11-06-2013, 11:01 AM
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Not all of you will be interested, but I find this kind of stuff fascinating. These word origins are from the Online Etymology Dictionary (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php), a very good resource.

(n.) Old English blæd "a leaf," but also "a leaf-like part" (of spade, oar, etc.), from Proto-Germanic *bladaz (cf. Old Frisian bled "leaf," German blatt, Old Saxon, Danish, Dutch blad, Old Norse blað), from PIE *bhle-to-, suffixed form (past participle) of *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom," possibly identical with *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell" (see bole). Extended in Middle English to shoulders (c.1300) and swords (early 14c.). The modern use in reference to grass may be a Middle English revival, by influence of Old French bled "corn, wheat" (11c., perhaps from Germanic). The cognate in German, Blatt, is the general word for "leaf;" Laub is used collectively as "foliage." Old Norse blað was used of herbs and plants, lauf in reference to trees. This might have been the original distinction in Old English, too. Of men from 1590s; in later use often a reference to 18c. gallants, but the original exact sense, and thus signification, is uncertain.

(n.1) "dust-sweeper, a brush for sweeping," late 14c., also, c.1400, "brushwood, brushes;" from Old French broisse (Modern French brosse) "a brush" (13c.), perhaps from Vulgar Latin *bruscia "a bunch of new shoots" (used to sweep away dust), perhaps from Proto-Germanic *bruskaz "underbrush."brush
(n.2) "shrubbery," early 14c., from Anglo-French bruce "brushwood," Old North French broche, Old French broce "bush, thicket, undergrowth" (12c., Modern French brosse), from Gallo-Romance *brocia, perhaps from *brucus "heather," or possibly from the same source as brush (n.1).

(n.) late 13c., from Old French raseor "a razor" (12c.), from raser "to scrape, shave."

(v.) Old English sceafan (strong verb, past tense scof, past participle scafen), "to scrape, shave, polish," from Proto-Germanic skaban (cf. Old Norse skafa, Middle Dutch scaven, German schaben, Gothic skaban "scratch, shave, scrape"), from PIE skabh-, collateral form of root (s)kep- "to cut, to scrape, to hack" (see scabies). Original strong verb status is preserved in past tense form shaven. Specifically in reference to cutting the hair close from mid-13c. Figurative sense of "to strip (someone) of money or possessions" is attested from late 14c.

(n.) Old English sape "soap, salve" (originally a reddish hair dye used by Germanic warriors to give a frightening appearance), from Proto-Germanic *saipon "dripping thing, resin" (cf. Middle Low German sepe, West Frisian sjippe, Dutch zeep, Old High German seiffa, German seife "soap," Old High German seifar "foam," Old English sipian "to drip"), from PIE soi-bon-, from root seib- "to pour out, drip, trickle" (cf. Latin sebum "tallow, suet, grease").
The Romance language words for "soap" (cf. Italian sapone, French savon, Spanish jabon) are from Late Latin sapo "pomade for coloring the hair" (first mentioned in Pliny), which is a Germanic loan-word, as is Finnish saippua.

(n.) early 13c., basme, aromatic substance made from resins and oils, from Old French basme (Modern French baume), from Latin balsamum, from Greek balsamon "balsam," from Hebrew basam "spice," related to Aramaic busma, Arabic basham "balsam, spice, perfume." Spelling refashioned 15c.-16c. on Latin model. Sense of "healing or soothing influence" (1540s) is from aromatic preparations from balsam (see balsam). Biblical Balm of Gilead, however, began with Coverdale; the Hebrew word there is tsori, which was rendered in Septuagint and Vulgate as "resin" (Greek rhetine, Latin resina).

(n.) early 14c., creyme, from Old French cresme (13c., Modern French crème) "chrism, holy oil," blend of Late Latin chrisma "ointment" (from Greek khrisma "unguent;" see chrism) and Late Latin cramum "cream," which is perhaps from Gaulish. Replaced Old English ream. Re-borrowed 19c. from French as creme. Figurative sense of "most excellent element or part" is from 1580s.

(n.) 1520s, perhaps from bage "badge" (see badge) + -ard "one who carries some action or possesses some quality," suffix related to Middle High German -hart "bold" (see -ard). If so, the central notion is the badge-like white blaze on the animal's forehead (cf. French blaireau "badger," from Old French blarel, from bler "marked with a white spot;" also obsolete Middle English bauson "badger," from Old French bauzan, literally "black-and-white spotted"). An Old English name for the creature was the Celtic borrowing brock; also græg (Middle English grei, grey).

178 11,976
 11-06-2013, 11:11 AM
  • Johnny
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  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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173 23,297
 11-08-2013, 05:48 AM
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Thanks for posting this.

1 2,827
 11-08-2013, 07:15 PM
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Great post, John! I also love words and their origins.

74 20,808
 11-08-2013, 07:19 PM
  • Agravic
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  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Fascinating, John ... thanks for sharing this.

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