Tagged: etymology

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...

A flounder.

Flat as a flounder

A fishy metaphor shows the loopy linguistic journey taken by a family of flat fish M. Michael Brady Asker, Norway The flounder is a flatfish native to the bottom zones of waters off the...

Folk, a much-used word

M. Michael Brady Asker, Norway Folk is a much-used word. It appears in all the Germanic languages, though occasionally respelled, as Volk in German. The definition of folk in the electronic version of the...

The nigh universal egg

The egg may be incredible and edible, but its origin as a word is still unknown M. Michael Brady Asker, Norway The word egg arguably may be the most widely familiar of the words...

Trump turmoil triggers tracing to Nynorsk

Stories about the Norwegian roots of the word trump have recently gone mildly viral. Here’s what our correspondent found M. Michael Brady Asker, Norway The genealogy of the surname of the 45th President is...