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At 09:17:22 on Mon, 21 Nov 2005, izzy (Email Removed) wrote in (Email Removed):
OK. Let's look at an example of a Latin phrase that might have become an English idiom, but we know ... would also have acquired a folk-etymology, perhaps "a flower-bush could have many names, but we typically give it only one."

You would be on firmer ground if you were to cite pub names like "The Elephant and Castle" and "The Case is Altered", both of which came from British soldiers in the Peninsular War trying to make sense of the names of the Spanish inns they enjoyed.

Molly Mockford
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety - Benjamin Franklin (My Reply-To address *is* valid, though may not remain so for ever.)
I try to be precise or accurate in my use of words: I wrote "might have happened". This is what you have not demonstrated.

OK. Let's look at an example of a Latin phrase that might have become an English idiom, but we know ... would also have acquired a folk-etymology, perhaps "a flower-bush could have many names, but we typically give it only one."

You know, this would have been a damned sight more convincing if you had used a real example rather than a fictitious one.
I think we can safely say that both meanings (the ... - there is no way of determining which was uppermost.

The OED finally accepted Lecoq's protestations (after his death) and revised its etymology for the element Gallium.

That doesn't mean they were right. Remind me, which one of us is it that doesn't accept dictionary etymologies?
Wasn't the cockerel used as a symbol by the Third Republic?

I had to Google this one. The answer is "almost". See: http://www.ambafrance-uk.org/article.php3?id article=362 http://www.languedoc-france.info/06141212 cockerel.htm

"it virtually became an official symbol of the Third Republic". Note the use on stamps and coins. It makes an unfortunate reference to "word war I", with which I suspect you might be involved :-)
I don't believe your "bearings" story :-)

I did a Google search for ("getting your bearings" + email) and found this 58-page website: http://www.sciencenorth.on.ca/schools/teacherresources/edu guides/IMAX/bears.pdf

Yes, it's all about bears! Do you think it is an unbiased source?
I have a feeling that this bizarre statement may come back to haunt you :-)

Why?

Let's wait and see :-)
I very much doubt that "spiel" comes from Hebrew. Do remember what Yiddish actually is.

The Germanic Spiel means "a play", as in a Purim Spiel. This meaning is also found in Yiddish. But the ... get from a used-car salesman. This spiel is semantically related to Hebrew samekh-peh-resh = to tell. Play it again, Sam.

Rather than just stating "spiel is semantically related to Hebrew", how about showing us some evidence?

An English expression which is a literal translation from the Hebrew is not an "expression derived from Hebrew". In any case, "skin of the teeth" (which was where we came in) is either a mistranslation or (more likely) a corruption in the Hebrew text (blame the Masoretes).
But give me some actual Hebrew examples.

"Count sheep (to go to sleep)" probably originated in a monastery or university "Take hair of the dog that bit you" as a hangover remedy is probably another.

Probably? Can't you be a bit more precise? What sort of university or monastery?
Here the Latin phrase is Saccharomyces cervisiae, a yeast that converts sugar to alcohol. The cure is spent Brewer's yeast (Marmite or Vegamite in your supermarket). The Hebrew pun is Sa3aR MiNSHaKH KeLeV = hair bite dog. Compare the Greek 3-headed dog CeRBerus. See: http://www.musicalenglishlessons.org/contributors/izzycohen.htm

At which date is any of this supposed to have happened? Bearing in mind the title of this thread, does peddling this nonsense come from a lifetime of dealing with people less clever than you?

Just play the odds :-)
I don't think you'll get many takers for your "Body (Part) Maps".

The BPMaps discussion group currently has about 140 members. It is a very quiet group that currently averages about 1 message per month. You and all of the readers are cordially invited to join. When you do, be sure to examine the databases.

Actually, there's more to the "Body Part Maps" than your other ideas, but as usual you are pushing it too far.

John Briggs
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
OK. Let's look at an example of a Latin phrase ... have many names, but we typically give it only one."

You would be on firmer ground if you were to cite pub names like "The Elephant and Castle" and "The ... from British soldiers in the Peninsular War trying to make sense of the names of the Spanish inns they enjoyed.

You are a couple of hundred years out with those :-)
John Briggs
At 21:24:03 on Mon, 21 Nov 2005, John Briggs (Email Removed) wrote in :
You would be on firmer ground if you were to ... sense of the names of the Spanish inns they enjoyed.

You are a couple of hundred years out with those :-)

No doubt - history was never my strong point :-) Which war was it, then?

Molly Mockford
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety - Benjamin Franklin (My Reply-To address *is* valid, though may not remain so for ever.)
You are a couple of hundred years out with those :-)

No doubt - history was never my strong point :-) Which war was it, then?

Well, no, you are completely wrong :-)
"The Case is Altered" is the title of a play by Ben Jonson - it was already a proverbial expression. There is a reference to " 'The Elephant' in the South Suburbs" in "Twelfth Night". This is NOT a reference to the present Elephant and Castle, but it does show that such inn names were already in use.

John Briggs
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I think this thread is getting to the point of diminishing returns, but I'll try to answer a few of the questions that were posed:
Let's look at an example of a Latin phrase that ... "e pluribus unum" which means "out of many, one". ...

You know, this would have been a damned sight more convincing if you had used a real example rather than a fictitious one.

OK. I don't know if you consider "Welsh rabbit" to be an idiom, but its meaning certainly has nothing to do with the Welsh or rabbits. I think it is merely a list of its ingredients in Arabic. I'll show the Hebrew equivalents, using X for the letter het with a W-sound (parallel to Greek digamma, preLatin V, and Germanic Wynn):
milk/cheese ale toast
XaLav SHakhaR PaT (lexem)
WeLSH RaBBiT
Please don't ask me exactly where/when this occurred. I also don't know where the wheel was invented or who invented it. But Welsh rabbit may be via returning crusaders or Black Irish.
Remind me, which one of us is it that doesn't accept dictionary etymologies?

Most dictionary etymologies are correct. More than a few are not. Ironically, the three most likely to be known by a non-linguist are false:
1 - Muscle is not from Latin musculus, a small mouse. It is related toweight (Semitic MiSHKal), mass, and massage. If you have a lot of muscle, you can lift/pull a lot of weight. If you lift weights, you will develop your muscles. A small mouse has small muscles.

By the way, this mistake was probably influenced by the fact that Greek pontiki means both mouse and muscle. But the mouse meaning of pontiki was shortened from the phrase "mus pontikus", mouse from the Pontus region of Anatolia. And Pontus (now in Turkey) was the location of the biceps muscle on an anthropomorphic map of Asia minor.
2 - Cabal is not from Hebrew Kabbalah (esoteric learning, literally,the received tradition). It is related to Hebrew het-bet-lamed XaBaL (to plot, scheme).
3 - Sabotage has nothing to do with an old French sabot = shoe. Itsoriginal meaning was to go on strike, that is, to treat a work-day as if it were the Sabbath.
Actually, there's more to the "Body Part Maps" than your other ideas, but as usual you are pushing it too far.

So, join the BPMaps group and push it back.
ciao,
Israel "izzy" Cohen
/
"e pluribus unum" ...might have been spelled "a flower bush you name" but it would have retained its original meaning.

Do you SPEAK English?
This all reminds me of the Victorian etymologist who derived Lambeth from the Tibetan Lama, a priest, and the Hebrew Beth, a house. The bishop's palace is, of course, at Lambeth.
Paul Burke
( If ) "e pluribus unum" (had become an English ... you name" but it would have retained its original meaning.

Do you SPEAK English?

Yes. It is my native language.
This all reminds me of the Victorian etymologist who derived Lambeth from the Tibetan Lama, a priest, and the Hebrew Beth, a house. The bishop's palace is, of course, at Lambeth. Paul Burke

Would you derive Vatican from Hebrew Va3aD = committee + KohaNim = priests ? ... rather than from Mt. Vatican? If not, from whence Mt. Vatican?
Israel "izzy" Cohen (a kohen)
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Would you derive Vatican from Hebrew Va3aD = committee + KohaNim = priests ? ... rather than from Mt. Vatican? If not, from whence Mt. Vatican?

Rather good at prediction, those old Romans, calling a hill and a swamp the Committee of Priests, knowing it would become, a thousand years later, the centre of a religion that didn't yet exist.

Perhaps "Vatican" is Etruscan for "Sorry, I don't speak Hebrew".

Paul Burke
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