Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Daily Hump: Ramparts

Are you happy? I'm finally humping ramparts!

Seriously, I love ramparts and I look forward to this humptastic challenge. But first, before we start, I went to check out the complete lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner" which is the only song I can think of that ever used the word ramparts. So, I go to Wikipedia and here's what I find:

(I've taken a screenshot in case some killjoy has gone ahead and changed the entry. You've got to love Wiki technology.)

Anyway, rampart is from the Old French verb remparer meaning "to fortify". English had a similar verb, now considered archaic, rampire, meaning "to strengthen". Thus, one could conceivably rampire the vampire with ramparts. Incidentally, vampire has nothing to do with rampire. Vampire is said to be from the Kazan Tartar word ubyr, "witch."

But I digress: remparer is from re + emparer, re obviously meaning "again" and emparer meaning "to fortify or take possession of". This verb, in turn, can be traced back through Old Provençal to the Vulgar Latin anteparare meaning "to make preparations beforehand" (ante + parare). The Latin parare is where we get our verb prepare, obvi.

rampart [OED]
rampire [OED]
rampart [Online Etymology Dictionary]
mutton recipes [About]
vampire [Online Etymology Dictionary]

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:: posted by David, 8:15 AM


Baaaa! Does this have anything to do with "rampant"?
Blogger Loocite, at 9:21 AM  

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