ILuvEire wrote:I'm not sure if this is really OE discussion, but, what the hell.
Why does English have words like "dog" "black" or "bird"? German uses Hund, Schwarz and Vogel (sp?) and Italian uses cane, nero and uccello (which I assume are similar to Latin, in any case they are nothing like English's words). Even Welsh uses ci, du and aderyn.
So where did they come from?
"Dog" originally referred to a specific breed (which breed is a complete mystery, supposedly, it's one of the biggest mysteries in English etymology).
"Vogel" is cognate with "fowl". "Bird" meant a young bird in Old English.
"Schwarz" is cognate with "swarthy". The etymology of "black" is odd:
From Middle English blak, from Old English blæc. Cognates include blaze', bleach, blond, bald, bale, pale, Latin flagare, to shine, Latin blancus, white, Gothic bala, paleness, German erbleichen, bleich, go -, turn pale, German bleichen, bleach and Russian белый, white.
Black is white?