About the time a person thinks he or she has reached that level of know-how to be deemed a scholar or at minimum just one of the brighter types, just think about how small we really know about the English language and the derivations of our terms for names. The basis for quite a few of our names come from overseas languages, mistakes in the identification of some points, and from time to time for no explanation other than imagination or diversion.
Let’s start out rather merely. Exactly where does the identify of Greenland come from? Some of us know that Greenland is the major island that is not a continent. But is it even green? Future doorway is Iceland, who has much additional green land than its massive neighbor. In reality, some think that they received their names backwards. Was it a bait and change all through people early Viking voyages?
According to historians, Vikings were the initial to make voyages to these two islands. Iceland experienced only 20% ice covering it, but the discoverers desired to restrict migration to it for some explanation. Thus the name became Iceland as maybe a discouragement to feasible settlers. On the other hand, Eric the Pink arrived to Greenland and needed to populate it, and applied the engaging name Greenland. It is now 80% protected with glaciers whilst climate modify has minimized that share some.
In exploring Greenland, even although I definitely want to see Iceland sometime, I came up with an wonderful amount of money of history of the naming of Greenland and Iceland. Together the way I found an posting entitled “What’s in a Identify?” It gave me dozens of other inappropriate naming, or names with extremely apparent factors for their existence. The list was so very good, that I have to share a lot of of them with my readers. So let’s not halt with Greenland and Iceland but also appear at other names that make no feeling or at minimum at 1st look that do not seem to.
On with our new schooling about text. Are the Canary Islands named for the chook? Nope. The identify arrives from canines, i.e. canines, or the Latin Canaria Insula, “Isle of the Puppies.”
Alright, everybody is aware of that the centipede has 100 legs, right? Perfectly, not proper. Centipedes have several legs, but the number has been located to fluctuate from 30 to 354. The millipede should really have a thousand legs but it fails once again getting no much more than 750. Apparently these names have been made by people who could not depend quite properly.
We have all listened to of catgut whether or not it be leather product, or strings for devices, tennis rackets, or archery bows. Come to feel sorry for those lousy cats? Loosen up. This hard materials does not ever appear from cats but normally sheep, goat, cattle, and hog intestines. Likewise a camel-hair brush comes from squirrel fur.
Now let us change to animals and the types we position them in. It would show up names imply nothing at all as the koala is not a bear but a marsupial. The prairie pet is not a pet but a rodent. The horned toad is not a toad but a lizard.
We all know there is no ham in hamburger, but did you know that there is no butter in buttermilk and, of system, no egg in an eggplant? I am guaranteed that there is no straw in a strawberry. Exactly where is the pet in the dogwood tree? Blackbirds are basically brown, and greyhounds appear in a multitude of hues.
One particular of my favorite misnomers is the treasured black box on aircraft. It is not black at all, but vibrant orange so that rescue teams can obtain them at a crash scene. Maybe the identify was to make them look mystery and sinister.
Let’s go to foods. French fries had been invented in Belgium, the identify coming from frenching, the fashion of cutting the potato. Clearly our boycott of French fries a 10 years ago was misplaced. The English horn was essentially an alto oboe from France. Arabic numerals were being invented in India. Danish pastries originated from Vienna, the Turkish bath from Rome, and Swiss steak from England. And Russian dressing was formulated in the great old Usa.
The 10-gallon hat will not keep anyplace in the vicinity of 10gallons. The name arrived from the Spanish when Mexicans referred to as it sombrero galon that means a hat with braids or ribbons. That reasoning makes sense if you had a experience for the dimension of a gallon of drinking water, allow alone 10.
I want to thank Richard Lederer for his report, as it gave me the inspiration to research phrases and names even a lot more. Several of the above are courtesy of his get the job done and intellect which I discovered in the nationwide Mensa magazine.
I have basically been in Iceland. When returning from Europe for my junior year overseas in 1963, I flew Icelandic Airlines back to the U.S. as it was the cheapest. I remaining from Glasgow and experienced a 1-hour cease in Reykjavik, Iceland. Naw, that doesn’t depend. I want to go again for a journey to most likely see the Ring of Fireplace and undoubtedly travel The Golden Circle. But I do not essentially see a quit in Greenland.