Interesting Etymologies

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-05-22, 7:40

This is sort of an interesting etymology/false friend situation: (pt-BR) naja ("cobra") < Sanskrit nāga < PIE *snog-, *sneg-, whence English "snake", but "snake" in Portuguese is "cobra". So "cobra" means "snake" and "snake" means "cobra".

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby linguoboy » 2019-05-22, 20:41

On a similar note, just stumbled across this explanation in the etymology of Latvian vidus "middle":
From Proto-Baltic *widu-, from Proto-Indo-European *widʰu- (“forest, wood”). The semantic change from “forest” to “region, area (between villages)” and to “middle, between” probably comes from a situation in which the areas between villages are mostly occupied by forest (cf. the opposite change, from “middle” to “forest,” in Latvian mežs; these two words, mežs and vidus apparently swapped their meanings).
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby JohnBrooke » 2019-05-29, 9:33

Origin of the word 'salary' is as follows :

it came from Anglo-Norman French salarie, from Latin salarium, originally denoting a Roman soldier's allowance to buy salt, from sal ‘salt’.

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby linguoboy » 2019-05-29, 15:57

JohnBrooke wrote:it came from Anglo-Norman French salarie, from Latin salarium, originally denoting a Roman soldier's allowance to buy salt, from sal ‘salt’.

You mentioned that already. Aren't there any other etymologies you find interesting?
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby JohnBrooke » 2019-06-07, 6:03

Etymology of Language :

From Middle English langage, language, from Old French language, from Vulgar Latin *linguāticum, from Latin lingua (“tongue, speech, language”), from Old Latin dingua (“tongue”), from Proto-Indo-European *dn̥ǵʰwéh₂s (“tongue, speech, language”). (Source - wiktionary)

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Homine.Sardu » 2019-07-11, 7:30

Sardinian :

Chesúra (pronounce "Kesúra")

Makeshift fence, made with cut tree branches.


From Latin "Caesura" (tree pruning)



P.S.
From the Sardinian "Chesúra" also derives the verb "Chesurare" (to fence off).

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-12, 16:50

Modern Anatolian Turkish for "asparagus" is kuşkonmaz, a compound of kuş "bird" and the negative aorist of konmak "perch", i.e. "birds don't perch [on it]".

It's quite unusual to see any name for asparagus that doesn't ultimately derive from Greek ἀσπάραγος. About the only other examples I can think of are Chinese 蘆筍 (lit. "reed bamboo.shoot") and Vietnamese măng tây ("Western bamboo.shoot").
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-07-12, 17:15

linguoboy wrote:Modern Anatolian Turkish for "asparagus" is kuşkonmaz, a compound of kuş "bird" and the negative aorist of konmak "perch", i.e. "birds don't perch [on it]".

It's quite unusual to see any name for asparagus that doesn't ultimately derive from Greek ἀσπάραγος. About the only other examples I can think of are Chinese 蘆筍 (lit. "reed bamboo.shoot") and Vietnamese măng tây ("Western bamboo.shoot").

Asparagus is cing-guongx mbiaic in Iu Mienh. Cing-guongx is a ceremonial stick used in spiritual rituals, and mbiaic is "bamboo shoot" (as in Chinese and Vietnamese). So, it's "ceremonial stick bamboo shoot."
It is zaub qwv qws in Hmong. Zaub is "vegetable," qwv is "blow" (as in blowing a musical instrument, especially one made from a leaf) and qws is "stick".* Another name for it in Hmong is zaub hav zoov ("forest vegetable").
Also, in Erzya: ведунтикше (" sorcerer's grass").
In Thai it is almost the same etymology as Vietnamese though: หน่อไม้ฝรั่ง "foreign bamboo shoot".

*I'm not sure if those two words are the ones meant in the phrase qwv qws though. It could be reduplication with tone sandhi instead, "vegetable stick-stick" or something similar. :?:

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-07-13, 3:23

I didn't even know we had a word for 'asparagus' in Malayalam (it's not exactly a vegetable we commonly eat...), but apparently, it's ശതാവരി [ɕəˈd̪aːʋəɾi]. I learned this today and was like "wtf does asparagus have to do with a 'hundred lines'?" My dad thinks maybe it refers to the flowers on top. :hmm:

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby OldBoring » 2019-07-15, 16:12

Doesn't asparagus have lines near the "head"?

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Ashucky » 2019-07-15, 18:14

Slovene has two synonyms for "asparagus", one is špargelj, borrowed from German and ultimately from Greek, and there is also the native word beluš, which is derived from bel "white". Although in my native dialect, spoken in a region where asparagus grows naturally, we call it šparoga (borrowed from Italian).

Interestingly, Old English actually had a native word for "asparagus", namely eorþnafola, from eorþe "earth" and‎ nafola "navel". Too bad it was displaced by the Greek loanword.
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-15, 19:47

Ashucky wrote:Slovene has two synonyms for "asparagus", one is špargelj, borrowed from German and ultimately from Greek, and there is also the native word beluš, which is derived from bel "white".

My husband actually had a distinction in his idiolect between asparagus, which was the green vegetable he had grown up with, and Spargel, which was the white form he first encountred in Germany.

I looked up Erdnabel in Grimms' on a whim and found that it's an older name for navelwort (Umbilicus rupestris).
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Homine.Sardu » 2019-07-19, 9:21

Sardinian :

Molente (Synonymous of donkey)

Specifically, in Sardinian language "su molente" was the donkey used to move "sa mola" (the millstone); while normally the donkey is called "àinu" (Latin "asinus").

Molente derives from the present participle of the Latin verb [mŏlo], mŏlis, molui, molitum, mŏlĕre (to grind)

It's also often used as insult together with "àinu" :

ses un'àinu molente! (meaning metaphorically "you are a double donkey!")

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Naava » 2019-07-19, 9:35

Homine.Sardu wrote:while normally the donkey is called "àinu" (Latin "asinus").

Oh no... My brother's dog's name is Ainu! :lol: I can't wait to tell him they've named her a donkey!

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Homine.Sardu » 2019-07-19, 11:04

Poor dog! :mrgreen:


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