Adventures in Etymology – Friend

In this Adventure we find out what links the word friend with words like afraid, free and Friday.

The winning quiz team

A friend [fɹɛnd] is:

  • A person, typically someone other than a family member, spouse or lover, whose company one enjoys and towards whom one feels affection.
  • A person with whom one is vaguely or indirectly acquainted.

It comes from Middle English fre(e)nd [freːnd] (A friend or compatriot; a close associate; A patron, philanthropist, or supporter; A family member; one of one’s kin), from Old English frēond [fre͜oːnd] (friend, lover) from Proto-West-Germanic *friund (friend), from Proto-Germanic *frijōndz (friend, loved one), from PIE *preyH- (to love, to please) [source].

English words from the same roots include afraid, free, proper and possibly Friday [source].

Friday? It comes from Old English frīġedæġ [ˈfriː.jeˌdæj] (Friday), from Proto-Western-Germanic *Frījā dag (Friday, “Frigg’s day”), a calque of the Latin diēs Veneris (Friday, “day of Venus”). Frījā/Frigg was the Norse goddess of love, and associated with the Roman goddess Venus. Her name possibly comes from Proto-Germanic *frijōną (to love, free, like), from *frijaz (free), from PIE *priHós (dear, beloved, happy, free), from *preyH- (to love, to please) [source].

So you could say that Friday is the day of freedom, or friendship or love, or all three. Whichever you prefer.

Incidentally, the second syllables of the names Geoffrey/Jeffrey, Godfrey, Siegfried and Winfred come ultimately from PIE *preyH- as well [source]. However, the name Winifred comes from Welsh Gwenfrewi, from gwen (white, fair, blessed) and ffrwd (brook, stream) [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 – Butler

In this Adventure we’re unbottling the origins of the word butler.

Butler on recent Production

A butler [ˈbʌt.lə(ɹ)/ˈbʌt.lɚ] is:

  • A manservant having charge of wines and liquors.
  • The chief male servant of a household who has charge of other employees, receives guests, directs the serving of meals, and performs various personal services.

It comes from Middle English boteler (the chief servant in charge of wine or other drink, the cupbearer of a king or nobleman), from Old French boteiller (one who takes care of the bottles), from boteille (bottle), possibly from Vulgar Latin *buticla (bottle), from Late Latin butticula (bottle), from buttis (cask, barrel) [source].

Words from the same roots include bottle, butt (large cask), and possibly boot in English, and bouteille (bottle, cylinder) and maybe botte (boot, bundle, bunch) in French.

Incidentally, another person involved with bottles and wine is a sommelier (a wine steward, waiter or server). It comes from French sommelier (originally, a person in charge of the beasts of burden carrying wine), from somme (pack), from Latin sagma (packsaddle) [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.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

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Adventures in Etymology – Story

In this Adventure we’re telling tales about the origins of the word story.

In Honor of The Story Teller

A story [ˈstɔː.ɹi] is:

  • An account of real or fictional events.
  • A lie, fiction.
  • History (obsolete).

It comes from Middle English storie (story, history, quip), from Old French estoire (history, story, tale), from Latin historia [isˈtoɾja] (history, account, story), from Ancient Greek ἱστορία (historía – learning through research, narration of what is learned), from ἱστορέω (historéō – to learn through research, to inquire), from ἵστωρ (hístōr – the one who knows, the expert, the judge), from PIE *wéydtōr (knowner, wise person), from *weyd- (to see) [source].

English words from the same roots include guide, history, idea, idol, idyll, video, vision, visit, wise, wit and wizard [source].

In Old English the word for story was talu, which also meant tale, talk or account. It comes from Proto-West Germanic *talu (narration, report), from Proto-Germanic *talō (narration, report), from PIE *del- (to reckon, calculate) [source].

Words from the same roots include tale, talk and tell in English, taal (language) in Dutch, Zahl (number, numeral, figure) in German, and tala (to speak, tell, talk) in Swedish [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.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

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Celtic Pathways – Donkeys

In this episode we’re looking into words for donkey and related beasts in Celtic languages.

Donkeys

There don’t appear to be any Proto-Celtic words for donkey. Instead, the Celtic languages borrowed words from Latin. These include:

  • asal [ˈasˠəlˠ] = ass or donkey in Irish.
  • asal [asal̪ˠ] = ass or donkey in Scottish Gaelic
  • assyl = ass or donkey in Manx
  • asyn [ˈasɨ̞n / ˈasɪn] = (male) donkey / (he-)ass, or an absurd or stubborn person in Welsh
  • asen = ass or donkey in Cornish
  • azen = donkey in Breton [source]

The Brythonic words come from the Latin asina from asinus (donkey, ass), which is of unknown origin [source]. The Goidelic words come from the same root via the Latin asellus (young ass, donkey) [source].

The English word ass (donkey) was borrowed from an old Brythonic language, via the Middle English asse (ass, donkey) and the Old English assa and assen (she-ass) [source].

Other words from the same Latin roots include asinine (foolish, obstinate, donkeyish), asinicide (the killing of an idiot) in English [source], osel (donkey, ass, stupid person) in Czech, and osioł (male donkey) in Polish [source].

Incidentally, another word for donkey in Old English was esol [ˈe.zol], which came from Proto-West Germanic *asil (donkey), from Latin asellus (young ass, donkey) [source]. Related words in other Germanic languages include ezel (donkey, ass, fool, idiot, easel) in Dutch, Esel (ass, donkey, a stupid/stubborn person) in German, and æsel (ass, donkey) in Danish [source].

The English word easel also comes from the same roots, via Dutch ezel and Proto-West Germanic *asil [source].

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

You can find more details of these words on the Celtiadur blog. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Adventures in Etymology – Ship

In this Adventure we’re uncovering the origins of the word ship.

Tall ship in Copenhagen harbour

A ship [ʃɪp] is:

  • A water-borne vessel generally larger than a boat.
  • A vessel which travels through any medium other than across land, such as an airship or spaceship.
  • A sailing vessel with three or more square-rigged masts. (archaic, nautical, formal)

It comes from Middle English s(c)hip [ʃip] (ship, boat), from Old English scip [ʃip] (ship), from Proto-West-Germanic *skip (ship), from Proto-Germanic *skipą (ship), possibly from PIE *skey- (to split, dissect) which originally meant a hollowed tree [source].

Words from the same roots include skipper in English, Schipp (ship) and Schiff (ship, nave, vessel, boiler) in German, schip (ship, nave) in Dutch, skepp (ship, nave) in Swedish, and sgioba (crew, team) in Scottish Gaelic [source].

The English word skiff (a small flat-bottomed open boat) also comes from the same roots, via Middle French esquif (skiff), Old Italian schifo (small boat, dingy), and Lombardic skif (ship, boat) [source].

Incidentally, the Scots word skiff (a light, fleeting shower of rain or snow; a gust of wind; to move in a light airy manner, barely touching the ground) does not come from the same roots. Instead, it probably has onomatopoeic origins. The English word skiffle (a type of folk music made using homemade or improvised instruments) was possibly borrowed from this Scots word [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 – Wheel

In this Adventure in Etymology we’re unrolling the origins of the word wheel, and finding out how its linked to such words as pole, telephone, cult, collar and cycle.

Snaefell Wheel (Lady Evelyn)

A wheel [wiːl/ʍiːl/wil] is:

  • A circular device capable of rotating on its axis, facilitating movement or transportation or performing labour in machines.

It comes from Middle English whele [ʍeːl] (wheel), from Old English hwēol [xwe͜oːl] (wheel), from Proto-Germanic *hwehwlą [ˈxʷe.xʷlɑ̃] (wheel), from PIE *kʷékʷlom (wheel) from *kʷel- (to turn) [source].

Words from the same roots include pole, telephone, chakra, cult, collar and cycle in English, kolo (bicycle, wheel) in Czech, kakls (neck, throat) in Latvian, and चाक (cāk – wheel) and चक्र (cakra – circle, ring, wheel, cycle) in Hindi [source].

Incidentally, words for chariot or wheel in Sumerian (𒄑𒇀), Aramaic and Hebrew (גַּלְגַּל‎) and Chinese (軲轆) possibly come from the same PIE roots [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 – Surface and Skin

In this episode we’re looking into words for surface, skin and related things in Celtic languages.

Hippo very close

The Proto-Celtic *tondā means surface or skin and comes from the Proto-Indo-European *tend- (to cut off) [source].

Descendents in the modern Celtic language include:

  • tonn [t̪ˠɑun̪ˠ] = surface or skin in Irish.
  • tonn [tɔun̪ˠ] = skin or hide in Scottish Gaelic
  • ton [tɔn] = rind, crust, peel, turf, unploughed land or lawn in Welsh
  • ton = grass in Cornish
  • ton [tɔn] = rind or surface in Breton

There doesn’t appear to be a cognate in Manx.

The English word tonne/ton comes from the same Proto-Celtic root, via French, Latin and Gaulish [source]. Other words from the same Proto-Celtic root include tonne (tonne/ton) in French, tona (tun – a type of cask, ton/tonne) and tonya (a type of sweet bun) in Catalan, tona (surface, skin, bark) and tonel (barrel, tun) in Galician, and tonel (barrel) in Spanish [source].

Incidentally, the English word tun (a large cask, fermenting vat) probably comes from the same roots, via Middle English, Old English, Proto-Germanic, Latin and Gaulish, as does the German word Tonne (barrel, vat, tun, drum), the Dutch word ton (barrel, ton, large amount), and the Irish word tunna (cask), which was borrowed from Latin [source].
(A bit of bonus content that’s not included in the recording.)

You can find more details of these words on the Celtiadur blog. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Adventures in Etymology – Kith and Kin

In this Adventure we’re looking into the words kith and kin.

We had all the kinfolk over fer Thanksgivins.

Kith [kɪθ] means:

  • Friends and acquaintances (archaic/obsolete)

It appears in the expression kith and kin (both friends and family) and comes from the Middle English kith (kinsmen, relations), from Old English cȳþþu [ˈkyːθ.θu] (knoweldge, native land, home) from Proto-Germanic *kunþiþō (knowledge, acquaintance), from PIE *ǵneh₃- (to know) [source].

Engish words from the same roots include can, cunning, gnome, know, noble, quaint and uncouth [source].

Kin [kɪn] means:

  • Race, family, breed, kind
  • Persons of the same race or family, kindred
  • One or more relatives

It comes from Middle English kyn (family, native, tribe, clan), from Old English cynn (kind, tribe, race, species, family), from Proto-West-Germanic *kuni (family, kin), from Proto-Germanic *kunją (kin, family, clan) from PIE *ǵenh₁- (to beget, give birth) [source]

Engish words from the same roots include cognate, engine, gene, genius, gentle, kind and nature [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 – Caboodle

In this Adventure we’re looking into the word caboodle.

Kits and Kaboodle-001

A caboodle (also written kaboodle) is:

  • Any large collection of things or people.

It appears in the US slang expressions the (whole) kit and caboodle and the whole caboodle and means “everything entirely; the whole lot; all together; as one” It first appeared in writing in the 1830s as the whole boodle, and as the whole caboodle in 1848 [source].

Caboodle/kaboodle comes from boodle,which originally meant a crowd, and later phony money or swag, from Dutch boedel [ˈbu.dəl] (property, riches), from Proto-West-Germanic bōþl (house, dwelling, property), from Proto-Germanic *bōþlą [ˈbɔːθ.lɑ̃] (house, dwelling), possibly from PIE *bʰuH- (to become, appear, grow) [source]

Words from the same roots include baile (home, place, town, city) in Irish and Scottish Gaelic, balley (town, village, farm) in Manx, ból (dwelling, abode, home, lair, bed) in Icelandic, and bosky (bushy, bristling) 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 – Wicker

In this Adventure we’re unravelling the origins of the word wicker.

Four little baskets sitting on a wall
Wicker [ˈwɪkə(ɹ)/ˈwɪkɚ] is:

  • A flexible branch or twig of a plant such as willow, used in weaving baskets and furniture.

It comes from Middle English wiker (wickerwork), possibly from Old Norse veikr (pliant, weak), from Proto-Germanic *waikwaz [ˈwɑi̯.kʷɑz] (weak, soft, pliable), from *wīkwaną [ˈwiː.kʷɑ.nɑ̃] (to yield, fold, retreat) from Proto-Indo-European *weyk- (to bend, curve, divide) [source].

Words from the same PIE roots include week, weak, province and cervix in English; Wechsel (change, bill of exchange) in German; växel (change, bill of exchange, switch, gear) in Swedish; fois (time) in French; and vez (time, instance, place, turn) in Spanish [source].

Incidentally, the Middle English word woke [wɔːk/wɑːk], which meant weak, feeble, helpless, unimportant or bendable, comes from the same roots, as did the word wocnesse [ˈwɔːknɛs] (vulnerability to sin or iniquity, lack of fighting skill) [source].

They are not related to the modern usage of woke, which is an abbreviation woken (up), and originated in African-American vernacular as meaning awake, conscious, alert, well-informed, especially in racial and other social justice issues. It is often used in a dergatory way about anyone who holds views that are disliked by the person using it [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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