falutin preamble which Ribbentrop wanted to insert stressing the formation of friendly Soviet-German relations was thrown out at the insistence of Stalin.

If you are serious about a career on the stage, look up my friend Merlois son of Gaus, in Govannian.

Greety was the prees that swarmeth to and fro To gauren on this hors, that stondeth so.

She had been here before when it was the Luft Gau Headquarters for Central Germany.

If we had a patent system and royalties it would be a lot more gAu than has ever trickled in.