Adventures in Etymology – Lead

Today we’re delving into the origins of the word lead.

Lead Ingots

lead [lɛd] is:

  • a soft, heavy, metallic element with atomic number 82 found mostly in combination and used especially in alloys, batteries, and shields against sound, vibration, or radiation.
  • a thin strip of metal used to separate lines of type in printing.

It comes from the Middle English le(e)d [lɛːd] (lead, cauldron), from the Old English lēad [læɑːd] (lead), from the Proto-West-Germanic *laud (lead)), from the Gaulish *laudon (lead), from the Proto-Celtic *ɸloudom (iron), from the PIE *plewd- (to fly, flow, run) [source].

Words from the same Proto-West-Germanic root include lood [loːt] (lead, plumb bob) in Dutch, Lot [loːt] (plummet, solder) in German, and lod [lʌð] (plumb bob, fishing weight) in Danish [source].

Words from the same Proto-Celtic root include luaidhe [ˈl̪ˠuːiː/l̪ˠuəjə] (lead) in Irish and Scottish Gaelic, leoaie (lead) in Manx [source].

Words from the same PIE root include float, flow, flood, fleet and Pluto in English, vlotten (to glide, go smoothly) in Dutch, and flotter [flɔ.te] (to float, flutter, wave, mill about) in French [source].

Incidentally, to word lead [liːd], as in to guide or direct, is not related to lead (the metal). It comes from the Middle English leden (to lead, carry, take, put), from the Old English lǣdan (to lead, bring, take, carry, guide), from the Proto-Germanic *laidijaną (to cause one to go, lead), causative of the Proto-Germanic *līþaną (to go, pass through), from Proto-Indo-European *leyt- (to go, depart, die) [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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Adventures in Etymology – Quiet 🤫

Today we’re looking into the origins of the word quiet.

Quietness

Quiet [ˈkwaɪ.ɪt / ˈkwaɪ.ət] means:

  • making little or no noise or sound
  • free or comparatively free of noise
  • silent
  • restrained in speech or manner
  • free from disturbance or tumult; peaceful

It comes from the Middle English quiete (peace, rest, gentleness), from the Old French quiet(e) (tranquil, calm), from the Latin quiētus (at rest, quiet, peaceful), from quiēscō (I rest, sleep, repose), from quiēs (rest, repose, quiet) from the PIE *kʷyeh₁- (to rest; peace) [source].

English words from the same Latin root include acquiesce (to rest satisfied, to assent to), coy (bashful, shy, retiring), quit (to abandon, leave), requiem (a mass or piece of music to honour a dead person) and tranquil (calm, peaceful) [source].

The English word while comes from the same PIE root, via the Old English hwīl (while, period of time), the Proto-West Germanic *hwīlu (period of rest, pause, time, while), and the Proto-Germanic *hwīlō (time, while, pause) [source].

Other words from the same PIE root include wijl [ˈʋɛi̯l] (when, while), in Dutch, Weile [ˈvaɪ̯lə] (while), in German, hvile [ˈviːlə] (rest, repose, to rest) in Danish and Norwegian, chwila [ˈxfi.la] (moment, instant) in Polish and хвилина [xʋeˈɫɪnɐ] (minute) in Ukrainian [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

By the way, I wrote a new song this week called Quiet Please

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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Adventures in Etymology – Frolic

Today we find out what links frolics and frogs.

California-06348 - Froggy

Frolic [ˈfɹɒlɪk] means:

  • full of fun
  • a playful or mischievous action
  • an occasion or scene of fun
  • to play and run about happily

It comes from the Dutch vrolijk [ˈvroːˌlək] (cheerful, happy, merry), via the Middle Dutch vrolijc and the Old Dutch frōlīk, from the Proto-Germanic *frawaz [ˈɸrɑ.wɑz] (happy, energetic) ultimately from the PIE *prew- (to jump, hop) [source].

Words from the same Proto-Germanic root include the German words froh [fʁoː] (glad, cheerful, merry) and fröhlich [ˈfʁøːlɪç] (happy, cheerful, merry); the Danish word fro [ˈfʁoˀ] (happy, carefree), and Icelandic word frár [frauːr] (swift, light-footed) [source].

The word frog 🐸 comes from the same PIE root, via the Middle English frogge [ˈfrɔɡ(ə)] (frog, toad, wretch, mushroom), the Old English frocga [ˈfroɡ.ɡɑ] (frog), and the Proto-Germanic *fruþgô (frog), from *fruþ (frog) [source].

Another Old English word for frog was frosċ [froʃ], which apparently became frosh in southern English dialects, such as Essex, and is cognate with German word Frosch [fʁɔʃ] (frog) [source].

In Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria and other parts of northern England, the word frosk is/was used for frog, and comes from the Old Norse froskr (frog) [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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Adventures in Etymology – Anniversary

Today we’re looking into the origins of the word anniversary, as it happens to be my birthday, or the anniversary of my birth, and anniversary is etymologically more interesting than birthday.

Thames Festival fireworks

An anniversary [ˌænɪˈvɜːs(ə)ɹi / ˌænəˈvɝs(ə)ɹi] is:

  • the yearly recurrence of the date of a past event.
  • the celebration or commemoration of such a date.
  • returning or recurring each year; annual.

It comes from the Medieval Latin anniversāria (diēs) / anniversārium, from the Latin anniversārius (annual, yearly), from annus (year, time, season), and vertere (to turn), so an anniversary marks the turning of the year or more poetically, a trip round the sun [source].

The origins of the word annus are uncertain, but we know that vertere comes from vertō (I turn, revolve), from the Proto-Italic *wertō (turn), from the PIE *wértti (to be turning around), from *wert- (to turn, rotate). [source].

Words from the same root include worth, versus, vertigo and vortex in English, worden [ˈʋɔrdə(n)] (to become, get, grow, turn) in Dutch, werden [ˈveːrdən] (will, to be going) in German and verter [beɾˈteɾ] (to pour, spill, shed) in Spanish [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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Adventures in Etymology – Sloom

Today we’re looking into the origins of the word sloom.

Slumber

In some dialects of English spoken in England sloom [sluːm] means:

  • A gentle sleep; slumber.
  • to doze, slumber
  • to become weak and flaccid (of plants)
  • to move or wander slowly or silently

In Scots sloom is:

  • A dreamy or sleepy state, a reverie, day-dream, a light sleep, slumber, an unsettled sleep
  • to sleep lightly, doze, slumber fitfully
  • to slip along easily and quietly, to glide smoothly
  • to make or become soft and flaccid as a result of frost, damp, etc

It comes from the Middle English sloum(b)e / slume, from the Old English slūma (sleep, slumber), from the Proto-Germaic *slūm- (slack, loose, limp, flabby), from the PIE *(s)lew- (slack, loose, limp, flabby) [source].

The English word slumber comes from the same Proto-Germanic root, as does the Dutch sluimeren (to slumber) and sloom (sluggish, lifeless), the German Schlummer (slumber) and schlummern (to doze, slumber), and the Danish slumre (to drowse) [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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Adventures in Etymology – Deck

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

Sunset over Bangor pier

deck [dɛk] means:

  • Any raised flat surface that can be walked on: a balcony; a porch; a raised patio; a flat rooftop.
  • The floorlike covering of the horizontal sections, or compartments, of a ship.
  • A main aeroplane surface.

It comes from the Middle English dekke (the roof over any part of a boat or ship), from Middle Dutch dec (roof, covering), from decken (to roof, cover, protect), from Old Dutch thecken (to cover, roof), from Proto-West-Germanic *þakkjan (to cover), from Proto-Germanic *þakjaną [ˈθɑk.jɑ.nɑ̃] (to cover), *þaką (roof, cover), from PIE *(s)teg- (cover) [source].

Words from the same Proto-Germanic root (*þaką) include: thatch in English, dak (roof) and dekken [ˈdɛkə(n)] (to cover, set) in Dutch, Dach (roof) and decken (to cover, set) in German, tak (roof, ceiling) and täcka [tɛka] (to cover) in Swedish, and tag (roof) and tække (to thatch) in Danish [source].

Words from the same PIE root (*(s)teg-) include: detect, protect, tile and toga in English, (house) in Welsh, and teach (house) in Irish [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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Adventures in Etymology – Timber

In this week’s Adventures in Etymology we’re exploring the origins of the word timber.

Studio / Stwdio

Timber [ˈtɪmbə/ˈtɪmbɚ] means:

  • Trees in a forest regarded as a source of wood.
  • Wood that has been pre-cut and is ready for use in construction.
  • A heavy wooden beam, generally a whole log that has been squared off and used to provide heavy support for something such as a roof.

It comes from the Middle English tymber/timber (timber), from the Old English timber [ˈtim.ber] (timber, a building, the act of building), from the Proto-Germanic *timrą [ˈtim.rɑ̃] (building, timber), from the PIE *dem- (to build) [source].

Words from the same Proto-Germanic root include timmeren (to build, put together) in Dutch, Zimmer [ˈt͡sɪmɐ] (room) in German, timmer (timber) in Swedish, and timbur (wood, timber) in Icelandic [source].

Words from the same PIE root include domus (house, home) in Latin, duomo [ˈdwɔ.mo] (cathedral) in Italian, дом [dom] (house, building, home) in Russian and most other Slavic languages, and dome, domestic and despot in English [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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Adventures in Etymology – Paint

Today we’re looking into the origins of the word paint.

Paint

Paint [peɪnt] is:

  • A substance that is applied as a liquid or paste, and dries into a solid coating that protects or adds colour to an object or surface to which it has been applied.

It comes from the Middle English peinten (to paint, portray, decorate), from the Old French peintier (to paint), from peindre (to paint), from the Latin pingere (to decorate, embellish, paint, tint, colour), from pingō (I decorate, embellish, etc) from PIE *peyḱ- (to hew, cut out, stitch, embroider, mark, paint, color) [source].

English words from the same Latin root include picture, depict, pigment and pint [source].

In Old English the word for paint was tēafor [ˈtæ͜ɑː.vor], which became tiver (a kind of ochre used for marking sheep in some parts of England). It comes from the Proto-Germanic *taubrą (magic, sorcery), which is the root of the German word Zauber (magic, spell) [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

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

I chose this word as my new studio is currently being painted.

Studio / Stwdio

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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Adventures in Etymology – Bizarre

Today we’re looking into the strange and unusual origins of the word bizarre.

Bizarre!

Bizarre [bɪˈzɑː/bəˈzɑɹ] means:

  • markedly unusual in appearance, style, or general character and often involving incongruous or unexpected elements
  • outrageously or whimsically strange
  • odd

It comes from the French bizarre [bi.zaʁ] (odd, peculiar, bizarre), either from the Basque bizar [bis̻ar] (beard), or from the Italian bizzarro [bidˈd͡zar.ro] (odd, queer, eccentric, bizarre, weird, frisky), possibly from bizza (tantrum), from the German beißen [ˈbaɪ̯sən] (to bite) [source].

In French backslang (Verlan), bizarre becomes zarbi [source] and features in the expression On est tous un peu zarbi(tes) (We’re all a little freaky), or as they as in northern England, There’s nowt so queer as folk [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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Adventures in Etymology – Telling Tales

In today’s Adventure in Etymology we’re telling tales about the origins of the word tale.

Telling Tales

A tale [teɪl] is:

  • a narrative that relates the details of some real or imaginary event, incident, or case; story
  • a literary composition having the form of such a narrative
  • a falsehood; lie
  • a rumor or piece of gossip, often malicious or untrue

It used to mean:

  • number, tally, quota
  • account, estimation, regard, heed
  • speech, language
  • a speech, a statement, talk, conversation, discourse
  • a count, declaration

It comes from the Middle English tale [ˈtaːl(ə)] (personal narrative, account), from the Old English talu [ˈtɑ.lu] (account, reckoning, tale, narration) from the Proto-West Germanic *talu (narration, report, assessment, judgement, calculation, counting), from the Proto-Germanic *talō (narration, report), from the PIE *dol-éh₂ (reckoning, calculation, fraud), from *del- (to reckon, calculate) [source].

Some words from the same Proto-Germanic root include tell in English, taal [taːl] (language) in Dutch and Afrikaans, Zahl [tsaːl] (number, numeral, figure) in German, tala [ˈtʰaːla] (a speech, button, number) in Icelandic, tala [ˈtɑːˌla] (to speak, tell, talk) in Swedish, and tale [ˈtˢæːlə] (speech, talk, discourse; to speak, talk) in Danish [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

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

Here’s a silly little ditty I wrote in 2019 called Tall Tales:

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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