Interesting Etymologies

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linguoboy
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby linguoboy » 2020-05-07, 15:11

Speaking of Tolkien, I can't ever hear "attercop" without thinking of that passage in The Hobbit where Bilbo annoys the spiders of Mirkwood by yelling "Attercop!" at them.
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Brzeczyszczykiewicz » 2020-05-10, 0:23

I didn't remember that one, cheers! :lol:
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby linguoboy » 2020-05-10, 0:35

Brzeczyszczykiewicz wrote:I didn't remember that one, cheers! :lol:

Tolkien wrote:Old fat spider spinning in a tree!
Old fat spider can’t see me!
Attercop! Attercop!
Won't you stop,
Stop your spinning and look for me!

Old Tomnoddy, all big body,
Old Tomnoddy can’t spy me!
Attercop! Attercop!
Down you drop!
You'll never catch me up your tree!

Lazy Lob and crazy Cob
are weaving webs to wind me.
I am far more sweet than other meat,
but still they cannot find me!

Here am I, naughty little fly;
you are fat and lazy.
You cannot trap me, though you try,
in your cobwebs crazy.

("Tomnoddy" is a northern dialectal term for "puffin" which has the extended meaning of "fool". "Lob" [< ME lobbe] is another archaic term for "spider".)
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Brzeczyszczykiewicz » 2020-05-10, 1:27

:shock: Thank you so much for so nicely refreshing my memory with that!
And that's two new English words I've learned today; "tomnoddy" sounds quite cute to me. :mrgreen:
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Gormur » 2020-05-12, 11:01

Not much to mention though I find it interesting how these country names differ considering their shared history (Old Norse)

Icelandic / Norwegian
Frakkland / Frankrike
Eistland / Estland
Svíþjóð / Sverige

Frakkland means [the] Franks' abode, but Frankrike is frank rike; kingdom of France
Eistland versus Estland I wish somebody would explain this one but I can only guess this Estland tradition started in writing it that way for some odd reason. Anyway they're pronounced distinctively
Svíþjóð Svea kingdom. Seems normal but for sænskir being Swedes in Icelandic and svensker in Norwegian :hmm:
Eigi gegnir þat at segja at bók nøkkur er hreinferðug eðr ønnur spelluð því at vandliga ok dáliga eru bœkr ritnar ok annat kunnum vér eigi um þœr at dœma

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Car » 2020-05-12, 11:07

Gormur wrote:Eistland versus Estland I wish somebody would explain this one but I can only guess this Estland tradition started in writing it that way for some odd reason. Anyway they're pronounced distinctively

It seems it's unclear.
Please correct my mistakes!

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-05-12, 15:43

Gormur wrote:Eistland versus Estland I wish somebody would explain this one but I can only guess this Estland tradition started in writing it that way for some odd reason. Anyway they're pronounced distinctively
The Estland variant is influenced by Latin.

Car wrote:It seems it's unclear.
Yes, eesti in Estonian has an unclear etymology which is described in that link; but the use of Eistland and Estland in other languages has an older etymology which did not come from eesti.

Early Norse/Scandinavian references:
Eistland = mentioned in many sagas (Óláfs, Ynglinga, Örvar-Odds etc; Old Norse, 10th through 13th centuries)
Aistland = Gutasaga (Old Gnutish, 13th century)
Estlatum = Frugården Vg 181 runestone (Latin, 11th century Sweden)
Estia = Gesta Danorum (Latin, 12th century Denmark)
Estonia = Heinrici Cronicon Livoniae (Latin, 13th century Livonia)

On the other hand first use of the name "Eesti" was in the 17th century and it didn't become widely used, or considered the name of the language or its speakers in Estonian, until the 19th century. There are various theories about which language the Estonian use of eesti came from (among them the words listed above plus a few other possibilities). Prior to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Estonians called themselves maarahvas and their language maakeel; the origin of eesti is what is unclear, since it has no independent meaning in Estonian nor is it what others called them (although it's similar to the Norse/Latin/etc words above). How those names became Eesti, or if Eesti has a different etymology from them, is unclear.

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Car » 2020-05-12, 20:26

Thank you for the explanation, Linguaphile!
Please correct my mistakes!


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