Rolling in Etymology

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Bu sizning kanalingizmi? egalikni tasdiqlang Qo‘shimcha imkoniyatlardan foydalanish uchun

Learn what words really mean - and where they came from!
By @nickrobson
Some sources used:
"The Etymologicon" by Mark Forsyth
"Quid Pro Quo" by Peter Jones
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30.05.2017 15:24
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Rolling in Etymology 8 Apr 2018, 06:58
Of the remaining ten months, the first four months – March, April, May, and June – have symbolic names:

March comes from Mars, the god of war (because March was the start of the fighting season).

We don't have a single h*cking clue where April comes from. It's a very symbolic name though, that's for sure. Trust me. I know these things.

May comes from Maius, an ancient deity whom we have since forgotten. Thanks Romans, you're great at writing stuff down. JK, it was probably just something the Arabs and Persians didn't hear about, since they're the ones who really kept the knowledge until the Renaissance when Europe was like "gib culture back."

June comes from Juno, the goddess of marriage and the queen of the gods... and the sister of the king of the gods – I won't go into Roman/Greek mythology, but it suffices to say there's a LOT of incest.

So, then we have the final six months: July, August, September, October, November, and December. Or, as they used to be called, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December. Notice anything?

Damn right, they're just given numbers – quinque, sex, septum, octō, novem, decem. Booooring. I can see why Julius and Augustus Caesar renamed the first two to match their names – July and August. Less numbers, more narcissism.
To‘liq o‘qish
Rolling in Etymology 8 Apr 2018, 06:49
The calendar is a pretty neat thing. For starters, it's named after one of only ten Latin words that start with a K, Kalendarium! That's pretty special. (Even though it can also be spelled with a C...)

The Roman calendar, the basis for the Julian and Gregorian calendars, was only ten months long. Now you're probably thinking one of two things depending on how edgy you are: "God I wish I could have two months less every year," or "Excuse me, a year has twelve months, you dumbass." I'll... uh... explore the second one.

So, originally, the Roman calendar was only a thing during the working year – March to December. I guess that means January and February were single for a h*cking long time – they didn't have dates *badum tssss*

Anyway, I promise I'm getting to the point. But first, here's where we get the names for the two 'forgotten' months from: January is named after Janus, the two-faced Roman god of decisions. Janus symbolically looked in opposite directions, and January signifies looking back on the old year and on to the new year. This is where the Latin word ianua 'door' comes from, since it (kinda) looks both inwards and outwards! February comes from Februa which is the 'month of expiation' (making amends).

(Continued in the next post.)
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Rolling in Etymology 24 Feb 2018, 04:59
dan repost: Hacker News
Words for “yes” in Romance languages
51, fanf2, 6 hours ago, Article, Comments
Rolling in Etymology 24 Feb 2018, 04:59
I promise I'll start posting again at some point, but here's some stuff in the meantime:
Rolling in Etymology 3 Oct 2017, 09:49
Say you have the Latin collis "hill" and the English hill. You can't just go "There both have two Ls and an I, so they must be related!" because that's just stupid. What you can do, however, is realise (and prove in tandem) that many Latin words beginning with C have equivalents in English (and many Germanic languages) starting with H.

So, the English hundred-headed hound with horns is translated into Latin as canis centrum capitum cum cornibus and you can – pretty much – prove your point!

Linguistics background:
This shift is called Grimm's Law, which describes many common consonant shifts that occur in the transition from Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic. It also includes the P -> F shift evident in the Latin paternal pisces becoming English fatherly fish(es).
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Rolling in Etymology 3 Oct 2017, 09:48
Etymological connections across languages can be hard to find, and there are plenty of obstacles along the way. For example, anyone could link Uzbek and English (chop and chop), Mayan and English (hole and hole), Korean and English (mani and many), and Nahuatl and English (huel and well).

However, just thinking about this for the shortest of moments makes it quite obvious that these words are in fact not linked: they are coincidences. Pure chance that the words are the same, because the human mouth and vocal chords (etc.) can only make a certain limited number of sounds. It's pretty much the same way you get one word (or two very similar words) meaning two entirely different things, such as in Swedish: beror "depends" and berör "affects".

Now, to link some words, you can't just go around saying "oh this Latin words looks really similar to this English word so they must be linked" or you get stuff like ordo "order" being linked to word (or in Swedish, ord "word").

You need to prove that there's a pattern.
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Rolling in Etymology 4 Sep 2017, 11:47
In another chat I'm recommending books to people, and a bot there is spam blocking me, so here we go:

Some FICTION book recommendations:

——— Beginner ———
Warriors series (so many books, just get PDFs) — Erin Hunter
Fire Within — Chris D'Lacey (+series)
The Alchemyst — Michael Scott (+series)
Atherton: The House of Power — Patrick Carman
Guardians of Ga'Hoole — Kathryn Lasky

——— Intermediate ———
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy — Douglas Adams
Harry Potter series — JK Rowling
Percy Jackson series — Rick Riordan (and other series by him)
Eragon series — Christopher Paolini
The Hunger Games series — Suzanne Collins
Divergent series — Veronica Roth

——— Advanced ———
The Giver — Lois Lowry (favourite book of all time)
Atlantis Gene — A.G. Riddle (my favourite science fiction book, a bit technical but amazing)
Magician — Raymond Feist (my favourite sci-fi/fantasy book, tied)
Ready Player One — Ernest Cline (my favourite sci-fi/fantasy book, tied)
The Messenger — Markus Zusak (amazing story, left a very lasting impression)
Name of the Wind — Patrick Rothfuss (amazingly well written)
Seven Ancient Wonders (Jack West series) — Matthew Reilly (I literally read all 4 of the books in the series in 4 days, there are more coming and I'm so excited)
Blood Red Snow White — Marcus Sedgewick
(AWESOME story, structured as a fairy tale; my primary school librarian gave it to me and I'm so happy she did)
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas — John Boyne (very sentimental)
The Signal — John Sneeden
All The Light We Cannot See — Anthony Doyle (It won a Pulitzer. It's great.)
The Thought Readers (+series) — Dima Zales
The Boy from Reactor 4 — Orest Stelmach (SO GOOD)
The Fault in our Stars — John Green (so endearing and heart warming, it's LOVELY to read)

——— Classics (Advanced) ———
Frankenstein — Mary Shelley (favourite classic of all time)
Dracula — Bram Stoker (such a good story, and really well told)
The Hobbit / Lord of the Rings trilogy — JRR Tolkien (enthralling)
The Man in the High Castle — Philip K. Dick (really good; awesome TV series too by Amazon)

——— Short Stories (Advanced) ———
Story of Your Life — Ted Chiang (Arrival is based on this, it is FUCKING amazing)
Wool — Hugh Howey (the short story that spurred Howry to write the Silo series; the others aren't as good though)
To‘liq o‘qish
Rolling in Etymology 23 Aug 2017, 08:23
Ok, time for something more bite-sized: the word muscle.

Muscle has a pretty straight-forward origin: it goes back to Middle French muscle, which itself is from Latin mūsculus, meaning... "small mouse". I don't quite get it either.

The funny thing is though, this comparison isn't even exclusive to Latin. The Romans actually calqued it from Greek, thinking it made perfect sense. Russian has мышца myshtsa of the same meaning, Persian has ماهیچه mâhiche "little fish", so on and so forth. For some reason a lot of Indo-European languages seem to enjoy comparing muscles to little animals.
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Rolling in Etymology 22 Aug 2017, 05:41
Hi, new mod here! I’m Luke (most of you already know me), and today we’re talking about something quite romantic, so break out the jazz music and candles. For those of you not familiar with the Swadesh list, it’s basically a list of words that are unlikely enough to be borrowed from language to language to be used as a means to compare whether languages have historical links to each other (this is where you start making out, by the way).

One of the words on this list is “heart”. Switch over to Classical Persian, and we have the word “dil” (Iranian “del”). Let’s be frank, these words don’t look related at all. Maybe one language went through semantic drift and had a formerly unrelated word take on the meaning “heart”? However, they are in fact related to each other, and I’m going to be talking about how they both came to their modern forms from PIE.

First off: for those who didn’t know, Persian is an Indo-European language, and Arabic is a Semitic language. In other words: PERSIAN IS UNRELATED TO ARABIC, and if you believe this you’re lucky I haven’t hunted you down yet.

Now, PIE. The PIE root for “heart” is *ḱerd. Or *ḱr̥d, it’s confusing. Probably the first thing you notice about this word is the k with an accent over it: how the hell is one supposed to pronounce that? The answer is, as is the answer to many questions regarding PIE’s phonology, “we don’t quite know”. By far the most accepted theory is that it’s produced using the soft palate in some fashion, the same area where the sound “y” is produced, and therefore called “palatal”.

In PIE, there were actually 3 kinds of “k” like sounds: palatal *ḱ, plain *k, and labial *kʷ, and these “k”-like sounds are the source of one of IE’s oldest splits, the satem-centum split. In satem languages, named after the Avestan word for “hundred”, satəm, the plain and labial velars merged together while the palatal developed into different sounds. The Indo-Iranian languages, the family containing Persian, Hindi, and many others, are all satem. However in centum languages, including Germanic among others and named after the Latin word “centum” which also means “hundred”, the palatal and plain consonants merged and the labial velars developed separately.

With that background information out of the way, we can go back to *ḱerd. Keeping in mind the satem-centum split, we know that we would have something like *kerd, which still wouldn’t account for the “h” in all modern Germanic languages. That is explained by Grimm’s law, a change in which *p t k became something like “f th x”, while *b d g became “p t k”. Applying Grimm’s law, we eventually get Proto-Germanic *hertōn (according to Leiden’s “Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic”) and subsequently “heart”.

Now it’s time to turn to *ḱr̥d and move our eyes away from continental Europe. Proto-Indo-Iranian regularly turns *ḱ into *ĉ, which would give us PII *čr̥d. This would be true if God didn’t hate us, which he unfortunately seems to. You see, for some goddamn reason *ḱr̥d became *ĵʰr̥ dayam, and that *ĵʰ became Proto-Iranian *ź, which led to multiple different sounds depending on the language. In most Iranian languages it became *z, while in the Southwest Iranian branch, which includes Persian, it became *d instead.

So the “d” in “dil” makes sense, but what about the “l”? One hallmark feature of PII is the merging of *l and *l̥ into *r and *r̥. The lack of any sort of “L” sound led to it being redeveloped in various Indo-Iranian languages; Persian did this by reducing the cluster *rd to “l”. One can see the original *rd cluster (or something closer to it) preserved in other Iranian languages’ words for “heart”, including Balochi “zird” or Pashto “zṛə”. Now *ḱr̥d leading to “dil” doesn’t seem so far-fetched, does it?

So yes, “heart” and “dil” are in fact related, to answer a question that I can’t imagine many people before me have asked. If there’s anything to take out of this, it’s that PERSIAN IS INDO-EUROPEAN AND NOT RELATED TO ARABIC.
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Rolling in Etymology 20 Aug 2017, 17:55
Rolling in Etymology 20 Aug 2017, 17:34
In honour of this channel's most viewed message, I'd like to make a silly joke that makes me laugh every time:

"Try our new gourmet meal: smashed testicle on toast."
Rolling in Etymology 20 Aug 2017, 17:28
The word alcohol comes from the Arabic اَلْكُحُول‏ (al-kuḥūl, for ease "al kuhul"), which sounds ridiculous given the zero-tolerance rule of Islam. However, al kuhul didn't mean the same thing as it does now. It comes from the same root as kohl which is an extract, so al kuhul came to mean pure essence.

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed to find that I couldn't link kohl with the Proto-Germanic *kulą "coal".

Then in 1672, a smart ass decided to find the pure essence of wine. What makes wine cause you to get drunk? What is its al kuhul?

Needless to say, the pure essence of wine was discovered, and it was called wine-alcohol. By 1753, everyone had been so drunk on wine-alcohol that we dropped the wine-(bottle) and shortened it to alcohol. Tada!
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Rolling in Etymology 20 Aug 2017, 17:01
Pretty much everyone loves the Alchemists because they did some weird and wacky things.

While they were weird-and-wackying away (and, might I add, failing to produce gold from metal) they would often distill a strange water-like substance that makes you drunk.

They called it aqua vitae, "water of life".

As partially said before, Scottish Gaelic translated this into uisge beatha.

The French translated this into their brandy's name, eau de vie, which reminds me of eau de toilette which — no — means getting ready water. "Toilet water" would be eau des toilettes. Get your head out of the gutter and/or toilet.

The Scandinavians... well... who needs translation? Aquavit! (or akvavit if you're Danish)

One of Norway's Aquavit brands is called Linie Aquavit, so called because it ships its produce to Australia and back (over the Equator's line). Apparently this gives it a mellow taste? I'm not sure if this makes it sound better or worse for me, as I was taught as a child "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down."

All of this, just for things named after water.
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Rolling in Etymology 20 Aug 2017, 16:35
We must go deeper.

In Proto-Indo-European, *wódr has an oblique stem, *udén-, and it is from here that we get the Proto-Celtic word *udenskyos which also means "water".

A few centuries down the road, we get to the lovely language called Scottish Gaelic (or, as my favourite typo would produce, Scottish Garlic.)

In Scottish Gaelic, the word for "water" is uisge. Does it look familar yet?

Let me just... *uisgey* change... *wisgey* some... *wiskey* letters... Whiskey!

(Frankly if you didn't get it by "wiskey" then you've gotta stop drinking it.)

"Wow!" you say. "What else is named after water?" you ask.

What a great question. Let's crack on.
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Rolling in Etymology 20 Aug 2017, 16:26
Just about everyone knows that we get the word vodka from the Russian "во́дка" (vódka).

Did you know that that's the diminutive of "вода́" (vodá) which means "water"? Well... I guess that's a pretty stupid question to be asking in a channel populated by language enthusiasts and learners. Let's pretend you don't, even if you do.

Here comes the kicker: both "water" and "вода́" come from the same Proto-Indo-European word, *wódr ("water").

C'mon, it's not that surprising... they basically look the same, right?
Besides, once you're really smashed they even taste the same.
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Rolling in Etymology 20 Jul 2017, 02:35
Well... I might as well...

Australia comes from the Latin "australis" with an "-ia" ending, which comes from "terra australis."

"terra australis" means "southern land" (flip the words around). I guess this makes sense since Australia is actually at the top of the world!!!

Well, that's only half sarcastic. If you orient the Earth so that Australia is in the centre, there's a circle around Australia consisting of the other continents (including Antarctica). :]

In fact, "australis" comes from "auster" meaning "south wind," which is the name of the Roman god of the South Wind!
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Rolling in Etymology 20 Jul 2017, 02:05
In seriousness though I will post more stuff here. Just gotta get back into the jam with Australia and all.
Rolling in Etymology 20 Jul 2017, 02:05
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Rolling in Etymology 2 Jun 2017, 09:23
One of the less-followed sports at the Olympics is the epee.

We – the ever-lazy English speakers – saw the French word épée. Like no-one else does as well as we do, we stole it, and then decided that it needed to be more English.

What did we do? We got rid of the accents, and ruined the pronunciation of it forever.

EPP-ay? EE-pee? EH-pay? EEP-ai?

Whatever. Thanks, Mr English.

Épée comes from Middle French espee, from Old French espee, which comes from the Latin spatha.

A spatha was a double-edged sword used by Roman cavalry officers, but clearly the horses got lost somewhere between 500AD and now, though. :(

Spatha is also the root for spatula, so why, Olympics Committee, is there no Olympic sport requiring spatulas?? ...spatulae?
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Rolling in Etymology 2 Jun 2017, 09:03
I'd love to write about hockey but no-one knows where that comes from, except that it may come from "to hook" or "hook" (noun) since the stick looks like one.