*Good job on the history of ginger, Dex. Just wanted to note a fine point of etymology …
Zingiber is the Greek form of the word, from Arabic zanjabîl, from Sanskrit s’ringivera. Actually, the Sanskrit word itself is derived from a loanword from Dravidian.
The Proto-Dravidian word for ginger was *ciñci, and vêr means ‘root’ (in Tamil, the word for ginger is now iñci, and vêr still means root). Sanskrit borrowed the compound *ciñci vêr, ‘ginger root’. In Sanskrit they made what is known as a “folk etymology” by merging this unfamiliar word from another language with a similar-sounding word in Sanskrit that seemed to make sense. S’ringa is the Sanskrit word for ‘horn’ (from Proto-Indo-European *ker-no-, related to English horn, Latin cornu, and Cernunnos, the ancient Celtic Horned God; it’s also connected with Semitic words for horn: compare Arabic qarn, Hebrew qeren). The ginger rhizome does branch in a way that vaguely resembles antlers, but the original Dravidian word is unrelated to the Indo-European words for horn.
Another Dravidian “root” word in English is vetiver from Tamil veTTi vêr, ‘dug-up root’ (veTTi is from the verbal root veL- meaning ‘to cut, chop, dig’). They dig it up because it’s so useful.
Try searching without the H: “king sot” in parentheses to keep those together along with the word ginger. I came up with this on Google. King literally means “fresh ginger,” king meaning “ginger.” It’s pronounced closer to a G sound, which is why it’s usually not transliterated with the H, which would give the K a K sound.
Ah, and one more thing. Upon conferring with my Thai wife to be sure I was correct, the actual drink is called namking or nam king. Googling “nam king” + ginger + drink gets you this. Adding the H gets you a substantial albeit fewer number of hits. And I see sometimes sot is rendered sod due to the vagaries of transliteration.
OK, I can see how one gets from *ker-no- to cornu, but how does one get from *ker-no- to s’ringa? I mean, they both have an n and an r in them, and k is similar to g, but they’re in a completely different order. And where does the s come from?
I’ll add to the praise of newme’s elucidation. I, too, was never aware of those pairs.
I’ll just add one point which the language mavens here know well: that the “k/s” pairing is so distinctive that scholars of Indo-European languages for many decades considered it THE way to divide them into two groups, popularly known by respective words for “hundred” (satem in Sanskrit, and centum – pronounced ‘kentum’ – in Latin. And with “hundred,” there’s the same Germanic “h” from “cornu/horn”).
Re: “bake” a “batch,” etc…It occurs to me that Latin sort of did this, too. Verbs with roots ending in the “k” sound (e.g., fac-ere to make, do) usually had a past participle with -kt- (factus made, done, hence “thing made or done”). I’m pretty sure -kt- would evolve into palatized sounds like “ch” even more easily than -k- … See, for example, how Spanish dig-, dic- “say” (the “c” in dic- sounds like an “s”) has the past participle/noun form dicho (a “saying”), from Latin dictus.
As for more English pairs… Do you lock a latch? I believe you do! Do you Snookie some snatch? Hmm…maybe not.
Ouch. Sorry 'bout that, and I didn’t even notice that it was a resurrected thread. Life’s been way too hectic for me to have had a chance to look into that old staff report for revision, but it is on my to-do list.