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  #51  
Old 05-01-2012, 08:09 AM
leahcim leahcim is offline
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"Cherry" is taken from the french "cerise" which means exactly that. But the French word sounds like a plural in English, so the English assumed it was a plural (like "cherries") and invented a the singular "cherry" to have that as its plural.
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  #52  
Old 05-01-2012, 08:14 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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The standard citation on the origin of "O.K." is Allen Walker Read's articles in the journal American Speech in 1963 and 1964. You may argue with them, but you'd better read them if you want to convince anybody that the theory that "O.K." originated as an abbreviation of "oll korrect" in Boston in 1839 is just an urban legend. This is the standard explanation, and Read gave a lot of evidence for it.
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  #53  
Old 05-01-2012, 08:21 AM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is online now
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Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
The word Miniature is unrelated to words like minimum, minute, minuscule, minor (which come from Latin minimus= small), but derives instead from the Latin minium - red lead - a pigment used to outline illuminated illustrations (of any size, later, small because books got smaller) in manuscripts.
That's cool. THere are actually qute a few pairs of words that AREN'T cognates (or related words in the same language), but sure as heck look like they should be.

The English "day", for example, does NOT come from Latin dies, nor from any shared earlier root. (We do get "diurnal" from dies, though.)

So, the fact that the last syllable of, say, French mercredi sounds just like the last syllable of English "Wednesday" (as pronounced by some Americans, anyway), is just a coincidence.
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  #54  
Old 05-01-2012, 09:06 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
The word Miniature is unrelated to words like minimum, minute, minuscule, minor (which come from Latin minimus= small), but derives instead from the Latin minium - red lead - a pigment used to outline illuminated illustrations (of any size, later, small because books got smaller) in manuscripts.
Actually, minuscule doesn't quite fit with the others, as the "minu-" rather than "mini-" spelling makes clear (although it is more closely related than "miniature" is). minuscule comes by way of French from Latin minusculus, which derives from minus.

minimum, to choose one "mini-" word, comes from Latin minimus, which comes from minor

Last edited by CalMeacham; 05-01-2012 at 09:06 AM..
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  #55  
Old 05-01-2012, 09:49 AM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is online now
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
Actually, minuscule doesn't quite fit with the others, as the "minu-" rather than "mini-" spelling makes clear (although it is more closely related than "miniature" is). minuscule comes by way of French from Latin minusculus, which derives from minus.

minimum, to choose one "mini-" word, comes from Latin minimus, which comes from minor
You're missing the point. All the words except "miniature" (when referring to the craft form) come from the same basic Indo-European root meaning "small".

No sense in picking an arbitrary time horizon (you went for Roman Empire times, it seems) and teasing out the word-paths at that point.

Yes, chimpanzees, humans, and sponges are all animals. But....
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  #56  
Old 05-01-2012, 09:49 AM
astorian astorian is offline
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In English, a zero is sometimes called "a goose egg." That same figure of speech has long been used in France.

In French, the word for egg is "l'oeuf." And that's why "love" is the term used for zero in tennis.
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  #57  
Old 05-01-2012, 10:13 AM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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Originally Posted by leahcim View Post
"Cherry" is taken from the french "cerise" which means exactly that. But the French word sounds like a plural in English, so the English assumed it was a plural (like "cherries") and invented a the singular "cherry" to have that as its plural.
Likewise, pea is a back formation from pease, which sounds like a plural.
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  #58  
Old 05-01-2012, 10:21 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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An apron was oringinally a napron.
An adder was a nadder.
An auger was a nauger.
A nickname as an eke name.

And there are a few other examples of these types of faulty separations in English. ("Orange," however, was never "a norange" in English. The separation had already occurred before being introduced into English. Looks like it happened in French.)
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  #59  
Old 05-01-2012, 10:37 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Originally Posted by brewha View Post
I like it! Just like when people refer Leonardo da Vinci as simply da Vinci - they really aren't saying anything.

His name literally means: Leonardo from Venice.

Leonardo makes sense. Leonardo da Vinci makes sense. da Vinci doesn't.
You are correct, except that it means "from Vinci", not "from Venice". Leonardo was from Tuscany.

Also, regarding "trivia", my dictionary says it is from Latin "trivialis", meaning "belonging to the streets; common", which does come from trivium meaning a junction of three roads. So perhaps Bryson was right?
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  #60  
Old 05-01-2012, 10:44 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by JKellyMap View Post
You're missing the point. All the words except "miniature" (when referring to the craft form) come from the same basic Indo-European root meaning "small".

No sense in picking an arbitrary time horizon (you went for Roman Empire times, it seems) and teasing out the word-paths at that point.

Yes, chimpanzees, humans, and sponges are all animals. But....
No, I'm not missing the point, as I quite clearly stated. But "minuscule" is still on its own branchlet away from the others, although not as far removed as c"miniatur".
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  #61  
Old 05-01-2012, 11:21 AM
Sister Vigilante Sister Vigilante is offline
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Pasta alla Puttanesca = pasta the way a whore makes it.

The origin I heard is from Bitchin' Kitchen; Nadia G. describes it exactly as above, and explains that whores only got one day a week to shop so they bought things that lasted longer and threw them all together in the sauce.

The other origin I heard (from a friend) is that's a quick dish to make between clients.
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  #62  
Old 05-01-2012, 12:18 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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The word "marlin" as in the fish comes from the "moor line," corrupted into "marlin" by sea-going types (cf. gunwale, forecastle, boatswain, etc.). Marlins (moor lines) were worked with a spiked tool called the marlinspike (somewhat resembling the marlins bill), so the "marlinspike fish" became shortened to "marlin."

"Electron" is the Greek word for "amber." The word "electric" preceded it in English, meaning "like amber," referring to amber's "static cling" properties.

The city "Istanbul" is a Turkish corruption of a Greek phrase that just means "to the city."

Last edited by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker; 05-01-2012 at 12:18 PM..
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  #63  
Old 05-01-2012, 12:45 PM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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But why did Constantinople get the works?
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  #64  
Old 05-01-2012, 01:10 PM
Zyada Zyada is offline
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Mine are on a slightly different tack

Butterfly has very different words in the romance languages, which is quite unusual:
Papillon in French
Mariposa in Spanish
Farfalla in Italian
Borboleta or panapanã in Portuguese

Also, in the germanic languages:
Schmetterling or tagfalter - German
Sommerfugl - Danish

etc.

More about butterfly etymology
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  #65  
Old 05-01-2012, 01:10 PM
Snickers Snickers is offline
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Originally Posted by astorian View Post
This isn't etymology, strictly speaking, but it's interesting anyway.

In the English language, almost all the names of common farm animals (pig, cow, chicken, sheep) are of Germanic original. However, almost all of the names for the meats that come from these animals (pork, beef, poultry, mutton) are of French origin.

Which sort of makes sense... you have to figure that, in medieval England, it was peasants of German descent who raised the animals and it was rich noblemen of French descent who ate the meat.
I've also heard it said that in English, many of your concrete nouns ("plank," "house," "door," "plate," and so on) are Germanic while abstract nouns ("innovation," "philosophy," "intelligence," "compassion," and the like) are French/Latinate. For much the same reason: your peasants are much more concerned with daily survival, while your nobles have the time to talk about concepts and ideas.

I don't know how true this is, but it's fun to think about.
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  #66  
Old 05-01-2012, 01:17 PM
brewha brewha is offline
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Originally Posted by astorian View Post
In English, a zero is sometimes called "a goose egg." That same figure of speech has long been used in France.

In French, the word for egg is "l'oeuf." And that's why "love" is the term used for zero in tennis.
I hope that's true. I've always wondered that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon View Post
You are correct, except that it means "from Vinci", not "from Venice". Leonardo was from Tuscany.

Also, regarding "trivia", my dictionary says it is from Latin "trivialis", meaning "belonging to the streets; common", which does come from trivium meaning a junction of three roads. So perhaps Bryson was right?

Right you are. I've been propagating this mistruth for years. I wonder where I got the idea that Vinci was Italian for Venice?

Thanks for the correction!
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  #67  
Old 05-01-2012, 01:28 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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Originally Posted by brewha View Post
I hope that's true. I've always wondered that.
The OED disagrees, and so does Cecil.
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  #68  
Old 05-01-2012, 01:34 PM
Zyada Zyada is offline
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On the flip side, honeymoon in various languages is a direct translation of the word "honey" and "moon"

Lune de miel in French, miel luna in Spanish, etc.

However, German is flitterwochen - sparkle or tinsel (or possibly according to the German wiki, from the old high german for caress) week. Honigmond has been used in German for both honeymoon and for July.

german cites: Honeymoon and July
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  #69  
Old 05-01-2012, 01:51 PM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is online now
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Originally Posted by Snickers View Post
I've also heard it said that in English, many of your concrete nouns ("plank," "house," "door," "plate," and so on) are Germanic while abstract nouns ("innovation," "philosophy," "intelligence," "compassion," and the like) are French/Latinate. For much the same reason: your peasants are much more concerned with daily survival, while your nobles have the time to talk about concepts and ideas.

I don't know how true this is, but it's fun to think about.
True. That's why the regular Spanish word for "rusty", oxidado, sounds so silly to us -- "rusty" feels earthy and strong, while "oxidated" feels scientific and weak. But native Spanish speakers don't feel that dichotomy, because their normal vocabulary comes right from Latin (most of it, anyway).

(Yes, I know, there are arguably earthier terms that can be used for "rust" in Spanish, like sarro, but that really means "schmutz" or "crud" in general.)

A similar example is the road sign "Disminuya su velocidad." Or, as we would say, SLOW DOWN! (Even Spock wouldn't say something as professorial as "diminish your velocity").

Last edited by JKellyMap; 05-01-2012 at 01:53 PM..
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  #70  
Old 05-01-2012, 02:16 PM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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Originally Posted by astorian View Post
In English, a zero is sometimes called "a goose egg." That same figure of speech has long been used in France.

In French, the word for egg is "l'oeuf." And that's why "love" is the term used for zero in tennis.

Nitpick - actually, a duck's egg. And in cri8cket, when a player scores zero, it is usually shortened to just duck.
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  #71  
Old 05-02-2012, 07:12 PM
Dave Hartwick Dave Hartwick is online now
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I read one last night that I thought was interesting. Parasite comes from the Greek word parasitos, which meant, long ago, "dinner guest". In Republican and Imperial Rome the term was applied to clients, who were poor men who waited upon a wealthy one as his followers. In time, clients were thought of as spongers, or uninvited guests.
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  #72  
Old 05-02-2012, 11:30 PM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Something I heard in passing long ago and have never bothered checking up on is the origin of the hip term dig, as in "Can you dig it?" Supposedly, it's short for digest, as in "to digest information".
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  #73  
Old 05-03-2012, 12:37 AM
Beastly Rotter Beastly Rotter is offline
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Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
Something I heard in passing long ago and have never bothered checking up on is the origin of the hip term dig, as in "Can you dig it?" Supposedly, it's short for digest, as in "to digest information".
O good Lord.
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  #74  
Old 05-03-2012, 08:59 AM
astorian astorian is offline
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Originally Posted by Peter Morris View Post
Nitpick - actually, a duck's egg. And in cri8cket, when a player scores zero, it is usually shortened to just duck.
I'l' take that nitpick- I'm a little more disturbed that Cecil thinks the whole etymology I posted is bogus.
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  #75  
Old 05-03-2012, 09:39 AM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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"Dolphin" originally applied only to a mammal. It came to also describe a type of fish because of a(nother) nautical corruption of one of the fish's names "dorado."
LSD is “lysergic acid diethylamide,” but the initials derive from the German name for it lyserg saure diethylamide
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  #76  
Old 05-03-2012, 09:42 AM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is online now
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Originally Posted by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker View Post
LSD is “lysergic acid diethylamide,” but the initials derive from the German name for it lyserg saure diethylamide
"Sour" and "acid"...makes sense. Reminds me of how "oxy-" means "sour" in Greek, and how oxygen in German is just "sour stuff". And how there's a common weed with the botanical name of "oxalis" that has a lemony taste to its stems.
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  #77  
Old 05-03-2012, 10:42 AM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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Pumpernickel means "goblin fart."

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...f-pumpernickel
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  #78  
Old 05-03-2012, 10:54 AM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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Maybe it does, and maybe it doesn't. The response was by a German native.
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  #79  
Old 05-03-2012, 11:13 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
IIRC, "pumpernickel" was German slang for a Peasant. Pumpernickel bread was semi-black bread, peasant food. It's not a comment on the bread's indigestability (I think pumpernickel is pretty edible, myself, but maybe the original product wasn't so nice as the one I buy in my local supermarket), but on its humble origins, with a classist poke at those origins.
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  #80  
Old 05-03-2012, 12:34 PM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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Originally Posted by JKellyMap View Post
And you have "shit". No kidding. It's probably from the same root as "sec" (which gives us "scissors", etc.), and refers to a "little piece of the body that is cut from the rest (when you defecate)".

P.S. Merci, matt_mcl....fascinating!
I don't think so. The German Scheiss is the root; the double s morphed into t in English.
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  #81  
Old 05-03-2012, 12:54 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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The giant panda (or panda bear) was originally called the "particolor bear." Then, naturalists, noticing some similarities to another critter known as the panda, decided that it wasn't a bear at all, but a relative of the panda. This resulted in the renaming of the particolor bear to "giant panda," and the "panda" to the "lesser panda" or "red panda."

Then, 100 years later, they realized. . . Oops! We had it right the first time! Shazam! It really is a bear!

(The word "panda" itself appears to be the local name for the red panda, and I have no idea what it means in that "local" language.)
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  #82  
Old 05-03-2012, 01:35 PM
Gary "Wombat" Robson Gary "Wombat" Robson is offline
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Originally Posted by scamartistry View Post
Vomitorium

From the decadent days of Rome: these were actual rooms constructed for upper class people where they could go puke after binge eating.

Actually it's just latin for "entrance to the amphitheatre".
Cecil disagrees with you about the purpose of a vomitorium. They were not built as (or used as) a place to puke.
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  #83  
Old 05-03-2012, 01:36 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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IIRC, "pumpernickel" was German slang for a Peasant. Pumpernickel bread was semi-black bread, peasant food. It's not a comment on the bread's indigestability (I think pumpernickel is pretty edible, myself, but maybe the original product wasn't so nice as the one I buy in my local supermarket), but on its humble origins, with a classist poke at those origins.
Here's Wikipedia on its etymology:

Quote:
Etymology

The philologist Johann Christoph Adelung states that the word has an origin in the Germanic vernacular where Pumpen was a New High German synonym for being flatulent, and Nickel was a form of the name Nicholas, commonly associated with a goblin or devil (e.g. "Old Nick", a familiar name for Satan), or more generally for a malevolent spirit or demon. Hence, pumpernickel is described as the "devil's fart," a definition accepted by the Stopes International Language Database,[2] the publisher Random House,[3] and by some English language dictionaries, including the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.[4] The American Heritage Dictionary adds "so named from being hard to digest." A variant of this explanation is also given by the German etymological dictionary "Kluge" that says the word pumpernickel is older than its usage for the particular type of bread, and may have been used as a mocking name for a person of unrefined manners ("farting nick") first. The change of meaning may have been caused by its use as a mocking expression for the (in the eyes of outsiders) unrefined rye bread produced by the Westphalian population.

The Oxford English Dictionary does not commit to any particular etymology for the word. It suggests it may mean a lout or booby, but also says "origin uncertain." The OED currently states the first use in English was in 1756.

An incorrect folk etymology involves Napoleon, who, while invading Germany, was served dark German rye bread. He wouldn't eat it and said "C'est pain pour Nicole!"... it was bread for his horse, Nicole.[5] This story allegedly is a hoax perpetrated by a columnist and friends who, when challenged and confronted with evidence to the contrary, confessed to the fabrication.[6] However the contrived "pain pour Nicole" etymology seems to be the most popular in English-speaking countries; it is retold by thousands of sites on the World Wide Web.
The OED is consistent with what I've stated (although noncommital)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpernickel
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  #84  
Old 05-03-2012, 02:14 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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Originally Posted by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker View Post
LSD is “lysergic acid diethylamide,” but the initials derive from the German name for it lyserg saure diethylamide
My favorite one of these is R.I.P., which didn't originally stand for "Rest In Peace" in English, but the Latin equivalent of this, "Requiescat in pace".
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  #85  
Old 05-03-2012, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Clothahump View Post
I don't think so. The German Scheiss is the root; the double s morphed into t in English.
You have that backwards. Proto-germanic "t" sometimes morphed into "ss" or "ts" in German.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Ge...onsonant_shift and search for "*t→ss"
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  #86  
Old 05-03-2012, 03:16 PM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is online now
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Originally Posted by newme View Post
You have that backwards. Proto-germanic "t" sometimes morphed into "ss" or "ts" in German.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Ge...onsonant_shift and search for "*t→ss"
Quite right. "Shit":

"Old Norse skita, Old English scitan, etc., the regular Germanic verb, and the corresponding noun, etc., originally 'separate' (as in Latin excrementum, from cernere 'separate', cognate to Greek crino 'separate, judge', Old English sceran 'cut, shear', etc, also Sanskrit apa-skara- 'excrement'), cognate to Lithuanian skeisti 'separate, divide', Latin scindere, Greek schizo 'split', etc., from Indo-European skei-d- beside Irish sceithim 'vomit', Gothic skaidan 'separate', etc."

-- Buck 1949, p. 276
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  #87  
Old 05-05-2012, 07:37 AM
scamartistry scamartistry is offline
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Cecil disagrees with you about the purpose of a vomitorium. They were not built as (or used as) a place to puke.
That was exactly my point.

Read the post again.
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  #88  
Old 05-05-2012, 07:59 AM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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The words "tavern" and "tabernacle" both come from the same Latin root -- taberna, meaning "hut" or "tent."
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  #89  
Old 05-05-2012, 11:24 AM
Gary "Wombat" Robson Gary "Wombat" Robson is offline
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Originally Posted by scamartistry View Post
That was exactly my point.

Read the post again.
Sorry, but even upon my third re-read of your post, I don't see anything about vomitoriums not being used for vomiting. All I see is your reference to the etymology.
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  #90  
Old 05-05-2012, 11:52 AM
Dave Hartwick Dave Hartwick is online now
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Originally Posted by Gary "Wombat" Robson View Post
Sorry, but even upon my third re-read of your post, I don't see anything about vomitoriums not being used for vomiting. All I see is your reference to the etymology.
Does this look familiar?
Quote:
Actually it's just latin for "entrance to the amphitheatre".
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  #91  
Old 05-07-2012, 12:02 PM
Gary "Wombat" Robson Gary "Wombat" Robson is offline
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Does this look familiar?
Exactly. I read that as a reference to the etymology, not a reference to how a vomitorium was actually used. But we're cleared up now.
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  #92  
Old 05-07-2012, 12:36 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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OK, since this one has been bumped:
The word "torpedo" entered the language as the name of the electric ray. (At the time, 'electric' had not yet been coined.) "Torpedo" has the same origins as "torpor" and referred to the numbing feeling that they caused, which would later be found to be electric in origin.

From there, "torpedo" evolved to mean (sea-based) mines. ("Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!")

The spar-mounted bomb attached to the CSS Hunley was also described as a 'torpedo."

Somewhere along the way, and probably by WW I, the word "torpedo" was dropped in favor of "mines," and "torpedo" was then used pretty much exclusively to describe the self-propelled water-based projecticle that we all know and love.

Well, there was a small side-track to the Bangalore torpedo. I recall seeing some war movie where people were drawing numbers or something to determine who would be on the "relay" team to install the next segment as each relay member was gunned down.
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  #93  
Old 05-07-2012, 03:40 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Gary "Wombat" Robson View Post
Sorry, but even upon my third re-read of your post, I don't see anything about vomitoriums not being used for vomiting. All I see is your reference to the etymology.
FWIW, the "actually" to me implied that the previous paragraph wasn't the actual meaning of the word, and that what was being presented after the "actually" was. Otherwise, the "actually" serves no purpose.

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-07-2012 at 03:41 PM..
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  #94  
Old 05-08-2012, 12:44 PM
Johnny Angel Johnny Angel is offline
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Originally Posted by Colophon View Post
Also, regarding "trivia", my dictionary says it is from Latin "trivialis", meaning "belonging to the streets; common", which does come from trivium meaning a junction of three roads. So perhaps Bryson was right?
Just on the strength of the assertions, the plausibility seems to be a toss-up. Trivium does have both those meanings -- 'the streets' in antiquity and then in Medaeval times 'the first three liberal arts'. I can see the term arising out of either of those senses, so what else besides competing assertions do we have?
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:42 PM
Dave Hartwick Dave Hartwick is online now
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Robert Hughes, who wrote the book I'm reading, must be a fan of this sort of thing. This morning I read that "car" and "carpenter" both come from the Latin word for a common two-wheeled cart. Back then, when your car (carpentum) broke down on the famous Roman roads, you'd call for a carpenter (carpentarius), not a mechanic.
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  #96  
Old 05-09-2012, 12:27 AM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is online now
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Huh. I know that "carrus" came into Latin from Gallic -- pretty unusual for a Celtic root to pass over to Romance and then become so ubiquitous.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:33 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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Actually, it was quite common for Celtic words to pass into Latin after the point that Rome ruled much of what's now France, which was then inhabited by Celtic speakers. Many such words came into Latin through Roman soldiers serving there, and later many of those soldiers were in fact born there. Etymological dictionaries will often speak of such words being borrowed into "Vulgar Latin," which just means that you won't see those words in formal writing of the first century A.D. (approximately). Such words slowly became part of standard Latin though, so within a couple of centuries they were standard over all the area where Latin was spoken, and now they are common in Romance languages. English actually has several dozen words that went from Celtic to Vulgar Latin to Late Latin to French to English.

It's not really true that "car" was derived from "carpenter." It's sort of the other way around. "Carrus" was a Latin word borrowed at some point from Celtic. Eventually it ended up in English as "car." "Carpenter" also came from a Celtic root apparently, probably the same root as "car." "Carpentum" meant a vehicle in Latin. There was a derivative of it that meant maker of vehicles. Later this word meant one who could build things, and later it just meant someone who built things in wood. So this was another example of the Celtic to Vulgar Latin to Late Latin to French to English path.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:08 AM
Nava Nava is online now
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One way to detect that someone who speaks Spanish is from Spain is how often we use the word vale, meaning "OK", "I hear you", "gotcha" or, if inquiring, "do you agree/understand?"

The last word in El Quijote is vale, but it's not there because Cervantes was satisfied with his book: it's because he used a writing style more direct (and, while not epistolary, more similar to how one would write letters) than the novels of chivalry he was mocking; in this case vale is a word of Latin origin which was used to close letters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyada View Post
On the flip side, honeymoon in various languages is a direct translation of the word "honey" and "moon"

Lune de miel in French, miel luna in Spanish, etc.
The Spanish is luna de miel. What you came up with sounds in Spanish like moon hunny would sound in English.

Last edited by Nava; 05-09-2012 at 07:11 AM..
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  #99  
Old 05-09-2012, 07:19 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is online now
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I'm lost. So many of these don't sound convincing, have been proven incorrect, or are just doubted, that I have decided not to believe any of them, as that seems the safest approach.
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  #100  
Old 05-09-2012, 08:15 AM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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"Mammoth" as an adjective means "large," like the extinct beast. However, the word comes to English by way of the local (far-flung Russian Empire) language word for "earth" (as in the ground, not the planet).

It was believed by the locals that, since the bones had been dug from the earth, that it must have been a burrowing critter--just a very large one.
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