Grimms' glossed German einschlägig thus:

spectans, pertinens ad aliquid, bezüglich

I was looking to understand what einschlägig means, which is only used in fixed expressions, and I'm affraid I didn't get very far, but if you have to ask (if the gloss isn't enlightening):

  • For what it's worth, W. Pfeifer and de.wiktionary agree, it can mean approximately: for the same purpose, in the same matter

  • that is however not quite obvious from the older usage example in Grimm, nor from the glosses. Further elaboration is besides the point, though, cp. perhaps Grimms' entry at bezüglich.

  • From en.wiktionary I can gleam that aliquid is an inflected form of aliquis "something" ("other" + "what")

  • Now it dawns on me that any sense of sameness might be confered by the inflected construction with ad, as if "of onething", "pertaining to quite something else."

Is that it?

What a shame, I was gonna run through a couple etymology notes about the same. I'll repost under the etymology tag pending confirmation.


"Ad aliquid" literally means "to something." So "spectans/pertinens ad aliquid" means "regarding/pertaining to something." In context it does mean "... to something previously mentioned or assumed to be known to the reader," i.e. "to the 'same' thing." The English Wiktionary says that einschlägig means 'relevant, pertinent, appropriate' and bezüglich means 'regarding, with respect to.'

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  • I faintly remembervthat Italian altri may mean "other" as well as "previous, last". Thanks for your input. – vectory Jun 1 at 11:57

This question is based on a faulty premise in the interpretation of the definitions.

  • DWDS's definition is: „zu dem Gebiet, Bereich gehörend, das Gebiet, den Bereich betreffend“ (belonging to the domain, pertaining to the domain)
  • Pfeifer's definition is: „in Betracht kommend“ (coming into consideration)
  • Wiktionary's definition is: „zu einem bestimmten Gebiet, Bereich gehörend“ (belonging to a certain domain).

Neither contains anything that translates to “the same.”

It is true that German einschlägig must always refer to something mentioned or implied in context. But as none of the German definitions makes that explicit, so we cannot expect the Grimms' definition to make it explicit either.

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  • if you disagree that e.g. den ... or einen bestimmten can not be interpreted as "the same", approximately, in contrast to al- "other", I'm not sure that leads to a false premisses, because a) translation is not ever one-to-one; b) you are answering the title, not the body of the question, which specifies exactly what you confirm. Which is fair game, I guess, but feels rather offensive, so that grapling for arguments a) in defense of the premisses, b) just to show my angle, I'd say that a) and b) are and are practicly same, because both "premisses" and "same" are polysemous ... – vectory Jun 1 at 11:27
  • ... so I conjecture a comparison between Ger. dem and diesem for a practically negligable difference; the origin of -s-em is not quite clear to me right now, and for posterity of the premisses of the question I'd say that -sem can well compare to PIE *sem, not to mention -ie vs L. i(dem); anyhow diesem is not far from desselben, etc. dial. -selm; *selb- is according to Kroonen only not clearly from PIE *sel- (cf. solo); then cp. alone, aliquid, *h2el-; I'm not adamant that -s-em was from *sem- but maybe similarity contributed something. So I need to learn more. – vectory Jun 1 at 11:42
  • I actually appreciate the contestive answer that makes this controversial, but after I first downvoted I can now only upvote if the answer (or Q?) is edited. I recommend you edit the first line to relativize what correct language means to you. To reiterate, part of my premises is that if some(thing) and same are cognate from *sem (which might be doubtful, cp. somancher), and if *h2el- and *h2en correspond, and finally *sem "one" and *oy-n- "one" correspond, then one might expect some form of *h2el- to yield sameness as well. It's not all the same, sure. cp. simil, ilum, etc. – vectory Jun 1 at 11:52

This is what I found:

In the Lewis&Short you can find:

Ad aliquid esse, in gram. lang., to refer or relate to something else (Entry: Aliquis II, D)

And then in specto II B 1:

To look to a thing, as to an end or guide of action; hence, to have in view, bear in mind; to aim, strive, or endeavor after; to meditate; to tend, incline, refer, pertain, or have regard to a thing (freq. and class.; syn.: contendo, pertineo, tendo)

I would say that in spectans, pertinens ad aliquid:

  • We have a synonymy spectans/pertinens.
  • And then we have the ad aliquid, meaning "to something else".

I would translate spectans, pertinens ad aliquid as "looking to / refering to something else".

I don't see anything that could bring me to "the same".

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  • 2
    L&S say that the main definition of aliquid is 'something (or other), anything,' as does en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/aliquis#Latin. The context has to show whether it means 'something already mentioned,' or 'something else' (with aliud implied). Several Latin dictionaries also use the abbreviations alqm (aliquem), alci (alicui), alqd (aliquid) etc. as meaning 'someone, something,' to show how to use a verb. – Jasper May Jun 1 at 9:22
  • See the end of the Wiktionary entry for a long list of examples from Meissner and Auden's Latin phrasebook, in which aliquid etc. are written out. – Jasper May Jun 1 at 9:32

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