Tagged: etymology

The coining of quisling

M. Michael Brady Asker, Norway Quisling is a term that originated in Norway. In the Scandinavian languages and in English, it denotes a person who collaborates with an enemy, and in general it’s a...

Seasonal simplicity

Words about words M. Michael Brady Asker, Norway The beginnings of the four seasons of the year, or “Earth’s Seasons” as they collectively are called in astronomical terms, are red-letter days (“Red Letter Days,”...

Rallar and beslegge

Newer Norwegian words linked by history M. Michael Brady Asker, Norway According to the Global Language Monitor (www.languagemonitor.com), English now has more than a million words, and 5,400 new words are added each year....

Midtsommer vs. sankthans

Words about words M. Michael Brady Asker, Norway In Norway, midtsommer, the everyday word for the period around the summer solstice, is celebrated on sankthans, the feast day of St. Johannes, June 24, and...

clothesline

Reinventing the wheel

What to call a clothesline that’s not linear? M. Michael Brady Asker, Norway The ubiquitous Norwegian tørkestativ might have had another name. In principle, it functions as does the traditional fiskehjell (fish flake), a...

Pentecost: Hvitasunnudagr, painting by Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval

Pentecost or Pinse?

Words about words M. Michael Brady Asker, Norway Pentecost is the name of a Christian festival that linguistically is both simple and complex. It’s simple because it designates a specific day. It’s complex because...

Bonanza of tequila

A bonanza of tequila?

Two Mexican Spanish words that ambled through English into Norsk vocabulary M. Michael Brady Asker, Norway In the 1840s, two Mexican Spanish words, bonanza and tequila, found their way into English, and thereby, 50...

Haugesund Sound

Sund and Sound

Two words, one entangled relationship M. Michael Brady Asker, Norway The modern Norwegian word sund comes directly from the Old Norse word for a narrow fairway (smalt farvann). It’s seldom used alone but is...

The Small coat-of-arms

Small & Små: Little words with big histories

M. Michael Brady Asker, Norway The English word small and the Norwegian equivalent word små both come from the Old Norse smár. Today they are much used, in many denotations. In Norwegian, Kunnskapforlaget’s Norsk...