Strange Word Etymologies

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Aleco
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Re: Strange Word Etymologies

Postby Aleco » 2009-02-23, 15:53

voron wrote:
pittmirg wrote:@Kuba: kurwa from Proto-Slavic *kury (gen. *kurъve), with the same root as in *kurъ. It's been also borrowed by Romanian and Hungarian from surrounding Slavic languages.


... which means 'a cock' (BSC also has a related "kurac" with the meaning membrum virile).

Hm... that gives me an idea of where the Swedish word for hot dog/sausage [korv] comes from :lol:
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Re: Strange Word Etymologies

Postby Mulder-21 » 2009-02-23, 19:17

Eoghan wrote:
Mulder-21 wrote:
Eoghan wrote:A Swedish, very obscene word describing the vagina is "fitta". Apparently the word comes from an Old Norse word meaning "soft, moist place"...


In Faroese, 'fitta' is an adjective meaning 'cute'...

Off-topic: @wolfox477: Love your avatar. ;)

On-topic:

The Faroese adjective for left-handed 'lámur' apparently comes from Irish láimh (or something similar to that), which means 'hand'.

Also, the original Faroese word for a 'negro' is/was 'blámaður' (blueman).

OK, maybe these aren't that strange (well maybe since they are 2 Celtic words), but I'll find some others.


That is so cool! I knew Irish monks went to the Faroes and Iceland so it's cool to see that the Gaelic language has affected the Faroese language :)


Other examples:

bla(ða)k from bleathagh (or something): a certain dairy product
ærgi: (the æ comes from an ai- as far as I know): A summer residence up in the hills (Note: the Faroese town of Argir is actually misspelt. The correct version should be Ærgir, since this is its etymology.)
Gløgt er gestsins eyga. (Føroyskt orðafelli)
Wise is the stranger's eye. (Faroese saying)
L'occhio dell'ospite è acuto. (Proverbio faroico)
Hosťovo oko je múdre. (Faerské uslovie)

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Re: Strange Word Etymologies

Postby Egein » 2009-02-24, 21:19

I was told that black and blanc (french for white) were from the same root originally meaning ashes, because ashes are either white or black. I understood this to be not entirely true, but it still makes sense.

One strange expression in Icelandic:
Að fleyta kerlingar - to skim stones (lit. to float old women).
Apparently a flat stone (helluflís) was called kerling (old woman).

In Finnish:
kettu (fox) comes from kesiä (to peel off) because it was hunted for its fur. So its name really means "peeled off" (kind of).
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Re: Strange Word Etymologies

Postby BezierCurve » 2009-02-24, 22:07

I have to second that. Dogs and bilabial consonats don't go together. "grrrrr", "ghrrrrrr", "rrrrr" - okay. But "prrrrrr"? Never


My friend used to have a dog, which actually was able to produce a voiceless plosive, something like "phhh", when he got pissed when he kept asking for some snack and got nothing in reply.

EDIT: ... which reminds me of another dog, seen on youtube, that kept "saying": "mamama...".
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Re: Strange Word Etymologies

Postby Trapy » 2009-02-24, 23:26

Formiko wrote:
The Hopi word for heart is tùn, which comes from the sound of a beating heart:
tun tun, tun tun


That, is actually, a very, very cool etymology.
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Re: Strange Word Etymologies

Postby Dminor » 2009-02-24, 23:56

Really? Seems like an ordinary onomatopoeia to me. :hmm:

Fynste? Liket my mar in ienfâldige onomatopee. :hmm:
काव्यशास्त्रविनोदेन कालो गच्छति धीमताम् । व्यसनेन च मूर्खाणां निद्रया कलहेन वा

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Re: Strange Word Etymologies

Postby Trapy » 2009-02-25, 1:58

Dminor wrote:Really? Seems like an ordinary onomatopoeia to me. :hmm:

Fynste? Liket my mar in ienfâldige onomatopee. :hmm:


compared to "heart" and "coeur" or their germanic/romance equivalents, yea :). It might just be an onomatopoeia, but, it's a cool one.
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Re: Strange Word Etymologies

Postby Brzeczyszczykiewicz » 2020-04-22, 6:52

How about the French verb "tuer", meaning "to kill"?

I remember how at first I used to think it might even have a Germanic origin, maybe Old High German "touwen", or something along those lines, but it actually has its roots in Latin "tutari", which originally stood for "to protect", but at some point, and for some strange reason, it became synonimous of "exstinguere" ("to turn off", "to kill")! :shock:
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Re: Strange Word Etymologies

Postby linguoboy » 2020-04-22, 12:59

Compare English “take care of”.
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Re: Strange Word Etymologies

Postby Brzeczyszczykiewicz » 2020-04-23, 6:57

Yes, I can see a bit of the strangeness in that one, too...but I have to say I still find it more logical than French "tuer"; after all, taking care of anything or anyone (including oneself) does imply a burden of some kind and a fair share of anxiety and worries.
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