Adventures in Etymology – Tat

Today we’re exploring the origins of the word tat.

Trinkets

tat [tæt] is:

  • cheap, tasteless, useless goods; trinkets.
  • tatty articles or a tatty condition
  • a tangled mass
  • an abbreviation of tattoo

It comes from the Hindi टाट (ṭāṭ – burlap, gunny, hessian, sackcloth, sacking), or from tatty (worn out, shabby, tawdry, unkempt), which comes from tatter (a shred of torn cloth), from tattered (torn, ragged), from the Middle English tater (torn or ragged strips of material hanging from a garment), from the Old Norse tǫturr (tatters, rags) [source].

The word tatty also means potato in parts of northern England and Scotland. It’s a diminutive of potato, which comes from the Spanish patata (potato, piece of rubbish), from the Taíno batata (sweet potato) [source].

Another word for potato is spud [spʌd], which also means a sharp spadelike tool used for rooting or digging out weeds, and comes from the Middle English spudde [spud] (a small or inferior knife), possibly from the Old Norse spjót (spear, lance), from the Proto-Germanic *speutą/speutaz (spear), from the PIE *spewd- (to press; urge; hurry) [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.

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Adventures in Etymology – Veranda

Today we’re looking at the various origins of the word veranda.

Veranda

A veranda [vəˈɹæn.də] is:

  • A porch or balcony, usually roofed and often partly enclosed, extending along the outside of a building.

It comes from Hindi बरामदा [bə.ɾɑːm.d̪ɑː] (barāmdā – porch, veranda, gallery, balcony), from Portuguese varanda [vɐˈɾɐ̃.dɐ] (balcony, veranda, terrace, porch), possibly from Latin vāra (fork, tripod, easel), from vārus (bent outwards, bandy) from PIE *h₁weh₂- (separate) [source].

Alternatively veranda might be related to the Sanskrit word वरण्ड (varaṇḍa – barrier, partition) [source], and/or the Spanish word baranda (railing, banister, handrail, balustrade) [source].

English words that probably come from the same Latin root (vārus), include various, vary and variety [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly – an easy-to-use animated video creator [affiliate 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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