Adventures in Etymology – Rubble

There’s some building work going on at my house, so in this Adventure we’re digging into the origins of the word rubble.

Rubble

Rubble [ˈɹʌb.əl] is:

  • the broken remains of an object, usually rock or masonry
  • rough, irregular stones broken from larger masses, esp. waste fragments from the demolition of a building, etc.

It comes from the Middle English rouble/rubel/robel, from the Anglo-Norman *robel (bits of broken stone), possibly from the Old Norse rubba (to huddle, crowd together, heap up), from the Proto-Germanic *rubbōną (to rub, scrape) [source].

It is probably related to the word rubbish (refuse, waste, garbage, junk, trash), which was robous (rubbish, buidling rubble) in Middle English [source]. The word rub possibly comes from the same roots as well [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 – A Slew of Slogans

In this episode we’re looking into the Celtic roots of the words slogan and slew.

A Slew of Slogans

In English the word slogan means a distinctive phrase of a person or group of people, a motto, a catchphrase, and formerly, a battle cry used by the Irish or by Scottish highlanders [source].

In the past it was written sloggorne, slughorne or slughorn, and it comes from the Scottish Gaelic sluagh-ghairm [ˈsɫ̪uəɣɤɾʲəm] (battle cry) from the Old Irish slóg/slúag (army, host, throng, crowd), and gairm (call, cry, crow, proclamation) [source].

The Old Irish word slóg/slúag comes from the Proto-Celtic *slougos (troop, army), from the Proto-Indo-European *slowg(ʰ)os (entourage) [source].

Celtic words from the same root include:

  • slua [sˠl̪ˠuə] = host, force, army; crowd, multitude, throng in Irish
  • sluagh [sl̪ˠuəɣ] = folk, people, populace; the fairy host; crowd in Scottish Gaelic
  • sleih = commonalty, crowd, family, inhabitants, people, populace, public, relations in Manx
  • llu [ɬɨː / ɬiː] = host, a large number (of people), a great many, multitude, throng, crowd in Welsh
  • lu [ly: / liˑʊ] = army, military, troop in Cornish
  • lu = army in Breton

Words for family and household in Celtic languages, such as teaghlach in Irish and teulu in Welsh, come from the same Proto-Celtic root, via *tegoslougom (“house army”) [source].

The English word slew (a large amount), as in “a slew of papers” was borrowed from the Irish slua [source].

Words from the same PIE root include слуга (servant) in Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Ukrainian and Serbian; sługa (minion, servant) in Polish; sluha (servant) in Czech and Slovak, slugă (servant, domestic) in Romanian, and szolga (servant, attendant) in Hungarian [source].

The Old Irish word gairm (call, cry, crow, proclamation) comes from the Proto-Celtic *gar(r)man- (cry, shout), from the Proto-Indo-European *ǵh₂r̥-smn̥, from *ǵeh₂r- (to shout, cry).

Celtic words from the same root include:

  • gairm [ˈɡaɾʲəmʲ/ˈɡɪɾʲəmʲ] = call, summons, calling, vocation in Irish
  • gairm [ɡɤrʲɤm] = calling, crying, call, cry, announcing, declaring, convenning, call of the cockerel in Scottish Gaelic
  • gerrym = crowing, outcry, shouting, whoop, whooping, (cock) crow), avocation, mission, profession, vocation in Manx
  • garm = shout, cry, outcry, clamour in Welsh
  • garm = shout, whoop, yell in Cornish
  • garm = cry, clamour, weeping in Breton

Words from the same roots include gáir (cry, shout, report) in Irish, goir (to call, cry, hoot) in Scottish Gaelic, gair (word, speech) in Welsh [more details].

The English words garrulous (excessively talkative), care and charm (sound of many voices (esp. of birds or children), a flock or group (esp. of finches)) as come from the same PIE roots [source].

More details about words for Troop, host, throng 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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Omniglot News (30/10/22)

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

There are new language pages about:

  • Batak Angkola, a Southern Batak language spoken in the province of North Sumatra in Indonesia
  • Batak Dairi (Kata Pakpak), a Northern Batak language spoken in the provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra in Indonesia.
  • Batak Karo (cakap Karo), a Northern Batak language spoken in the provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra in Indonesia.
  • Batak Simalungun (Sahap Simalungun), a Southern Batak language spoken in the province of North Sumatra in Indonesia.
  • Batak Mandailing (Saro Mandailing), a Southern Batak language spoken in North Sumatra Province in Indonesia.
  • Batak Toba (Hata Batak Toba), a Southern Batak language spoken in the province of North Sumatra in Indonesia.
  • Makalero, a Timor-Alor-Pantar language in the municipality of Lautém in the east of East Timor.

New constructed script: Jierimse, which was invented by Kobey Hill as an alternative way to write Austalian English, and was inspired by the Glagolitic and Ge’ez scripts.

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Jierimse

There are new numbers pages in:

  • Tobelo, a West Papuan language spoken in the provinces of North Maluku and Papua in Indonesia.
  • Kembayan, a Southern Land Dayak language spoken in West Kalimantan province of Indonesia
  • Kambera (hilu Humba), a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken in Sumba Island in eastern Indonesia.

There are new Tower of Babel translations in:

There’s an Omniglot blog post about spelling and Miss Pelling, and the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language is spoken in parts of North Africa

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Äynu (Äynú / ئهﻳنوُ), a Turkic language spoke in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the northwest of China.

There’s a new Celtiadur post about words for Heels and related things in Celtic languages.

On the Celtic Pathways podcast we find out what links the word Clan with words such as children, plant and plantain.

As it’s near the end of October, in the Adventure in Etymology we’re investigating the origins of the word hallow, as in Halloween.

I also made improvements to the Batak script, and made separate pages for Batak languages (mentioned above).

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 – Hallow

As it’s near the end of October, in this Adventure in Etymology we’re investigating the origins of the word hallow, as in Halloween.

Halloween in Hallow

Hallow [ˈhæləʊ / ˈhæloʊ] is an old word that means:

  • A saint; a holy person; an apostle.
  • (plural) The relics or shrines of saints or non-Christian gods.

It comes from the Middle English halwe (saint, holy thing, shrine), from the Old English hālga (saint), from the Proto-Germanic *hailagô (holy person), from *hailagaz (holy, sacred), rom *hailaz (whole, intact, hale, healthy), from the PIE *kóylos (healthy, whole) [source].

The word Halloween comes from the Scots Hallow evin/even, from Allhallow evin, from Allhallow (all the saints) and evin (evening) [source].

English words from the same roots include holy, hale (healthy, sound, robust), as in hale and hearty, hail (to greet, salute, call) and whole [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 – Clan

In this episode we’re looking a the word clan and related things in Celtic languages.

Dufftown Highland Games

The word clan in English means a group of people descended from a common ancestor, a traditional social group of families in the Scottish Highlands having a common hereditary chieftain, or any group defined by family ties with some sort of political unity [source].

It was borrowed from clann in Irish or Scottish Gaelic, which come from the Old Irish cland (children, family, offspring, plant), from the Old Welsh plant (children, young people, offspring), from the Latin planta (vegetable, sprout, shoot, twig, shrub), possibly from the Proto-Italic *plāntā, from the Proto-Indo-European *pleh₂- (flat) or from the Proto-Italic *plānktā, from the Proto-Indo-European *pleh₂k-/*pleh₂g- (to strike, fast) [source].

Related words in the Celtic languages include:

  • clann [kl̪ˠɑun̪ˠ/kl̪ˠɑːn̪ˠ/kl̪ˠan̪ˠ] = children, offspring, race, descendents, clan, followers, plant, lock (of hair),
    and planda [pl̪ˠaun̪ˠd̪ˠə] = plant, scion in Irish
  • clann [kl̪ˠaun̪ˠ] = children, offspring, progeny, clan, lock of hair, curl
    and plannt [pl̪ˠãũn̪ˠd] = plant in Scottish Gaelic
  • cloan [klɔːn] = children, descendent, family circle,
    and plant = plant in Manx
  • plant [plant] = children, young people, offspring, progeny, descendents, followers, disciples, servants in Welsh
  • plans = plant in Cornish
  • plantenn = plant in Breton

The English word plant comes from the same roots, via Middle English, Old English and Latin [source], as does the word plantain, via Middle English, Anglo-Norman, Old French and Latin [source].

The word clan was borrowed from English into various other languages, including Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Portuguese and Spanish. It even ended up in Turkish, via French. So the Turkish word klan arrived via French, English, Irish/Scottish Gaelic, Old Irish, Old Welsh, Latin, Proto-Italic and Proto-Indo-European – quite a journey! [source]

More details about these words on 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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Omniglot News (23/10/22)

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

There are new language pages about:

  • Wapishana (Wapixana), a Northern Arawakan language spoken in Guyana and Brazil.
  • Ketengban, an Eastern Mek language spoken in Highland Papua Province in Indonesia.

New constructed script: High Gavellian, which was created in 2020 by the developers of the Minecraft MMORPG Wynncraft, and is used to write English and Irish in the game.

Sample text in High Gavellian

New adapated script Glagoñol (Ⰳⱉⰰⰳⱁⰾⰹⱌⱏ), which is a way to write Spanish with the Glagolitic alphabet devised by Rodrigo Bustamante Solano.

Ⱅⱁⰴⱁⱄ ⰾⱁⱄ ⱄⰵⱃⰵⱄ ⱆⰿⰰⱀⱁⱄ ⱀⰰⱄⰵⱀ ⰾⰻⰱⱃⰵⱄ ⰵ ⰻⰳⱆⰰⰾⰵⱄ ⰵⱀ ⰴⰻⰳⱀⰻⰴⰰⰴ ⰻ ⰴⰵⱃⰵⱍⱁⱄ ⰻ, ⰴⱁⱅⰰⰴⱁⱄ ⰽⱁⰿⱁ ⰵⱄⱅⰰ'ⱀ ⰴⰵ ⱃⰰⰸⱁ'ⱀ ⰻ ⰽⱁⱀⱌⰻⰵⱀⱌⰻⰰ, ⰴⰵⰱⰵⱀ ⰽⱁⰿⱂⱁⱃⱅⰰⱃⱄⰵ ⱇⱃⰰⱅⰵⱃⱀⰰⰾⰿⰵⱀⱅⰵ ⰾⱁⱄ ⱆⱀⱁⱄ ⰽⱁⱀ ⰾⱁⱄ ⱁⱅⱃⱁⱄ.

There are new numbers pages in:

  • Dawan (Uab Metô), a Timoric language spoken in East Nusa Tenggara province on the island of West Timor in Indonesia.
  • Ngalum, am Ok language spoken in Papua province of Indonesia, and in Sandaun province of Papua New Guinea.
  • Lepki, a South Pauwasi language spoken in Western New Guinea.
  • Mao (Emela), an Angami-Pochuri language spoken in Manipur and Nagaland in northeastern India
  • Ketengban, an Eastern Mek language spoken in Highland Papua Province in Indonesia.

There are new Tower of Babel translations in: Pamona, Tobelo, Termanu, Una, Rampi, Gorontalo, Saluan, Mentawai, Banggai and Sangirese.

There’s a new page of silly phraes, mostly from Duolingo, in Scottish Gaelic

New article: Four Nordic languages around the Baltic Sea – Fynsk, Åländska, Malax and Estonian Swedish

There’s an Omniglot blog post about the Scots word Snoozle, which means to snooze or doze, or to nuzzle, poke with the nose or snuggle, and the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language is in the northwest of China.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was
Boro / Bodo (बर’ राव), a member of the Sal branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family spoken in northeast India and eastern Nepal.


There’s a new Celtiadur post about words for Peace and Fairies and related things in Celtic languages.

On the Celtic Pathways podcast we look into the origins of words for sacks, bags, bellys and related things in Celtic languages, and discover that the English words bulge, bilge and budget have Celtic roots.

In this week’s Adventure in Etymology we tell tales about the origins of the word spell and related words.

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 – Spell

Today we’re telling tales about the origins of the word spell.

Spell

Spell [spɛl] means:

  • Words or a formula supposed to have magical powers.
  • A magical effect or influence induced by an incantation or formula
  • To put under the influence of a spell, to affect by a spell, to bewitch, fascinate, charm

Spell used to mean speech or discourse. It comes from the Middle English spel(l) (story, tale, narrative, report), from the Old English spell (news, story, prose), from the Proto-Germanic spellą (news, message, tale, story, legend),from the PIE *spel- (to tell) or from *bʰel- (to speak, sound) [source].

Words from the same roots include gospel and byspel (an example — rare) in English; spjall (talk, gossip) and spjalla (to chat, converse) in Icelandic; and fjalë (word) in Albanian [source].

The word spell (to be able to write or say the letters that form words), also comes from the same root, via the Middle English spellen (to mean, signify, interpret, to spell out letters), the Old French espeler (to call, cry out, shout, explain, tell), the Frankish *spelôn, and the Proto-Germanic *spellōną (to speak) [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 – Sacks

In this episode we are looking into the origins of words for sacks, bags and bellys in Celtic languages.

Sacks

The Proto-Celtic word *bolgos means sack, bag or stomach. It comes from the Proto-Indo-European *bʰólǵʰ-o-s (skin bag, bolster), from *bʰelǵʰ- (to swell) [source].

Descendants in the Celtic languages include:

  • bolg [ˈbˠɔlˠəɡ] = belly, stomach, abdomen; bag; bulge, broad part, middle; bellows in Irish
  • bolg [bɔl̪ˠɔg] = blister, bulge, (light) bulb in Scottish Gaelic
  • bolg [bolg] = stomach, abdomen, belly, tummy, corporation, bilge, bowl (of lamp) in Manx
  • bol [bɔl] = belly, paunch, abdomen, stomach, bowels; tripe; appetite, desire, gluttony, liking; womb; swelling, bulge, surface, side in Welsh
  • bolgh [bɔlx] = breach, gap, opening in Cornish
  • bolc’h = flax pod in Breton

The related Gaulish word *bolgā (sack, bag, stomach) was borrowed into Medieval/Late Latin as bulga (knapsack, wallet, satchel, purse, womb), and became bouge (sack, purse, small bag) and bougette (budget – purse for carrying coins) in Old French; bouge (hovel, dive, shanty, bulge, protuberance) in modern French; bulge, bilge and budget in English, and possibly bolgia (pit, bedlam, madhouse, shambles) in Italian [source].

Other words for the PIE root *bʰelǵʰ- (to swell), include belly, bellows, Belgium, billow, bolster, fool and folly in English [source].

More details about these words on 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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Omniglot News (16/10/22)

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

There are new language pages about:

  • Löyöp, an Oceanic language spoken in the east of Ureparapara Island in northern Vanuatu.
  • Lehali (Loli), an Oceanic language spoken in the west of Ureparapara Island in northern Vanuatu.
  • Mao (Emela), an Angami-Pochuri language spoken in Manipur and Nagaland the northeast of India.

There are new numbers pages in:

  • Aleut (Unangam Tunuu), an Eskimo-Aleut language spoken on the Alaskan Peninsula, and the Aleutian, Pribilof and Commander Islands.
  • Ge’ez (ግዕዝ), the classical language of Ethiopia which is still used as a liturgical language by Ethiopian christians and the Beta Israel Jewish community of Ethiopia.
  • Ketengban (Oktengban), a Trans-New Guinea language spoken West Papua in Indonesia.

On the Omniglot blog this week there’s a post called Jealous Envy, which is about the differences between the words jealousy and envy, and the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language is spoken in the northeast of India and in eastern Nepal.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was
Louisiana Creole (Kréyòl La Lwizyàn), a French-based creole spoken mainly in Louisiana in the USA.

There’s a new Celtiadur post about words for Gloves and Sleeves and related things in Celtic languages.

On the Celtic Pathways podcast we stroll around the words for step, path and related things in Celtic languages.

In this week’s Adventure in Etymology we find out what links the word jelly with words such as cold, chill and glacier.

I also made improvements to the Balinese language, Balinese phrases and Balinese numbers pages.

I wrote a new song called What Did I Come In Here For? – something that I’m sure many people can relate to.

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 – Jelly

Today we are uncovering the origins of the word jelly.

Strawberry Jelly

Jelly [ˈd͡ʒɛl.i] is:

  • a dessert made by boiling gelatin(e), sugar and some flavouring (often derived from fruit) and allowing it to set (In the UK, Australia and NZ) – known as jello in North America (see below)
  • A clear or translucent fruit preserve, made from fruit juice and set using either naturally occurring, or added, pectin.

Note: there are various kinds of fruit preserves with different names in different countries. For example, what people in North America call jelly, might be called jam in the UK. More details.

Jelly comes from the Middle English gele [dʒɛˈleː] (jelly made from meat stock), from the Old French gelee (a cold spell, period of coldness), from geler (to freeze, become very cold), from the Latin gelāre (to freeze), from gelō (I freeze) from gelū (frost),from the PIE *gel- (to be cold, to freeze) [source].

Related words in English include gel, gelatin, gelid (very cold, icy, frosty), glacier, cold, cool, chill and congeal [source].

In North America the dessert made from gelatine and flavoured with fruit is known as jello. It was invented and trademarked by Pearle Bixby Wait in New York in 1897 as JELL-O. Since then the name has become genericized and is used to refer to any brand of fruit flavored gelatin dessert mix [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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