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These Fascinating Maps Show The Origin Of Words We Use All The Time

U.S. playwright Rita Mae Brown said: “Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.”

That quote comes to mind looking at these fascinating European etymology maps of various commons words posted by reddit user sp07, which provide a kind of cultural commentary on Europe.

The word for “church” shows the influence of ancient Greece: 3c9RMfmh

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“Bear” appears to be influenced by Russia, where largest brown bear population in Europe can be found. Notice the dominant word literally means “honey-eater.” HHtHenfh

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Another reddit user noted that “pi” is a prefix for “beer” in several European countries while the “pi” in the Mandarin Chinese word for beer,  啤酒 pi jiu, is a loan word from Europe. 50jse3Rh

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“Apple” has a lot of diversity: Notice how the word in Finland and Estonia may come from a Indo-Iranian origin. cgZ8KyVh

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“Orange” is an interesting one. In the west it comes form Sanskrit while the dominant word in much of eastern and northern Europe comes from a word meaning “apple from China.” NGLjVICh

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“Garoful,” the ancient Greek word for “rose,” only remains in northeastern Italy. Zgcj1Ewh

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Most of Europe derives “pineapple” from the Guarani language, which is an indigenous language of South America, although the U.K. (and consequently the U.S.) get the word from Latin. Pineapple Map

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Tea comes from China, naturally, except for a few Latin holdouts in eastern Europe.  M4vrWr1h

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This one is the word for “cucumber,” which may be even more diverse than “apple”: cu6amudh_updated

 

 

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Go and get the rattoner, now!

 

English changes all the time, often in subtle ways—so it’s not surprising that we’ve lost many delightful words and phrases along the way. In his wonderful book Forgotten English, Jeffrey Kacirk takes a closer look at the origins and histories of these language relics. Here are a few of our favorite words from the book; for more, check out Kacirk’s website.

1. ASTROLOGAMAGE

The medieval era’s Miss Cleos, these so-called wise men made predictions based on what was happening in the sky.

2. CRAPULENCE

This word, from the Latin root crapula, arose in the 18th century. According to Kacirk, it “denoted intestinal and cranial distress … arising from intemperance and debauchery.” Put another way: If you get crunk, expect crapulence.

3. EYE-SERVANT

A term describing a servant who who did his duty only lazily except when within sight of his master, “a form of insincerity known as ‘eye-service,’” Kacirk notes. Replace servant with employee and master with boss, and you could probably know a few people to whom this term would apply.

4. FLITTERWOCHEN

This Old English expression (probably borrowed from German) meant “fleeting weeks,” and refers to what we today call a honeymoon. Flitterwochen is, obviously, a much better word.

5. FRIBBLER

Though this term comes from the 18th century, chances are you know a fribbler. He says he’s really into a lady, but just won’t commit. The behavior of a fribbler was called fribbledom, by the way.

6. GROANING-CHEESE

Back in the day, husbands didn’t just hold their wives’ hands during childbirth—they gave them the medieval version of an epidural: Cheese. Groaning-cheese was said to soothe a lady in labor, and so husbands paired it with groaning-cake and groaning-drink.

7. GROG-BLOSSOM

A word from the 18th century for the dilation of blood vessels—caused by long-term overconsumption of the drink—in an alcoholic’s nose.

8. LETTICE-CAP

A medical device (which Kacirk says resembles a hair net) that was used in the 16th and 17th centuries. After the patient’s head was shaved, the cap was filled with herbs and placed on his head, supposedly curing him of ailments like headaches and insomnia.

9. MUMPSIMUS

This Middle English word originally meant “an incorrigible, dogmatic old pedant,” but eventually came to refer to an incorrect opinion that someone clung to. According to Kacirk, the word originated with an illiterate 15th century clergyman, who incorrectly copied the Latin word sumpsimus and read it in mass.

10. NIGHT-HAG

If people living from medieval times up until the 19th century had a bad dream, they could blame it on a night-hag. This female demon’s M.O. was to kidnap people at night on horseback, and give them nightmares by “producing a feeling of suffocation,” according to Kacirk. There were a number of strategies for keeping a night-hag at bay, including: placing bread blessed at the local parish under a child’s pillow; arranging shoes under the bed with the toes pointing out; and hanging flint chips—aka hag-stones—around the bedposts.

11. NIMGIMMER

A 17th century term for a surgeon who specialized in curing pox or the clap.

12. NUMBLES

This Anglo-Saxon word, taken from Old French, refers to animal intestines and internal organs, which were eaten by peasants in a dish called garbage pye. Yum!

13. PETTY-FOGGER

From the the 16th to 19th centuries, people would have called lawyers like Breaking Bad‘s Saul Goodman petty-foggers. “For a fee, these attorneys were willing to quibble over insignificant legal points … or use unethical practices in order to win a case,” Kacirk writes.

14. PIGGESNYE

Chaucer coined this term (which, according to Kacirk, comes from the phrase “pig’s eye”) for a sweetheart. Use it next Valentine’s Day and see what happens.

15. PILGARLIK

A 16th century word for a bald head, which apparently resembled peeled garlic.

16. RATTONER

Nobody wants to say that the exterminator is coming over. Use this 14th century term—taken from the Old French word raton and the Medieval Latin word ratonis, which both refer to rats, according to Kacirk—instead.

 

Courtesy Erin McCarthy

 

 

Get to School!

The Serial Comma

Image

stalking horse

Definition of stalking horse

noun

  • a person or thing that is used to conceal someone’s real intentions: you have used me simply as a stalking horse for some of your more outrageous views
  • a candidate in an election for the leadership of a political party who stands only in order to provoke the election and thus allow a stronger candidate to come forward: [as modifier]:a stalking-horse challenge
  • screen traditionally made in the shape of a horse behind which a hunter may stay concealed when stalking prey.

Origin:

Early 16th century: from the former practice of using a horse trained to allow a fowler to hide behind it, or under its coverings, until within easy range of prey.

Oxford Dictionaries

Expression

Meaning in falconry

Derived meaning

In a bate Bating: trying to fly off when tethered In a panic
With bated breath Bated: tethered, unable to fly free Restrained and focused by expectation
Fed up Of a hawk, with its crop full and so not wanting to hunt No longer interested in something
Hawked it up The sound of a hawk expelling the indigestible parts of a meal Clearing phlegm from the throat
Haggard Of a hawk, caught from the wild when adult Looking exhausted and unwell, in poor condition; wild or untamed
Under his/her thumb the hawk’s feet when pinned by the thumb Tightly under control
Wrapped round his/her little finger Of the hawk’s leash when wrapped round the little finger Tightly under control
Lure Originally a device used to recall hawks. The hawks, when young, were trained to associate the device (usually a bunch of feathers) with food. To tempt with a promise/reward/bait
Rouse To shake one’s feathers Stir or awaken
Pounce Referring to a hawk’s claws, later derived to refer to birds springing or swooping to catch prey Jump forward to seize or attack something
To turn tail
Fly away To turn and run away

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editing marks, sort of

Daylight Savings Conspiracy

From Australia where they know it all

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Four years of college, lots of money and plenty of knowledge have earned me this useless degree.

374432_485918858121817_1338007548_nSooo Sorry!

Let’s be polite when we have an accidenthttps://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=485918858121817&set=a.251092048271167.56433.251089648271407&type=1&ref=nf

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