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Javi filted:
No, it was not a camel nor a dromedary. There was a mistake by St. Hyeronimus in his translation of ... to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

This is the same sort of thing that led Michelangelo to depict Moses with horns rather than with a halo..r
Restoring half the quote:

None of which would seem to apply to naming antarctic birds!

ETYMOLOGY: Possibly from Welsh pen gwyn, White Head (name of an island in Newfoundland), great auk : pen, chief, head + gwynn, white

OED confirms that the term was originally used in English for the Auks:

>

OED also has a long item on etymology which I won't reproduce except for the conclusion:
>
There seems to be something of a tradition in English of giving names to creatures and then applying the name to a different creature. See Turkey / Guinea Fowl passim.
It seems that 'penguin' was recorded in English earlier than 'pingouin' in French.

John Dean
Oxford
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"Jim Ward" (Email Removed)
In French, paper clips and trombones are both "trombones". Go figure.

Because trombones are shaped like paper clips.
"Peter T. Daniels" (Email Removed)
Is "abusif" a faux ami? I don't see how a bird name could be caconymic. Anyway, French doesn't even have words for toe or potato.

orteil and patate.
snip
In French, paper clips and trombones are both "trombones". Go figure.

I guess Steve Martin was wrong: the French don't have a different word for everything.

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 21 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey to whhvs)
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I don't know the answer to your question, but I ... light of the renaming of American prunes as "dried plums."

If they're the ones I'm thinking of, they are salted and spiced as well a totally different experience from prunes, which the American market at least seems to like sweet and un-dry. Ross Clark

It seems to me that English offers more choices for words than French does. I believe this is because English has a three-tiered vocabulary of Anglo-Saxon, French and classical synonyms from Greek and Latin that affords us at least three choices when we're searching for le mot juste. Some examples are:
Anglo-Saxon French Greek-Latin ask question interrogate big large voluminous end finish conclude kingly royal regal
rise mount ascend fear terror trepidation
and where

In French, paper clips and trombones are both "trombones". Go figure.

In English, another brasswind instrument and a snack cracker are both "bugles." Go figure.

Can someone tell me what "go figure" means? I have been trying to work it out from these two examples, but I can't.

Louisa
Essex, England, Europe
It seems to me that English offers more choices for words than French does. I believe this is because English ... French Greek-Latin ask question interrogate big large voluminous end finish conclude kingly royal regal rise mount ascend fear terror trepidation

But, alas, no good equivalent for "le mot juste".
Other French phrases I find myself using for want of terse English alternatives:
ca va (both the question and the response)
ce m'est egal (or the roughly equivalent German: machts nichts) la bas (a bilingual friend suggested "yonder")
Mark
(with apologies for the lack of French diacritical marks)

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Intuitively I do think that English uses separate terms more ... hypothesis, as I haven't got around to a quantitative analysis.

I know only a sprinkling of German, but I've been learning Dutch for some time. From what I've gathered, every ... would be "horse race" and "raincoat factory" and "hospital insurance" wind up being the equivalent of "horserace," "raincoatfactory," and "hospitalinsurance."

Oh, I sure count the English ones as compounds, too, I don"t care for a few space marks in the middle. I still feel there are more cases where English says something unanalyzable like "sandwich" (1) and in German it is just "belegtes Brot" (roughly "bread with something laid on it"), to quote the first example that comes to mind.
I'll tell you what's odd, though, is that there are other places where I would expect compounding and the Dutch don't do it. In sentences like "In the never to be forgotten movie..." Somehow they don't see any need to tie together phrases like "never-to-be-forgotten."

German: "unvergesslich". Nevertheless, non-nouns don't lend themselves to compounding nearly as easily as nouns.

Oliver C.
(1) In my Japanese university, they had a small shop called "the sandwitch house". I ventured into it, firmly grasping my silver crucifix.
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