Friday, March 30, 2007

The Daily Hump: Amaranth

Amaranth Advisors was an American hedge fund that imploded a few months back by betting that 2006 would be the year of another Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately for their investors, this didn't happen and they proceeded to lose $6.5 BILLION (see DealBreaker for more info).

Amaranth is a genus of annuals (also know by the romantic name pigweed) which consists of clusters of red flowers. In Greek mythology it was the flower that never faded (irony alert) and generally typified immortality in everything from Aesop's Fables to Milton's Paradise Lost. The flower/weed was sacred to the cult of Artemis, goddess of the hunt, which is funny because the surname of the trader who ultimately sank the Amaranth hedge fund was Hunter. Go figure.

In Greek amaranth literally means "everlasting", a- being the common prefix meaning "not" and marainein meaning "to wither". The ending -th was undoubtedly influenced by Greek flower names which generally end in -anthos, "flower".

amaranth [AHD]
amaranth [Online Etymology Dictionary]
amaranth [OED]
amaranth [Wikipedia]

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:: posted by David, 8:23 AM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Daily Hump: Cauldron

So, yesterday I scored tickets to the May 2 Bjork concert at Radio City. I'm totally psyched a) because it's Bjork, b) because I got amazing seats and c) Radio City is supposedly a great venue. Although I've been living in NYC for about 8 years not once in that time have I been to Radio City. In fact, even though I grew up on the geographically propinquant Long Island I've only been to Radio City once in my entire life and that was in 1985 to see Disney's The Black Cauldron.

The word cauldron is from the Latin calidus meaning "warm, hot" and from this root we also get the term caldera which refers to the cavity on the summit of a volcano.

The Black Cauldron was based on Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles which themselves are said to be loosely based on the collection of medieval Welsh prose stories known as the Mabinogion. Professor Eric Hamp has suggested that mabinogi derives from the name of the Celtic god Maponos who was equated with Apollo in Roman times; this is a shame because this hump would have been far more interesting if everything circulated back to Vulcan, the Roman volcano god. Some humps just don't work out.

The Black Cauldron [IMDB]
caldera [Online Etymology Dictionary]
Maponos [Wikipedia]
Mabinogion [Wikipedia]

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:: posted by David, 8:21 AM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Daily Hump: Words of a Feather

The English word petition originally had a chiefly religious sense, meaning a supplication or prayer. The word comes from the Latin verb petere "to require, seek, go forward, to aim at" and ultimately we can trace its origin to the Proto-Indo-European base *pet-/*pte-, "to rush, to fly". From this base we've gotten words like pterodactyl, the Old English feðer (feather) and fearn (fern--for its feather-like fronds), and the Latin penna, meaning "feather, wing" which survives in modern ornithology to mean the contour feather of a bird (as opposed to a down feather or plume). From the Italian plural of penna we get penne, as in the pasta, whose diagonally cut ends likely reminded people of writing utensils, pens, whose name also comes from penna because pens were made from quills, the main shafts of feathers.

petition [Online Etymology Dictionary]
pen [Online Etymology Dictionary]
fern [Online Etymology Dictionary]
penne [AHD]

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:: posted by David, 8:03 AM | link | 3 comments |

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Looks like I've got some competition...

The Wall Street Journal gets into the wordhumping business with this front page (!) article on bucket.
"Bucket" is pushing aside other business-speak such as silo and basket as the favorite term for describing categories or organizational units.
Check out the image on the right--they even used one of those classic WSJ sketches. Dow Jones, don't bogart the crazy pills! All of this reminds me of that Wayne's World sketch with Bruce Willis from back in the day:
Wayne:...Well, if you don't mean my being so bold, Rick, are you ready to unveil the new cool word for the school year? [ to camera ] I should explain something, alright? Last year, Rick's new cool word was "pail", or "bucket".. as in, "So what did you think of the new substitute teacher?" "I think he's 'pail', he's 'bucket'!" And, Rick? Rick, this year the new cool word is..? Go, Garth, go!

[ Garth pounds on the couch as though it were a drum ]

Rick: The word is.. [ thinking ] ..Sphincter.
Business Types Get a New Kick Out of the 'Bucket' [] (login required)
SNL: Bruce Willis 09/30/89 [Saturday Night Live Transcripts]
:: posted by David, 10:35 AM | link | 1 comments |

The Daily Hump: Chortle

Yesterday, my friend CH and I were reminiscing of when we used to work together and our boss at the time, a very petite woman, put on an inordinate amount of weight--so much so that her laugh (but not her voice) went from a sort of cackle to a full-on chortle.

Chortle has two interesting qualities; first, it's one of those rare words whose origin can be traced back to a single person, in this case, Lewis Carroll. Second, the word is a portmanteau, which is itself another Carroll creation meaning, as Humpty Dumpty describes in Through the Looking Glass, "two meanings packed up into one word." In the case of chortle the combined meanings are chuckle and snort:
'And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.
But when I imagine chortling it's not Jabberwocky I think of, but rather another monster whose name begins with Jabb-. No, not this one. This one..

chortle [Online Etymology Dictionary]
chortle [AHD]
Jabberwocky [Wikipedia]


:: posted by David, 8:01 AM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Daily Hump: Burgle

I was watching the highly underrated 1966 spy flick Funeral in Berlin last night. Harry Palmer, played by Michael Caine, and Israeli secret agent Samantha Steel enter her apartment to find that it's been ransacked*. Harry's exact words are "You've been burgled."

Burgled is a back-formation of burglar; etymologically speaking a back-formation is created when you remove all the bits and pieces (affixes) of an earlier word to derive, falsely, an "orginal" form. Burglar was from Medieval Latin via Old French. The Latin verb burgare, meaning "to break open, commit burglary" comes from the Latin burgus meaning "fortress, castle" (which is a Germanic loan-word similar akin to borough, bourgeois, etc...). While burglar appeared in English (via Middle English) as early as the 1540s burgled didn't show up until the late 19th c.

*Ransacked is from the Old Norse rannsaka, meaning "to pillage" and literally comes from "to search the house". The second element saka, "to search", is related to the Old Norse soekja, which is the root of our word seek.

burglar [Online Etymology Dictionary]
ransack [Online Etymology Dictionary]
burgle [OED]
back-formation [Wikipedia]
Funeral in Berlin [IMDB]

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:: posted by David, 8:54 AM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Daily Hump: Zorro

When I was 5 years old my father brought home a Commodore 64 for my sister and me. Over time we accumulated hundreds of pirated games, one of them being the 1985 Datasoft classic Zorro. Of course, the Commodore was dead by about 1988 and Zorro, like all my other games, faded into memory...or did it? See, for some reason the Zorro theme still haunts me. Twenty years after last playing the game I can still hum the music. So, in some way, today's hump is my chance to excise the Zorro demon for good.

Zorro is the masculine form of the Spanish zorra "fox". It first made its appearance in English in 1838, but it wasn't until 1919 that Johnston McCulley created the Robin Hood-like character who went on to disrobe Catherine Zeta Jones to her skivvies in the 1998 movie The Mask of Zorro. Interestingly, Cathy Z appeared in 2001's America's Sweethearts with Hank Azaria, azaria being the original Basque root of zarra.

A question to the audience: Does anyone know if Hank Azaria voices the character of Zorro in "The Poke of Zorro" from The Simpsons episode "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)" (season 11, episode 5)? I haven't seen the show in awhile so I forget, but if there's any karmic balance of etymology in the universe then I know the answer is yes.

I can still hum that damn song.

zorro [Online Etymology Dictionary]
Zorro [Wikipedia]
Zorro [Lemon 64]
E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt) [The Simpsons Archive]

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:: posted by David, 8:03 AM | link | 1 comments |

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Daily Hump: The Gnomic Gnome

I just discovered that gnomic, an adjective meaning "marked by aphorisms or maxims", has no relation to the small race of men who live underground and are known for their pointy hats. Gnomic shares a root with gnostic, the Greek gignoskein, which means "to learn, to come to know" (the Proto-Indo-European base of "to know" is *gno-, the g becoming a k in Proto-Germanic, hence our word know).

Gnome, which was used in a 16th c. treatise by Paracelsus to mean "elemental earth beings", is from the Latin gnomus. This may come from the Greek *genomos "earth-dweller." The garden-variety gnome started appearing in English gardens around the mid 19th c. when they were imported from Germany.

For a great gnome resource check out Gnome and Garden.*

*Obligatory disclosure: I date the author's sister.

gnome [Online Etymology Dictionary]
gnomic [Online Etymology Dictionary]
gnomic [AHD]
gnome [Wikipedia]
gnosticism [Wikipedia]

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:: posted by David, 8:01 AM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Daily Hump: Goo

I always assumed goo had some sort of onomatopoeic quality. Goo! But, in fact, it seems to be short for burgoo which is a thick stew (originally porridge) native to both New England and, oddly, Kentucky and southern Illinois. It's believe that burgoo is an alteration of ragout, also a stew, which is from the French ragoûter "to revive the taste". Goût is from the Latin gustus "taste", which gives us words such as gusto and disgust.

Gustus is from the Proto-Indo-European base *geus-. Interestingly, although this formed the root for "taste" in Greek and Latin in Germanic and Celtic words the root mostly took on the meaning "try" or "choose". Thus we find the Proto-Germanic *keusan leading to the Old Norse kjosa "to choose" and the word kyrja "chooser". Hence, in Norse mythology, the Valkyries are literally "choosers of the slain (valr, as in Valhalla)".

goo [Online Etymology Dictionary]
ragout [Online Etymology Dictionary]
Valkyrie [Online Etymology Dictionary]
burgoo [AHD]
ragout [AHD]

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:: posted by David, 8:03 AM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Daily Hump: A Warm Beltane

Continuing with yesterday's theme (I'm still thinking about the creepy goodness of The Wicker Man), today I'm looking at the holiday being celebrated by the Summerisle residents, Beltane. Beltane is Lowland Scot coming from the Gaelic bealltainn, corresponding to our May 1, which marked the start of summer in the Celtic calendar.

The related Old Irish beltene is from belo-te(p)niâ
where the first element belo- is a cognate with the English word bale (as in bale-fire), the Anglo-Saxon bael, and also the Lithuanian baltas, meaning 'white' or 'shining' and from which the Baltic Sea takes its name.
The second element may be from the Old Irish ten "fire" (thus Beltene would be "bright fire"). This element is from Proto-Indo-European *tepnos, which is related to Latin tepidus "warm".

Beltane [OED]
Beltane [Wikipedia]
Beltane [Online Etymology Dictionary]

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:: posted by David, 8:03 AM | link | 2 comments |

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cave Bond

:: posted by David, 10:12 PM | link | 0 comments |

The Daily Hump: Dinghy

This weekend I watched The Wicker Man...the original, extended version, not the supposedly crap-assed Nicolas Cage debacle. Sergeant Howie flies a seaplane to Summerisle and then is rowed ashore via a dinghy. That got me thinking about dinghy, it's a funny word.

Dinghy is from the Hindi dingi (the h in the English spelling is to indicate a hard g), meaning "small boat" and is perhaps related to the Sanskrit drona-m, "wooden trough", which is related to dru-s, "wood, tree". My guess is that dru-s must be related to the Indo-European root derew(o)-, also meaning "tree, wood". From this root we get the Greek drus "oak" and dryas "wood nymph", which is of course the root of our word dryad.

The Wicker Man [Amazon]
dinghy [Online Etymology Dictionary]
dryad [Online Etymology Dictionary]
dinghy [OED]
dryad [Wikipedia]

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:: posted by David, 8:19 AM | link | 1 comments |

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Daily Hump: Schooner

I just booked a trip for the last week of May when I'll be heading down to Bequia, the largest island in the Grenadine chain. While there I've reserved space on The Friendship Rose, a large schooner which makes regular daytrips to the Tobago Cays. Schooner is an odd word--no one is really sure where it came from. Supposedly the style was originated in a Gloucester, MA shipyard in the early 18th c. and it's thought that schooner may come from a since-forgotten New England verb similar to the Scottish scon, meaning "to send over water, to skip stones." Per the OED,
When the first schooner was being launched, a bystander exclaimed ‘Oh, how she scoons!’ The builder, Capt. Andrew Robinson, replied, ‘A scooner let her be!’ and the word at once came into use as the name of the new type of vessel. The anecdote, first recorded, on the authority of tradition, in a letter of 1790 (quoted in Babson Hist. Gloucester, p. 252), looks like an invention.
schooner [Online Etymology Dictionary]
schooner [OED]

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:: posted by David, 8:03 AM | link | 2 comments |

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Daily Hump: Sooth

The ides of March, a date that will live in infamy (at least for members of the gens Julia). For it's on this day that Gaius Julius Caesar, from the Caesarian section of Rome, was slain by a gaggle of senators which included among them supposed bff Brutus. Of course, Caesar got a pretty good heads up from one Titus Vestricius Spurinna whose name may not be well known but job title surely is: soothsayer. Alas, Titus's warnings were not heeded and the world took receipt of one very dead emperor 2,051 years ago today.

Sooth comes from the Old English soð meaning "truth". Soð is the noun form of the adjective soþ, "true", which was originally *sonþ- and from the Proto-Germanic *santhaz (not to be confused with the Proto-Germanic sexual practice known as dirty *santhaz), a cognate with Old English synn "sin" and Latin sontis "guilty". Ultimately, we go back to the Proto-Indo-European *es-ont meaning "being, existence". This also is the root of today's s-forms of the verb "to be" such as the Latin sunt, German sind and French sont.

Sooth is also a linguistic cousin of soothe, which came from the Old English soðian "show to be true". How this came to mean "to quiet, mollify" beats me. Any ideas?

sooth [Online Etymology Dictionary]
soothe [Online Etymology Dictionary]
Ides of March [Wikipedia]
Julius Caesar [Wikipedia]
Titus Vestricius Spurinna [Wikipedia]

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:: posted by David, 9:00 AM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

ILfDT: Tocharian Languages

I Live for Dead Tongues: Tocharian Languages - the easternmost Indo-European language group

Language family: Indo-European

Where it was spoken: Tarim basin in what is now Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, northwestern People's Republic of China.

There is evidence both from the mummies and Chinese writings that many [Tocharians] had blonde or red hair and blue eyes, characteristics also found in present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Central Asia, due to the populations' high genetic diversity. This suggests the possibility that they were part of an early migration of speakers of Indo-European languages that ended in what is now the Tarim Basin in western China.
What did it in: Assimilated by Uyghur Turks in the 9th century

Living linguistic relatives: None

Tocharians [Wikipedia]

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:: posted by David, 8:03 AM | link | 2 comments |

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Daily Hump: Jaded

I began today pondering whether jade, the gemstone, has any relation to the sensation of being jaded caused from over-indulgence. As I discovered the words are not only unrelated but one exists purely because of French gender confusion.

In the 17th c., when the gemstone was still rather unfamiliar, the feminine l'ejade became the masculine le jade via a simple error and hence our modern word jade is not ejade. L'ejade comes from the Spanish piedra de (la) ijada (stone of colic) because of the gem's supposed ability to cure this ailment. Ijada goes back to the Latin ilia meaning flanks or kidney areas (see ilium, one of the pelvic bones).

The blah kind of jade is a figurative sense coming from a noun meaning "a beaten down horse". This may be related to the Old Norse jalda, meaning "mare", which is itself from Finno-Ugric. The OED says there's no evidence to support any of this but it's as good a guess as any.

jade [Online Etymology Dictionary]
jade [OED]

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:: posted by David, 8:01 AM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, March 12, 2007

TWiEL: Ket

This Week in Endangered Languages: Ket (formerly known as Yenisei Ostyak)
Language family: Paleosiberian, Yeniseian
Where you'll hear it:
Mostly to the east of the middle reaches of the Yenisei River

The origins:
Attempts have been made by Soviet scholars to establish a relationship with either Burushaski or the Sino-Tibetan languages, and it frequently forms part of the Dene-Caucasian hypothesis. However, genetic research rather points to possible relationship with the Amerind languages of American Indians...
And today:
The language is threatened with extinction—the number of ethnic Kets that are native speakers of the language has dropped from 1,225 in 1926 to 537 in 1989. Another Yeniseian language, Yugh, is believed to have recently gone extinct.
The Ket Language [Endangered Languages of Siberia]

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:: posted by David, 8:01 AM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Daily Hump: Varnish

When not huffing varnish I'm humping it. Varnish comes from an Old French word of the same meaning, vernis. In Medieval Latin vernix meant an "odorous resin" and this is likely from the late Greek verenike, which is from the Macedonian Greek Berenike (literally "bringer of victory"). Berenike was an ancient city in Libya (now known as Benghazi) named for Berenike II, queen of Egypt, who lived during the 3rd c. CE and was murdered by her son Ptolemy IV. The story goes that Berenike (the city) was one of the first to experiment with the wide usage of varnishes.

varnish [Online Etymology Dictionary]
Berenice [Online Etymology Dictionary]
Berenice II [Wikipedia]
Benghazi [Wikipedia]

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:: posted by David, 8:03 AM | link | 1 comments |

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Daily Hump: Z

I was talking to my gf the other day about British versus American spellings, particularly with regards to the American's much more abundant use of the letter Z. Rather quickly, the subject turned away from spelling to the pronunciation of the letter itself: zee versus zed. It seems natural to me that we'd call Z zee, afterall we call B bee, D dee, G jee, K kay, etc...basically you don't need more than two consonants to spell any letters in our alphabet minus the wily W. But much to my surprise we Americans are all alone because the British (including everyone, excluding the Americans, who were once under the empire's yoke) and the French are all zedophiles.

Z was not native to Old English. English inherited the letter from the Anglo-Normans and Z ultimately harkens back to the Greek zeta, which itself goes back to the Hebrew zayin. It's easy to understand the relationship between zed and zeta and it wasn't until the end of the 17th c. that people started hearing zee. However, as Randomhouse's Maven notes, it could be that we Americans have one man to thank for our pronunciation
...Noah Webster--lexicographer, spelling reformer, and advocate for a unique, distinctive American English--must have exerted considerable influence. The pronunciation of Z in his great two-volume American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) was unequivocal: "Z . . . It is pronounced zee."
Interestingly, other dialectal names for the letter exist beyond zee and zed: izzard, ezod, uzzard (all from the mid-18th c. and likely derived from the French et zède) and zod.

zed [Online Etymology Dictionary]
Z [Online Etymology Dictionary]
Z [Wikipedia]

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:: posted by David, 8:03 AM | link | 3 comments |

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

ILfDT: Martha's Vineyard Sign Language

I Live for Dead Tongues: Martha's Vineyard Sign Language
A number of families from a puritan community in the Kentish Weald emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony area of the United States in the early 17th century, many of their descendents later settling on Martha's Vineyard. The first deaf person known to have settled there was a carpenter and farmer Jonathan Lambert, who moved there with his hearing wife in 1694. By 1710, the migration had virtually ceased, and the endogamous community that was created contained a high incidence of hereditary deafness that would persist for over 200 years.
Language family: developed from Old Kent Sign Language, influenced by French Sign Language
Where it was spoken: Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

When did it die: with the death of Katie West (1952)
What did it in: "As the 20th century came to a turn, the previously isolated community of fishers and farmers began to see the influx of tourists that would become a mainstay in the island economy. The jobs in tourism were not as deaf-friendly as fishing and farming had been. Further, as intermarriage and further migration further joined the people of Martha's Vineyard to the mainland, the island community more and more resembled the wider community there."

Living linguistic relatives: "Martha's Vineyard Sign Language is...notable for the role it played in the development of American Sign Language."

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:: posted by David, 8:01 AM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Daily Hump: Falafel

I love chickpeas. I love hummus. I love falafel. Falafel comes from the Arabic falāfil, which is the plural of filfil, meaning "pepper". It's likely that this word is related to the Sanskrit pippalī (long pepper), which comes from the Sanskrit pippalam, and referred to the pipal, a fig tree native to India. Incidentally, this is the same species of tree Siddhartha Gautama was sitting underneath when he became enlightened. That's one spicy Buddha.

Our word pepper is from this same root via the Old English pipor, Latin piper and Greek peperi.

pepper [AHD]
falafel [AHD]
pipal [AHD]
pepper [Online Etymology Dictionary]
sacred fig [Wikipedia]

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:: posted by David, 8:01 AM | link | 1 comments |

Monday, March 05, 2007

TWiEL: Texas German

This Week in Endangered Languages: Texas German
Language family: Indo-European, Germanic, West Germanic, High German, German (dialect)
Writing system: Latin alphabet

Where you'll hear it: Texas Hill Country

The origins: "Texas German is a dialect of the German language that is spoken by descendants of German immigrants who settled in the Texas Hill Country region in the mid-19th century. These immigrants founded the towns of New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, Boerne, Sisterdale, Schulenburg, Weimar, and Comfort. German immigrants began arriving over a period of two years, quickly raising the population of the town to over 1,000."

The beginning of the end: "Most German Texans continued to speak German in their homes and communities, but were required to learn English when Texas education rules mandated English-only instruction during and after World War I. Due to the growth of these communities and cultural bias during World War I and World War II, Texas German speakers drifted towards English, and few passed the language to their descendants. The dialect is near extinction, as it is now only spoken by a few elderly people."

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:: posted by David, 8:17 AM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Hump This: Squirrel

Hump This is a (quasi-)weekly Friday feature where you, the WordHumper reader, choose which lucky word gets humped back to the stoneage (or at least to Proto-Indo-Europa). Today's request comes from RM in California who writes:
Dear Wordhumper,

Like so many in my close knit family, I have an affinity for rodents and in particular, squirrels. Once, I saw a show on some cable channel I no longer get that said the word 'squirrel' comes from a greek word meaning something along the lines of, 'covers head with his tail for shade'. I could be totally wrong because this was awhile ago. So, where does the word 'squirrel' come from?
RM, thanks for the question--our word squirrel comes to us via the Anglo-Norman esquirel circa 1327. Is it a coincidence that the word appears a mere twenty years before the black death ravaged Europe and just one decade before the launch of the Hundred Years' War? I don't think so. That being said, the squirrel made it into Old French (escurel) via the Latin sciurus, which came from the Greek skiouros, literally meaning "shadow-tailed." The notion is squirrels have large bushy tails which allow them to easily shade themselves. Fascinating.

If you have a word you'd like humped please email it along with your city or state to To paraphrase Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, the ladies sweat my Wordhump style like the squirrels sweat the nuts.

squirrel [Online Etymology Dictionary]

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:: posted by David, 12:57 PM | link | 1 comments |

The Daily Hump: If The Brogue Fits...

Ah, the storied brogue, that singsong lullaby of the Irish, brogue being another name for the strong dialectal accent common to Irish and Scottish speakers of English. Before we begin, let's look at one of OED's alternate definitions for brogue:
A rude kind of shoe, generally made of untanned hide, worn by the inhabitants of the wilder parts of Ireland and the Scotch Highlands.
This is important because brogue in the dialectal sense probably originated from "speech of those who call a shoe a brogue." Or, if you believe Wikipedia,
The term has been said to have been coined by an Englishman who met an Irishman whose accent was so thick that he spoke "as though he had a shoe in his mouth".
Of course, English has other examples of words that were influenced by footwear: ciabatta (from Italian) and sabotage (from French) being the two most obvious. However, shoes are not always the namesake; in the case of clodhopper (clod being from Old English via Proto-Germanic and Proto-Indo-European base *gel- "to make round") the word originally referred to a plowman (literally "one who goes around fields") but then later it became the heavy shoes worn by such an unsophisticated rustic. Likewise plimsolls are so named because the band around the shoe that holds the two parts together reminded people of the mark on the hull of a ship that shows how heavy it can be loaded (the Plimsoll line--Samuel Plimsoll was a 19th c. M.P. keen on shipping reforms).

brogue [Online Etymology Dictionary]
ciabatta [OED]
sabotage [OED]
clodhopper [OED]
clod [Online Etymology Dictionary]
brogue [Wikipedia]
clodhopper [AHD]
plimsoll [Online Etymology Dictionary]
Samuel Plimsoll [Wikipedia]

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:: posted by David, 8:01 AM | link | 1 comments |