Adventures in Etymology – Haven

In this Adventure we’re finding a safe haven and other peaceful places.

Armadale harbour

A haven [ˈheɪvən] is:

  • A harbour or anchorage protected from the sea
  • A place of safety
  • A peaceful place

It comes from Middle English haven(e), from Old English hæfen [ˈxæ.fen] (inlet, harbour, port), from Proto-Germanic *hab(a)nō [ˈxɑ.βɑ.nɔː] (harbour, haven), from PIE *kh₂p(ó)neh₂, from *keh₂p- (to take, seize, grasp) [source].

The English word abra, which means a narrow mountain pass, was borrowed from Spanish abra (small bay, inlet, glade, clearing), which comes from French havre (haven), and comes ultimately from Proto-Germanic *hab(a)nō via Middle Dutch, Old Dutch and Proto-West-Germanic, or Old Danish and Old Norse [source].

Other words from the same Proto-Germanic roots include Hafen (harbour, port, haven) in German, haven (harbour, port) in Dutch, hamn (harbour) in Swedish, and havn (harbour, haven) in Danish [source].

Incidentally, the word heaven doesn’t come from the same roots as haven. Instead it comes from Middle English heven(e) [ˈhɛv(ə)nə] (heaven, the heavens), from Old English heofon [ˈxe͜o.fon] (sky, heaven), from Proto-West-Germanic *hebun (sky, heaven), the roots of which are uncertain [source].

In case you’re interested, here details of the origins of the word harbour.

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Omniglot News (22/01/22)

Here’s the latest news from the world of Omniglot.

New constructed script: Ukaliq, a universal alphabet created by Henrik Theling that could be used to write any language.

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Inuktitut in the Utaliq alphabet

New adapted script: Nasema (ߣߊߛߍߡߊ), a method of writing Swahili with the N’Ko alphabet devised by Allison Powell.

ߥߊߕߎ ߥߐߕߍ ߥߊߡߍߛ߳ߟߌߥߊ ߤߎߙߎ߸ ߤߊߘ߳ߌ ߣߊ ߤߊߞߌ ߛ߳ߊߐ ߣߌ ߛߊߥߊ߷ ߥߐߕߍ ߥߊߡߍߖߊߟߌߥߊ ߊߞߌߟߌ ߣߊ ߘ߳ߊߡߌߙߌ߸ ߤߌߥ߳ߦߐ ߦߊߔߊߛߊ ߥߊߕߍߣߘߍߊߣߍ ߞߌߣߘߎߜߎ߷ 

There are new language pages about:

  • Abidji, a Kwa language spoken in the south of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast).
  • Nyabwa (Nyabobɔgʋ), a Western Kru language spoken in the south of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast).
  • Wobé (Wɛɛ), a Western Kru language spoken in the west of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast).

There are new numbers pages in:

  • Gamilaraay, a Pama-Nyungan language spoken in New South Wales in Australia.
  • Sgaw Karen (ကညီကျိာ်), a Karenic language spoken in southern Myannmar and northwestern Thailand.
  • Waray Warary, a Bisayan language spoken mainly in the Eastern Visayas Region of the Philippines.

There’s a new family words page in: Tamil (தமிழ்), a Dravidian language spoken in southern India, Sri Lanka and Singapore.

On the Omniglot blog there’s a post about words for Hooks, and one about the Japanese word 建築 (kenchiku), which means architecture or construction and just appeals to my ears, and there’s the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this is a Creole language spoken in South America.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was
Surigaonon, a Bisayan language spoken in the Caraga region in the north of Mindanao island in the southern Philippines.

In this week’s Adventure in Etymology we are uncovering the origins of word Chemise and related items of clothing.

On the Celtiadur blog there’s a new post about words for Scotland, and I made improvements to the post about Shirts.

There’s a new Celtic Pathways podcast about words for Fields and Quays and related things in Celtic languages.

For more Omniglot News see:
https://www.omniglot.com/news/
https://twitter.com/Omniglossia
https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/
https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Celtic Pathways – Fields and Quays

In this episode we are looking into words for field, quay and related things.

Mersey ferry

The Proto-Celtic word *kagyom means a pen or enclosure. It comes from the Proto-Indo-European *kagʰyóm (enclosure) [Source].

Related words in modern Celtic language include:

  • cai [ˈalˠə] = field, orchard or crop in Old Irish
  • cae [ˈalarχ/ˈaːlarχ] = hedge, hedgerow, fence; field, enclosure; circle, sphere; barrier or obstruction in Welsh
  • ke = hedge or fence in Cornish
  • kae = hedge or quay in Breton

The English word quay in English, was borrowed from the French word quai (quay, wharf, platfrom), which comes from the Latin caium (storehouse, shop, workshop, quay, wharf), from the Gaulish cagiíun/*kagyom, from the Proto-Celtic *kagyom. The Portuguese word cais (quay, wharf, pier) comes from the same roots [Source].

Other words from the same roots include:

  • [kʲeː] = quay in Irish
  • cidhe [kʲi.ə] = quay in Scottish Gaelic
  • keiy = jetty or quay(side) in Manx
  • cei [kei̯] = quay in Welsh
  • kay = quay in Cornish

The Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx words for quay come from the same Proto-Celtic root, via the Anglo-Norman kay, cail (quay, wharf) and Gaulish [source]. The Welsh and Cornish words for quay also come from the same Proto-Celtic root, via Middle English, Old French and Gaulish [source].

There are quite a few other words for Fields, Meadows and Pastures in Celtic languages. You can be find more details on the Celtiadur, a blog where I explore connections between Celtic languages in more depth. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Adventures in Etymology – Chemise

In this Adventure we are uncovering the origins of the word chemise and related items of clothing.

Chemise - blouse Alice

A chemise [ʃəˈmiːz] is:

  • A short nightdress, or similar piece of lingerie
  • A woman’s dress that fits loosely
  • A wall that lines the face of a bank or earthwork
  • A loose shirtlike undergarment, especially for women (historical)

It comes from French chemise (shirt, folder, chemise (wall-enforcing earthwork)), from Old French chemise, from Late Latin camīsia (shirt, nightgown), from Gaulish camisia (shirt), from Frankish *chamithia (shirt) from Proto-Germanic *hamiþiją (shirt), from PIE *ḱam- (to cover, conceal) [source].

Words from the same roots include shimmy in English, chemise (shirt, folder) in French, camisa (shirt) in Spanish, hemd (shirt, undershirt) in Dutch, Hemd (shirt) in German, and komża (surplice) in Polish [source].

The Arabic word قميص‎ (qamīṣ – shirt or robe) was probably borrowed from Latin camisia. It was also borrowed into English as kameez [kəˈmiːz], as in shalwar kameez (a loose shirt worn in some South Asian and Islamic countries), and into various languages in South Asia, via Urdu قَمِیْض (qamīz – shirt) [source].

donkeymen

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Omniglot News (15/01/23)

Here’s the latest news from the world of Omniglot.

New constructed script: Verbeħen, which was created by EBT to write a constructed language being developed for fun. It was inspired by the roundness and curviness of Georgian Mkhedruli letters (მხედრული).

Sample text in Verbeħen

New adapted script: Maldivian Arabic, which is a way to write Maldivian (Dhivehi) with the Arabic script devised by Mohamed Naaif.

آ قَانُونُ ٱلْأَسَاسِيُّڮٔ حِمَايَة لِبِڮٔنْ سِيَاسِي حِزْبُتَاّْ هِنْڮٞنٔ طَرِيقَاة تَه هَمَجٔهِفَي نُڣَانَمَ أ قَانـُونُڮٔه مِثَالَكِي اَلِفَانْ رُاڣَجَّنَمَ سَلاَمَة ڣَانٔ سِڋِاَكُ نٔيْه أتَكٔه بُرِيڮٔ عِمَارَاتُڮٔه مِثَالٔكٔڣٔ.

There are new language pages about:

  • Ikwerre (Gu-jingarliya), an Igboid language spoken in Rivers State in southern Nigeria.
  • Ogba (Ọgba), an Igboid language spoken in Rivers States in southern Nigeria
  • Ayizo (Ayizɔ-ko), a Gbe language spoken in southern Benin.

There are new numbers pages in:

  • Ikwerre, an Igboid language spoken in Rivers State in southern Nigeria.
  • Jeju (제주말), a Koreanic language spoken in Jeju Province of South Korea.
  • Nuer (Thok Naath), a Western Nilotic language spoken in South Sudan and western Ethiopia.

There are new family words pages in:

  • Telugu (తెలుగు), a Dravidian language spoken mainly in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in southern India.
  • Marathi (मराठी), a Southern Indo-Aryan language spoken mainly in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

On the Omniglot blog we’re telling Half a Story about words for excuse me and related things in Gaelic languages, and there’s the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this is language is spoken in the Philippines.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was
Xiang / Hunanese (湘语/湖南语), a Sinitic language spoken mainly in Hunan Province in southern China.

In this week’s Adventure in Etymology we are being indirect and circuitous and looking at some Obtuse Pronking.

On the Celtiadur blog there’s a post about words for Taking Hold and related things in Celtic languages.

There’s a new Celtic Pathways podcast about words for Swans and related birds in Celtic languages.

Improved pages: Digaro Mishmi language, Digaro Mishmi numbers, Muscogee (Creek-Seminole) phrases.

In other news, my learning streak on Duolingo reached 2,000 days this week (2,003 today)! I’m currently studying languages for around 10 hours a week, and am focusing on Japanese, Scottish Gaelic and Spanish.

I'm on a 2000 day language learning streak on Duolingo

For more Omniglot News see:
https://www.omniglot.com/news/
https://twitter.com/Omniglossia
https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/
https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Adventures in Etymology – Obtuse Pronking

In this Adventure we are being indirect and circuitous and looking for an angle on the word obtuse.

Obtuse Climbing Angle

Obtuse [əbˈtjuːs] means:

  • Blunt, pointed or acute in form
  • More than 90° and less than 180°
  • Intellectually dull or dim-witted
  • Deadened, muffled or mutted (sound)
  • Indirect or circuitous

Obtuse comes from Middle French obtus (obtuse, boring, dull, lifeless), from the Latin obtūsus (blunt, dull, obtuse), from obtundō (to batter, beat, strike, blunt, dull), from ob- (against) and tundō (to beat, strike, bruise, crush, pound), from PIE *(s)tewd- (to push, hit) [source].

Words from the same roots include student, study and studio in English, and tundir (to shear, mow) in Spanish [source].

Also from the same roots we get the word stot, which means a leap using all four legs at once. This is what springboks, Thomson’s gazelles, pronghorns and other species do as a way to show predators that they would be difficult to catch (see below) [source].

Pronking

Stotting is also known as pronking or pronging, which come from Afrikaans pronk (to show off, strut or prance), from Dutch pronken (to display, show off) [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Celtic Pathways – Swans

In this episode we are looking into words for swan.

Swans, etc

In Proto-Celtic word for swan was *eli-, which comes from the Proto-Indo-European *h₁el- (swan, bird, waterfowl) [Source].

Related words in modern Celtic language include:

  • eala [ˈalˠə] = swan in Irish
  • eala [jal̪ˠə] = swan in Scottish Gaelic
  • olla(y) = (mute) swan in Manx
  • alarch [ˈalarχ/ˈaːlarχ] = swan, the constellation Cygnus in Welsh
  • alargh = (mute) swan in Cornish
  • alarc’h = swan in Breton

Words from the same Proto-Celtic root include alondra (lark) in Spanish, alouette (lark) in French, and allodola (skylark) in Italian. They were probably borrowed from the Gaulish alauda (skylark), from ala (swan) [Source].

Other words from the PIE root *h₁el- include auk in English, olor (swan) in Latin, alke (auk) in Danish and Norwegian, and álka (razorbill) in Faroese and Icelandic [Source].

More details of words for swan in Celtic languages can be found on the Celtiadur, a blog where I explore connections between Celtic languages in more depth. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Omniglot News (08/01/22)

Here’s the latest news from the world of Omniglot.

There are new language pages about:

  • Burarra (Gu-jingarliya), an Arnhem language spoken in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia.
  • Limbum, an Eastern Grassfields language spoken mainly in Cameroon, and also in Nigeria
  • Yankunytjatjara, a Pama-Nyungan language spoken in South Australia.

There are new numbers pages in:

  • Maldivian / Dhivehi (ދިވެހި), an Indo-Aryan language spoken mainly in the Maldives.
  • Venetian (vèneto), a Romance language spoken mainly in Venice and surrounding areas of Italy.
  • Dagbani (Dagbanli), a Gur language spoken mainly in northern Ghana.

On the Omniglot blog there’s a new post entitled Cave Paintings Deciphered?, about recent news of the possible decoding of certain symbols found in cave paintings, and there’s the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this is language is spoken in China, but isn’t Mandarin

The mystery language in this week’s language quiz was Wendat (Waⁿdat), an Iroquoian language formerly spoken in parts of Oklahoma in the USA and Quebec in Canada which is being revived.

In this week’s Adventure in Etymology we’re Harbouring Harbingers, and finding out what links the words harbinger and harbour.

On the Celtiadur blog there’s a post about words for Halves and Sides and related things in Celtic languages.

I forgot to mention on the recording, but there’s also a new Celtic Pathways podcast about the words New & Year in Celtic languages.

For more Omniglot News see:
https://www.omniglot.com/news/
https://twitter.com/Omniglossia
https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/
https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Adventure in Etymology: Harbouring Harbingers

In this Adventure we find out what connects the words harbinger and harbour.

harbingers

A harbinger [ˈhɑːbɪndʒə/ˈhɑɹbɪnd͡ʒəɹ] is:

  • One that indicates or foreshadows what is to come;
  • A person sent in advance of a royal party or army to obtain lodgings for them (obsolete)

Harbinger is used most often in particular phrases: it can be negative, as in a harbinger of doom, or positive, as in a harbinger of Spring [source].

It comes from Middle English herberjour [ˌ(h)ɛrbi(r)ˈd͡ʒuːr] (a host, one who provides accommodation or hospitality, a person sent in advance (of an army) to arrange lodgings), from Old French herbergeor (innkeeper, host), from herbergier (to set up camp, to (take) shelter), via Frankish, from Proto-West-Germanic *harjabergu (army camp, barracks, refuge, shelter), from *hari (army) and *bergu (protection) [source].

Words from the same roots include harbour in English, Herberge (hostel, inn) in German, herberg (inn, lodging) in Dutch, härbärge (a place to stay, homeless shelter) in Swedish, herbergi (room, apartment) in Icelandic, and auberge (hostel) in French [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Celtic Pathways – New & Year

In this episode we are looking into words for new and year in Celtic languages.

A multilingual Happy New Year!

One Proto-Celtic word for new is *nouyos, which comes from the Proto-Indo-European *néw(y)os (new), from which most words for new in Indo-European languages are descended [Source].

Related words in modern Celtic language include:

  • nua [n̪ˠuə / n̪ˠuː] = new, fresh, recent, novel; newness, new thing in Irish
  • nuadh [nuəɣ] = new, fresh, recent, novel, modern, unfamiliar in Scottish Gaelic
  • noa = fresh, modern, new, novel, original, recent, unused in Manx
  • newydd [ˈnɛu̯.ɨ̞ð] = new, recent, newly-grown, modern, late, novel, changed, fresh in Welsh
  • nowydh = fresh, new, novel, newly, just in Cornish
  • nevez [ˈne.ve] = new in Breton

The town of Noia in A Coruña in Galicia in the northwest of Spain probably gets its name from the same Proto-Celtic root, possibly via the Celtiberian nouiza [Source].

Another Proto-Celtic word for new is *ɸūros, which comes from the Proto-Indo-European *puHrós (wheat), possibly from *pewH- (to be clean, pure) [Source].

Related words in modern Celtic language include:

  • úr [uːɾˠ] = fresh; free, liberal, moist in Irish
  • ùr [uːr] = new, fresh in Scottish Gaelic
  • oor = new, sweet, novel, sappy, crisp, span, fresh, hour, raw in Manx
  • ir [iːr] = verdant, green, juicy, sappy, moist, succulent in Welsh
  • yr [ɪ:r/iːr] = fresh in Cornish

Words from the same PIE roots include pure in English, პური (ṗuri – bread, wheat) in Georgian, and պուրի (puri – a type of Georgian bread) in Armenian [Source].

In Proto-Celtic words for year were *blēdanī/*bleido. which possibly come from the Proto-Indo-European *bʰloyd- (pale) [source].

Related words in modern Celtic language include:

  • bliain [bʲlʲiənʲ] = year in Irish
  • bliadhna [bliən̪ˠə] = year, vintage in Scottish Gaelic
  • blein = [blʲeːnʲ / blʲiᵈn] = year, twelvemonth in Manx
  • blwyddyn [ˈblʊɨ̯ðɨ̞n] = year, a long time, ages; lifetime, life in Welsh
  • bledhen = year in Cornish
  • bloavezh = year in Breton

Words from the same PIE root include бледный (pale) in Russian, бледен (pale, pallied, insignificant) in Bulgarian, and bledý (pale) in Czech [source].

More details of new and year-related words in Celtic languages can be found on the Celtiadur, a blog where I explore connections between Celtic languages in more depth. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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