A Telling Chat

In interesting word I learnt recently in Icelandic is spjall [ˈspjatl̥], which means chat, converstation, talk or gossip.

It comes from the Old Norse spjall [ˈspjɑlː] (saying, tale, words, tales, tidings); from Proto-Germanic *spellą (news, message, tale, story), from the Proto-Indo-European *spel- (to tell).

A related word is spjalla, which means ‘to converse, to chat’. You could use it like this, I think,

– Ég er að spjalla á íslensku = I am chatting in Icelandic.

The Proto-Indo-European *spel- is also the root of the English word spell, the German -spiel in Beispiel (example – literally “by talk”) There were similar words in Old English: bīspel (proverb, pattern, example), and Scots: byspel (byword, rarety, outcast).

The German word spielen comes from a different root: the Proto-Germanic *spilōną (to play, to dance, to move), from *spilą (game, play, dance).

Icelandic words with related meanings include:

tal = speech, conversation
tala = to talk, to speak
talmál = spoken language
talsháttur = phrase, idiom
talsmaður = advocte, spokesperson
talsmát = manner of speaking, expression
ræða = speech, address; to speak, talk, discuss
ræðinn = talkative

Sources: Wiktionary, Íslensk – ensk orðabók / Concise Icelandic – English Dictionary

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