Interesting Etymologies

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Kenny » 2016-04-30, 10:57

Dormouse559 wrote:
Serafín wrote:That also happened to "riding coat" > la redingote [laʁødæ̃gɔt].
One more entry in the grand English-to-French saga:

"buggy" > boghei /bɔgɛ/


Also:

"packet boat" > paquebot (ocean liner)

And the other way around:

tenez (originally said when serving in jeu de paume/court tennis, with the z still pronounced at the time it was borrowed into English; this etymology is not accepted by all, though, apparently) > tennis

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby linguoboy » 2016-10-11, 19:48

(de) Kaschemme "gin palace, shebeen, dive [bar]"

Ultimately from a Slavic source (Proto-Slavic *kъrčьma "tavern" from *kъrčiti "twist, pop [a cork]"), but it seems to have arrived in German via Romani (cf. Sinte kerčema pub, inn, hostel). The pejoration is typical of Rotwelsch (i.e. words that are neutral in their source languages generally end up taking on a deprecatory sense in cant).
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby linguoboy » 2017-07-24, 21:56

I'd always assumed that the Catalan word call meaning "Jewish corner" was just a specialisation of the homophone call "passageway" (cf. Spanish calle "street"). But according to the GREC dictionary, it's actually from Hebrew קהל "community". I'll have to see what Coromines says about how the final consonant became palatalised.
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-07-25, 3:05

I've mentioned before that the damn in give a damn comes from the Hindi word [d̪am]. What I didn't mention is that that comes from Sanskrit dramma, which was borrowed from Middle Persian draxm, which in turn was borrowed as a result of Alexander the Great's invasions from Greek δραχμή. So, a drachma.

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby mōdgethanc » 2017-07-25, 3:31

vijayjohn wrote:I've mentioned before that the damn in give a damn comes from the Hindi word [d̪am]. What I didn't mention is that that comes from Sanskrit dramma, which was borrowed from Middle Persian draxm, which in turn was borrowed as a result of Alexander the Great's invasions from Greek δραχμή. So, a drachma.
Where did you hear this? I really want it to be true because it's way more interesting than the alternative, but elaborate fancy etymologies like this based on some famous king or some shit seem to almost always be made up.

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-07-25, 3:58

mōdgethanc wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:I've mentioned before that the damn in give a damn comes from the Hindi word [d̪am]. What I didn't mention is that that comes from Sanskrit dramma, which was borrowed from Middle Persian draxm, which in turn was borrowed as a result of Alexander the Great's invasions from Greek δραχμή. So, a drachma.
Where did you hear this?

It's a pretty widely acknowledged etymology, actually. I specifically used Turner's Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages, but it's also here, where they list two more sources that you can see for yourself directly from that page (at the beginning of the first reference and the end of the second).

Or if you mean the part about damn in that particular expression being folk-etymologized Hindi, that's from Hobson-Jobson. :)
I really want it to be true because it's way more interesting than the alternative, but elaborate fancy etymologies like this based on some famous king or some shit seem to almost always be made up.

It's not really as far-fetched as it might seem, though. The Greeks had a presence in South Asia for a pretty long time. One of Ashoka's Edicts in Afghanistan has a Greek inscription, and another one (in Kandahar) is in Greek and Aramaic. There are occasional references to Greeks in (ancient) Sanskrit literature, too.

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby linguoboy » 2017-07-25, 16:30

I think modge was only the questioning the very last part of the etymology, namely the use of the name of an obsolete Indian coin in a common English expression. We know all about the interchange between Greece and India over the Silk Road.

Here's another Catalan folk etymology: donzell "wormwood; absinthe". I naturally assumed a derivation from VL *domnicillus (cf. donzella "maiden"), since it's not terribly unusual for plant names to be derived from noble titles. But again the GREC dictionary derives this ultimately from Latin absinthium via an earlier form onzell which purportedly appeared in the phrase herba d'onzell. Alcover and Moll are sceptical of this explanation, suggesting an alternative derivation from *carduncellu(m), a diminutive of carduus "thistle". (Apparently there are some Istrian forms which make this more plausible.)

Either way, a case of convergence rather than transference.
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הענט

Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby הענט » 2017-08-10, 14:38

linguoboy wrote:(de) Kaschemme "gin palace, shebeen, dive [bar]"

Ultimately from a Slavic source (Proto-Slavic *kъrčьma "tavern" from *kъrčiti "twist, pop [a cork]"), but it seems to have arrived in German via Romani (cf. Sinte kerčema pub, inn, hostel). The pejoration is typical of Rotwelsch (i.e. words that are neutral in their source languages generally end up taking on a deprecatory sense in cant).


Krčma would be perfectly understood here. It also reminds me of the word pajzl. In Austria it's a type of pub, but in Czech it's a derogative term for the low level pubs.

Hebrew -) Yiddish -) German -) Czech
בית -) bajis -) Beisel -) pajzl

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-08-23, 4:24

Dr. House wrote:
linguoboy wrote:(de) Kaschemme "gin palace, shebeen, dive [bar]"

Ultimately from a Slavic source (Proto-Slavic *kъrčьma "tavern" from *kъrčiti "twist, pop [a cork]"), but it seems to have arrived in German via Romani (cf. Sinte kerčema pub, inn, hostel). The pejoration is typical of Rotwelsch (i.e. words that are neutral in their source languages generally end up taking on a deprecatory sense in cant).


Krčma would be perfectly understood here.

In Angloromani, 'pub' is kitchima.

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Luís » 2017-08-23, 17:42

(fr) dinde (turkey) is lit. "from-India". Originally it was coq d'Inde (Indian cock, I guess :para: ), with Inde actually referring to the West Indies. But yeah, no-one interprets it that way anymore and you can happily add suffixes to it. A male turkey is a (fr) dindon, for instance.
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-08-23, 18:13

Well, in Arabic, it can be an Indian cock, a Byzantine cock, or an Ethiopian cock, and in some Central Asian languages, the word for 'turkey' comes from an earlier word for a blackcock. :P Humans who aren't from the Americas at least seem to have grappled quite a bit with what to call a turkey.

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Luís » 2017-08-23, 18:26

I wonder how we got (pt) peru in Portuguese (coincidentally also the name of a country). I've checked a few dictionaries and apparently no-one really seems to know for sure.
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-08-23, 18:40

I thought that was because "Peru" was used as a proxy for all of the Spanish settlements in the Americas and turkeys arrived in Portugal via the Spanish.

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Dormouse559 » 2017-08-23, 19:06

Luís wrote:(fr) dinde (turkey) is lit. "from-India". Originally it was coq d'Inde (Indian cock, I guess :para: ), with Inde actually referring to the West Indies. But yeah, no-one interprets it that way anymore and you can happily add suffixes to it. A male turkey is a (fr) dindon, for instance.
I think you could argue the modern dinde is actually abbreviated from poule d'Inde (Indian hen) because the word is exclusively feminine nowadays.
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Homine.Sardu » 2017-10-16, 12:23

Dormouse559 wrote:
Luís wrote:(fr) dinde (turkey) is lit. "from-India". Originally it was coq d'Inde (Indian cock, I guess :para: ), with Inde actually referring to the West Indies. But yeah, no-one interprets it that way anymore and you can happily add suffixes to it. A male turkey is a (fr) dindon, for instance.
I think you could argue the modern dinde is actually abbreviated from poule d'Inde (Indian hen) because the word is exclusively feminine nowadays.


The same thing happens in Sardinian language :

(sc) Dindu = male turkey


It's the shortened version of "Puddu d'India" = Chicken / Cock of India --> masculinized in "Dindu"

While the female specimen is simply named "Sa femina de su Dindu" = The female of the turkey

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Karavinka » 2017-10-26, 6:12

Ulsan (蔚山/울산) is a city in southeastern Korea.

Dictionaries give 蔚 two readings, wi and ul, although all but the place name uses wi as the reading.
The Sino-Japanese reading is either urusan or isan, uru also being used exclusively for this city.
Even Mandarin is there, wei4 for most situations but yu4 for the city. Chinese Wikipedia even has pinyin as ruby.

From what I have found, the city was first documented as 于尸山(u-si-san) in Samguk Sagi. The chances are that 尸 is an Idu spelling of the phoneme -l, suggesting the name was already read as Ulsan. I believe 蔚 was given the reading ul, and ul is unlikely to be a Sino-Korean but a native Korean reading...

...if so, it might make one of the very few surviving kunyomi-style reading in Korean.

In fact, despite what the dictionary says, I can't use Korean IME to go from wi to 蔚; I have to type ul to get there. While the character is common enough in Mandarin (like in 蔚蓝wei4lan2), it's extremely rare in Korean that *in my guess* its onyomi fell out of use, only with kunyomi surviving as a place name.


Other than this, the only other "unique reading only used for certain names" in Korean that I can think on top of my head is: 契丹. Reading from Hanja, the name should be 계단gye-dan, but it's always read as 거란geo-ran or
much less commonly, 글단geul-dan. The name means "Khitans," a nomadic tribe.
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby linguoboy » 2017-10-26, 14:36

Karavinka wrote:From what I have found, the city was first documented as 于尸山(u-si-san) in Samguk Sagi. The chances are that 尸 is an Idu spelling of the phoneme -l, suggesting the name was already read as Ulsan. I believe 蔚 was given the reading ul, and ul is unlikely to be a Sino-Korean but a native Korean reading...

...if so, it might make one of the very few surviving kunyomi-style reading in Korean.

So is the idea that the morpheme represented by /ul(i)/ referred to some local plant?
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Karavinka » 2017-10-26, 21:24

linguoboy wrote:
Karavinka wrote:From what I have found, the city was first documented as 于尸山(u-si-san) in Samguk Sagi. The chances are that 尸 is an Idu spelling of the phoneme -l, suggesting the name was already read as Ulsan. I believe 蔚 was given the reading ul, and ul is unlikely to be a Sino-Korean but a native Korean reading...

...if so, it might make one of the very few surviving kunyomi-style reading in Korean.

So is the idea that the morpheme represented by /ul(i)/ referred to some local plant?


As for the original meaning? ...who knows.
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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby OldBoring » 2017-10-26, 22:39

Italian bistecca and French biftec come from beef steak. Even though modern English just says "steak". No idea how bisteca came to mean pork chop in Portuguese. Even Portuguese bife comes from beef.
Brits popularised beef, particularly steak, in Europe. But how come nowadays Britain isn't famous for steaks?

Italian stoccafisso comes from English stockfish. Again, how come... since Britain isn't famous for stockfish either...

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Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-26, 23:02

OldBoring wrote:No idea how bisteca came to mean pork chop in Portuguese.

It did?
Brits popularised beef, particularly steak, in Europe. But how come nowadays Britain isn't famous for steaks?

Because American ones are bigger and impressed the pants off the Brits two hundred years ago.
Italian stoccafisso comes from English stockfish. Again, how come... since Britain isn't famous for stockfish either...

Because everyone who speaks an Indo-European language in Europe calls it the same thing?


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