An old thread but some concepts were not yet explained to depth.
In addition to tarvitama
there is a (dialect?) word pruukima
which means to use/consume occasionally. There is such an idiom like vägijooke pruukima
which is very politely said on an entrance level of alcoholism. Vägi
is the power, the Force (in jedi sense), and even the army (but it's not relevant here). Jook
is the drink. There is some deep word game herein because while alcohol makes you feel powerful, another word from the same root is vägivald
which mean the violence. Müüa pruugitud teler
means the second hand TV-set is on sale. Pruugitud tütarlaps
is actually the (colloq.) opposite to the virgin. Tütar
means and probably is derived from root daughter, laps
is the child and tütar+laps
is the girl or young lady.
What Ada H said, seems to be right. See a dialect citation from http://haldjas.folklore.ee/~aado/maailm/norkuu.htm
Vahtsõ kuugõ vaja vili kül'vä, mis maa pääl kasus.
It basically proves that in dialects, kasvama
(to grow) was kasuma
. While it is not exluded kasv
(growth) and kasu
(use/fulness/) are from the same origin, there are other explanations below.
Once upon a time when nobelmen lived at manors and simple people lived at "farms" (I see no better match for talu
(grange? homestead?).... Actually it was a lifestyle when farmer had 8-10 children in family. This way, every pair of hands was extremely valuable. In certain cases, additional childs were adopted with the purpose of having yet more working hands at the farm. Because these children worked mainly for food and living and the father of the family had no obligations regarding the dowery, these children were USEFUL economically. Hence the word kasulaps
- use(ful) + child. This concept probably was popular in 1700-1900. Seems weird but do not forget what happened in USA these times... who did all the dirtywork. In Estonia peasants had 90% literacy level already in 18xx, including these useful childs
Then, when you lived together with these useful childs, it was quite normal to refer them as useful+brothers and useful+sisters. Well, maybe not directly like kasulaps, tule siia!
- come here, useful child - but indirectly like Mul on üks kasuvend ja kaks kasuõde
- I have 1 useful bothers and 2 useful sisters. Now, to continue with the concept, kasuvanemad, kasuisa ja kasuema
respectively are useful+parents, useful+father and useful+mother for the useful+child - people which helped the child (could it be it lost his own parents?!) with the purpose of own economical use. But, in accordance with what what Ada H said, it could be that kasuma
simply meant - to grow up (in another family).
In parallel, there are more negative words like võõrasisa
- which generally mean stepfather and stepmother respectively, but there are two problems here. First, võõras
means foreign (engl) or Fremd- (German) and is of cleary negative colour. The second problem is, with Estonian võõrasema
it is not required that the father should be genuine. It could be that both father and mother are gone and e.g. the aunt's family is raising the child. Then, very naturally, the aunt is võõrasema
To certain extent, kasuisa, kasuema
are interchangable with võõrasisa, võõrasema
but while the first pair is much more politely said, the latter has a clear negative meaning (at least in fairy-tales võõrasema
is always bad and nasty).
In modern Estonia, where not more than 50% marriages last long, poolvend
is your half+brother i.e. you have one common parent and poolõde
is accordingly your half+sister. However, it is not too polite to stress this halfness to public. If necessary, you could explain the nuances later (about who exactly is the father and mother for each child in the family).
And to fix this concept with a joke - there is a famous Estonian singer Uno Loop
. Please spell his name backwards and you get pool+onu
The adoption in Estonia is usually carried out so that the child will not know it's past. But as the rule (because Estonia is a very small country), at age 16-18 they all get the information from somewhere