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February 28, 2011
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@jayles: "been looking for a stand-in for flexible for some time"
Flexible: lithe(some), lissome, limber, willowy, bending, yielding, nimble, spry (E. sprack & Swed. sprygg
"...the poetry, of Englishmen down to the fourteenth century (with the single and brilliant exception of Laurence Minot, and he was of French origin) is dull, heavy, and only half articulate Their works read like the feeble and clumsy efforts of half-educated country people to express their thoughts. The Norman-French leaven was needed to raise them out of their infantile condition, and to produce the free and powerful speech of a Chaucer. p37"
Wow! This struck me hard as being everything that "Anglishers" are branded for, but they are on the other side; they are internationalists/globalists. This is the height of aloof, self-righteous, smug narrow-minded gall (OE g(e)alla). But, what else should we await from these kinds of folks that are against the keeping and quickening of Ænglisc? What a bunch of bigoted humbugging-quacks!
"...the mother tongue was banished from the schoolroom." Isn't this what most "Anglishers" or folks that want less borrowings in English truly are striving against - the loss of first English wordstock? Indeed there may be some that are driven by an over-the-top, waspish nationalism. The greater of them I think want to win back the words and meanings that have been seemingly lost, and keep the ones that are still in English, even though they been rare in speech and writing.
Can English be called English without its first wordstock? The name Frenc(i)sc became French, which only has 10-15% Frankish wordstock, so maybe English should be called something else since it is so full of fremd borrowings as "Academia" would have us believe? English to me means the Germanic tongue, the folks in England, and the West Germanic folks from N Germany/ S Denmark who invaded and settled large parts of E and N England beginning about the year 410.
Let's see...how about something Latin-ish? Folks that think the overmuch borrowing is needed to make the tongue "richer", their tongue can be called Anglicē (i.e. Globalish, "Modern English"). Afterall, if it is so Latinized, it is not true English, and therefore should have a Latin name, right?
I found another OE word for "amber" -> eolcfang (abt. 1106).
There are many, many "Old Northern/Norman French" words that are of Norse or Frankish Ursprung. Most Francophone's would never give in to that truth.
Look at what are taken as "French" names like Aubert, Hugh, Louis, Henri, Robert, Roger, Reynard, Reynold (Renaud), Raymond, Charles, Lambert, Baudoin, Bélanger, Colbert, Hébert, Guillory, Monet, Thibault, Thiérry (Thiéry), and so on and so forth. They are all Germanic (mostly Frankish) names that were muddled owing to the way the French speak. There are too many to list here.
Acover is not the same as OF couvrir "to cover something". It is akin to 'recuperate.' Grimm does write that OHG irkoborōn is from L. recuperare [pg. 1235, "Deutsche Grammatik, Volume 4" (1896) by Jacob Grimm
Enthralling reading here: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Sources_of_Standard_English/Chapter_IV_-_The_Inroad_of_French_Words_into_England
"Amber wasn't chosen as the root for electricity for its color but for its properties ... You rub amber and you get static electricity."
Right. I learned that in grade school, but it still seems odd to call it "amber" in Greek/Latin, unless the word means something like, "energy made by rubbing amber and cloth together." I guess no odder than Germanic folk calling it "burn-stone" since it will burn when heated.
"The Greek name for amber was ἤλεκτρον (elektron), "formed by the sun", and it was connected to the sun god (Helios), one of whose titles was Elector or the Awakener."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amber (*Wikipedia Source: King, Rev. C.W. (1867). The Natural History of Gems or Decorative Stones. Cambridge (UK). p. 315.)
Funny enough, G. Bernstein "amber" [G. der Schwefel "sulfur"] and ON brennusteinn "amber" [Icelandic brennisteinn "sulfur"] share the same root as OE brynstān "sulfur" [E. brimstone].
Almost looks like 'electric' might've been misnamed. 'Electricity' doesn't have a yellowish-reddish-brown hue to me at all. I wonder what William Gilbert was thinking or truly saw.
In Old English, there were two words for 'amber' stuff: eolhsand "amber, electrum" [maybe also "gold and silver alloy"] and glær "amber resin" .
Some word-lorists have put forth that the 'eolh-' was a way for the Germanic folk to say the Greek ēlektrōn, with 'sand' on the end because that is where amber is found. So, 'ēlek' (which the Germans may have heard Gmc. 'eolh,' meaning "elk," and dropped the unknown ending (to them) '-tron' + Gmc. sand (where amber is found - in the sand) -> ēleksand -> eolhsand.
The go further and say that the knowledge of 'amber' (and hence the word) came to Germanic through the Greeks Bronze Age trading on the West coast of Jutland [in which the Celts played 'middleman' for the Greeks*]. I think in Ur-Germanic there was also 'glesum' said for amber.
* Hyperboreans: Myth and History in Celtic-Hellenic Contacts (2004) by Timothy P. Bridgman
In German, we say 'der Strom' [E. stream], but also have borrowed 'die Elektrizität'.
What do you mean "they all look latinate?"
@jayles: You are right!
infer = in + L. ferō “bear, carry; suffer” < Ur.In.Eu *bʰer- “to bear, carry” > Ur.Gmc *beraną/*barōną "bring forth, to bear, to carry" (whence OE beran, ON bera, Gothic baíran) > ME beren > E. bear
Also akin to Russian беременная (berémennaya) “pregnant” and L. ferre (see L. ferō )
OE ferian "to take somewhere, to ferry, to carry, to bear" > ME ferien > E. ferry
They all have the same Ur.In.Eu root *per-, *por- "to go, to carry, to go forth, forwards" [Ur.Gmc. *farō, *fer], that's why it is a bit addled. So, Old English could've yielded it, too.
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