Tag Archives: Romance languages
don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

  An Indian judge is checking the teeth of a horse during a horse show in Dholera, some 110 km from Ahmedabad on 8th January 2012. Some 150 horses from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan states of India participated in the event. To showcase the pedigree and raise awareness about the breeds, the equestrian club of […]

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Eating in the Romance languages

Eating in the Romance languages

          The standard Classical Latin verb for to eat was edere (the infinitive was also ēsse), from which is derived English edible, and with which English eat is cognate.   The Latin verb comedere/comesse, a compound of the intensive prefix com- and the verb edere/ēsse, meant to eat up, consume. From […]

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not one jot or tittle

not one jot or tittle

  The Spın̈al Tap logo, with an umlaut over the n and no tittle over the i         The phrase not one jot or tittle is redundant, as both jot and tittle mean an extremely small amount.   This was originally a reference to Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount in the gospel […]

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cabbage & chou

cabbage & chou

          Cabbage leaves form a compact globular heart or head, and, originally, the ‘cabbage’ was the head thus formed, the plant being called cabbage-cole or cabbage-colewort. This original sense of ‘cabbage’ is preserved in cabbage lettuce.   It is generally said that the English word cabbage is from Old Picard French […]

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Lollard

Lollard

    John Wycliffe   John Wycliffe, or Wyclif, (1330?-84) was an English religious reformer. He criticized the wealth and power of the Church and upheld the Bible as the sole guide for doctrine. Wycliffe instituted the first English translation of the complete Bible. His teachings, regarded as precursors of the Reformation, were disseminated by itinerant preachers, contemptibly called Lollards. The Lollards believed that […]

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‘dog’

‘dog’

      The word dog is from Old English docga, of unknown origin. The generic name, in Old English and in the Germanic languages, was hund (Modern English hound), from an Indo-European root shared by Greek kuōn, kun-, and Latin canis, dog.     GENERIC TERMS FOR DOG   – Germanic languages: German Hund, Dutch hond, Danish and Swedish hund. […]

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‘flu’

‘flu’

  The English word flu is an abbreviation of influenza, an Italian word from Medieval Latin influentia, from which the English word influence is also derived. Besides denoting a contagious disease, Italian influenza has the various senses of English influence. But originally, both English influence and Italian influenza had the general sense of an influx, flowing matter. They […]

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cheese – fromage

cheese – fromage

  “Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux-cent quarante-six variétés de fromage ?” (“How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?”) attributed to Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), French general and statesman, in Les mots du général de Gaulle (1962), by Ernest Mignon photograph: fémivin.com   The word cheese is from Old English cēse, cȳse, […]

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