©Damen, 2018


Introduction, pp. 13-14


Hindi(1), Russian(4) and Portuguese (6) are Indo-European. Hungarian is Ural-Altaic, Korean belongs to a separate language group (related to Japanese) and Arabic is Semitic.



1. Bulgarian = Balto-Slavic (East)
2. Romanian = Italic (West)
3. Sanskrit = Indo-Iranian (East)
4. Spanish = Italic (West)
5. Greek = Hellenic (West)
6. Welsh = Celtic (West)
7. Swedish = Teutonic (West)



1. almanac: (Spanish-)Arabic; Late Greek (al-manac "the-calendar") [14th c. annual table: astronomical data/computations, poss. from late Gk. (Eusebius almenikhiaka); first attested in midLat > It. almanaco > Fr. almanach]
2. bizarre: Basque; French; Italian [Basque bizar "beard" > Fr/It bizarro "moustached man, man of spirit, handsome, brave" > Eng "wearing a moustache/beard")
3. boomerang: Australian native dialect (New South Wales) [bumarin/wo-mur-rang "type(s) of clubs"]
4. chair: Greek; Latin [Gk. kathedra/Lat. cathedra "sit-down, seat" >OF chaiere "bishop's throne"]
5. cherub: Hebrew, "winged heavenly being" > Lat/Fr [poss. from Akkadian karubu "propitious, gracious"]
6. chocolate: Aztec (language = Nahuatl) [confusion of chocolatl "food from cacao seeds and cacaua-atl "drink, cacao-water"]
7. crag: Celtic (through Mid. Eng./Mid. Dutch), "rock"
8. dollar: Low German/Dutch [joachims/taler, "Joachim's valley" = source of silver for coins, in Bohemia; > clipped to taler, 16th c.; later t > d, Low Germ. daler]
9. galore: Irish (Gaelic), "enough, sufficent"; popularized by W. Scott
10. geyser: (Old) Icelandic; Old Norse ["gush," rel. to "gush"]
11. gingham: Malay (Indonesian language of Malay peninsula) ["striped linen/cotton cloth"; ginggang "striped"]
12. hominy: Algonkian/Algonquian (= N Am. Indian lang.) ["parched corn" < appuminneonash = appwoon "he bakes" + minneash "grain"]
13. horde: Turkic/Turkish; Mongolian [ordi/ordu "camp" > It. orda]
14. hurricane: Arawak/Arawakan (lang. of Brazil and West Indies); Taino (= branch of Arawak) [haurachana > Sp. huracan > Eng. hurricane, prob. influenced by "hurry" in the sense of "disturb"]
15. julep: Persian [gul-ab "rose-water, sweet liquor"]
16. khaki: Persian [khak "dust" > khaki "dusty, dust-colored (cloth)," esp. used by Brit. troops in the Indian Mutiny]
17. magazine: Arabic [makhazan "storehouse, granary" > Eng. periodical, 1731, "The Gentleman's Magazine"]
18. mammouth: Russian; Tatar [mammot/mamont, -on- misread for -ou-; ?< mama "earth," because the animal supposedly burrowed]
19. paradise: Iranian; Persian [paradeisos "garden": Xenophon, "parks (of Persian kings)"; < Old Persian, pairidaeza "enclosure"]
20. robot: Czech [robota "compulsory service"; robotnik "serf"; cf. Germ. arbeit]
21. sapphire: Sanskrit [saniprija "dear to the planet Saturn") > Hebrew sappir > Gk. sappheiros]
22. sherbet: Arabic (shariba "drink", cf. syrup > 17th c. "oriental drink" > 19th c. "powder for making effervescing drink"]
23. swastika: Sanskrit [svasti "fortune" < su- + -asti, "well-being"]
24. tungsten: Swedish [tung "heavy" + sten "stone"]



1. apricot: Lat. praecoquis [< prae-cox (persicum) "early-ripening (peach)"] > late Gk. praikokion > Ar. al-barquq > It. albercocco/Port. albricoque > Eng. abrecock (18th c.)
2. bishop: Gk. episcopos "overseer" > vulg.Lat. ebiscopus > OE bisceop > ME bisshop
3. butter: Gk. boutyron (= bou-tyron "cow-cheese") > Lat butyrium > WGerm/OE butere > ME boter (spelled variously)
4. car: Celtic origin? > Lat. carrus "a four-wheeled cart" > late Lat. carra > AN carre > ME carre
5. chemist: Gk. chyma "ingot" [< chein "to pour"] > Gk. chymeia "alloying of metal" > Ar. al-kimiya "the-" > MedLat. alchimia "alchemy" > NewLat chimista "one who -"
6. orange: Sanskr. naranga > Pers. narang > Ar. naranj > It. narancia/Sp. naranja > OF un/norenge, then misdivided un/orenge > ME orange