BOLEYN.

Everyone knows about Anne Boleyn, one of Henry VIII’s unfortunate wives, and the more persnickety among us know that her surname is properly pronounced Bullen, but I did not know until today that it is from the name of the French city Boulogne. As the Surname Database puts it:

Boulogne has long been a major trading port between England and France, and has supplied many of its citizens to Britain, although in so doing the name spelling has received some considerable transposition in most cases. … There are estimated to be literally hundreds of ‘English’ spellings of this famous name and these include Bullen, Bulleyn, Bullion, Bullon, Bullin, Boleyn, Bollen, Boullin, Boullen, Bullan, Bullant, Bullene and Bullent. Early examples of recordings include the marriage of Thomas Bullen and Hanna Prince on February 2nd 1626, at St. Dunstan’s, Stepney, and that of John Boleyn who appears in the Hearth Tax rolls of Suffolk in 1524. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Helias de Bolonia, which was dated 1121 – 1148, in “Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds”, Suffolk.

I like the traditional English pronunciations of foreign places, LYE-unz for Lyon and MYE-lun for Milan and Callus for Calais, but nowadays they survive only in the names of backwater American towns; I suppose one day people will feel obliged to say pah-REE for Paris, and I will grumble and shake my cane. (Via aldiboronti at Wordorigins.org.)

Comments

  1. And let’s not forget “Reams”.

  2. I’ve always liked Leghorn, for Livorno.

  3. Bill Walderman says:

    “Leghorn, for Livorno”
    I was always puzzled by that, too, until I read somewhere that the local pronunciation of the city’s name is “Ligorno.” Of course, it’s a major port and English sailors picked up the name from the local population.
    I have a violin that was made in Livorno in 1768, and I’ve always felt an affinity for the city. I think I may have even passed through Livorno about 1959 while travelling in Italy with my parents. I think it was the city where, when we stopped for gas and the attendant realized we were Americans, he greeted us enthusiastically and announced that he had spent a couple of years as a POW in Georgia. After all, if you had been drafted into the Italian army during WWII, what would be the best place to spend the war? (One of the nicest things about this site is that you can stray off topic without incurring censure.)

  4. Just wondering how the English pronounce Plantagenêt
    (And, hmmm, could tabellion be “de Boulogne” by any chance?)

  5. John Emerson says:

    I move that we censure Waldeman. Is there a second? I am scrupulous about going off-topic.

  6. John Emerson says:

    I move that we censure Waldeman. Is there a second? I am scrupulous about going off-topic.

  7. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    I’ve wondered for a long time what the connection, if any, was between Boulogne and Bologna, in Italy. They even have a very similar pronunciation when Boulogne is said by a proper French person instead of the awful British Booloin (sorry Language, I suppose you like Booloin and I admit I do say it myself). Anyway, now I find via google they both come from a Roman name, Bononia, but can anyone explain why they should have changed and still stayed so similar?

  8. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    I am scrupulous about going off-topic.
    You mean in the sense that you always do it?

  9. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    I am scrupulous.

  10. As long as it does not stray from the Dravidian way everything should be fine in fine.

  11. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Plan-tadge-a-net.

  12. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Sorry, that ought to be Plan-TADGE-a-net.

  13. So with a -d sound, like in Taj Mahal, and with a final [εt] like in Pinochet? Ils sont fous ces Anglais.

  14. “MYE-lun for Milan and Callus for Calais”
    I hear Mil-ann mostly, and I think Callus is restricted to Shakespeare productions now, Henry V before Harfleur:
    “For us, dear uncle,
    The winter coming on and sickness growing
    Upon our soldiers, we will retire to Calais.”
    At least that’s how Olivier said it.
    I usually hear Cal-aye now.

  15. marie-lucie says:

    from Wikipedia: “The name Boulogne was first recorded during the Roman Empire as Bononia, a derivative of the Celtic word bona (meaning “foundation”, “settlement”, “citadel”). This derivation is also found in the name of the Italian city of Bologna.”
    The change from n to l in the middle is typical of a Latin tendency not to have two of these sounds (or two r‘s) in a single word. The Roman Empire where Latin was the common language is not so far back that most words are not recognizable if they have remained in the languages evolved locally from Latin, such as Italian and French.
    “Plantagenet”: the English might be crazy but in this case as in many others they have kept to the medieval French pronunciation when every letter was sounded (or every sound was represented by a letter) and there were no letters without corresponding sounds, and ge or j (and similarly ch) were pronounced as in English. Only the stress has changed to follow English habits.
    “Reams” for the French city of Reims: Both the French and the English pronunciation have changed from the original represented by the French spelling, as a result of sweeping changes in both languages: in English, the change of English vowels in the “Great Vowel Shift” (approximately in the Elizabethan period), resulting in the varied pronunciation of most vowel letters (eg a as in cat, father or about), and in French, the “nasalization” of vowels before the nasal consonants m and n and the subsequent non-articulation of those still written consonants.
    For such names which have been known and used for centuries, there is no sense for speakers of one language in trying to follow the vagaries of the evolution of other languages.

  16. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Yeah, except we say Pinoché in English. It’s Plan-TADGE.a.nett. Helt gal, ikke sant?

  17. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Ah, I win my private bet that Marie-Lucie would be able to answer this.

  18. Dare I mention two towns in South Dakota named in the days of Spanish missions and French river forts? Pierre, pronounced peer and Pedro, pronounced peedro.

  19. “I suppose one day people will feel obliged to say pah-REE for Paris, and I will grumble and shake my cane.”
    Grumbling about people being obliged to use native pronunciation by someone who recently grumbled long and loud about people NOT using native pronunciation in trhe case of Ossetia? No hobgoblin infestations under your hat, then. I agree with you on Paris, for what it’s worth.

  20. I hear Mil-ann mostly, and I think Callus is restricted to Shakespeare productions now
    That’s why I called them “traditional” and said “they survive only in the names of backwater American towns.”
    someone who recently grumbled long and loud about people NOT using native pronunciation in the case of Ossetia?
    Huh? The native name of Ossetia is Iryston. I was complaining about people using a Russified pronunciation instead of the traditional English one.
    One of the nicest things about this site is that you can stray off topic without incurring censure.
    Quite right, but watch out for that Emerson guy; he’s always trying to drag people off to Dravidia on the slightest pretext.

  21. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    You’ll have to keep a tighter rein on MMcM going “just slightly on topic”, too. It breaks my train of thought, find it very distracting.

  22. David Marjanović says:

    I hear Mil-ann mostly

    It’s still exclusively Mailand in German. “May country” — which even makes sense, given that it’s just south of the Alps.

  23. Where did the Krons disappear to? Not that I’m complaining about Mr. Emerson’s generous offer of the tour guides in Dravidia–it’s not every day you find that kind of expertise–but wasn’t this Kron person going to arrange the Silk Road for us?
    BTW, it seems like everyone here already knows each other and has a similar background, so it’s really sweet of you to include me in your little adventure.

  24. “BTW, it seems like everyone here already knows each other and has a similar background, so it’s really sweet of you to include me in your little adventure.”
    That’s exactly how I feel, since I don’t know anyone here and have a VERY different background, as far as I can tell. Hat’s a great host, and even though the usurpation of the kingship of my home planet rankles somewhat, the people who comment here seem like a decent bunch.

  25. “After all, if you had been drafted into the Italian army during WWII, what would be the best place to spend the war? ”
    How about Quetta? My Dad has fond memories of the Italian POWs held in his hometown. “Held” apparently meaning, “free to wander around, form a band and perform at local weddings, etc.” I guess the chances of them trying to escape back home through Persia were pretty remote.

  26. rootlesscosmo says:

    The tradtional local pronunciation of Greenwich Street, in San Francisco, is “GREEN-witch,” not “grennitch.” (Sorry for the fauxnetics.) And Kearny Street is “Carny.”

  27. “they survive only in the names of backwater American towns.” — so that’s why I’ve spent 30 years hearing Calais, Vt referred to as “CA-lass” (rhyming, as the Wikipedia has it, with “palace.”) Then, of course, there’s nearby Montpelier: pronounced locally as Mont-PEEL-i-er. I’ve seen enough Quebec eyebrows go up to be hyper-aware now of how the Anglos have butchered their words, even though they have a soft spot for Vermonters (and we won’t even discuss the native pronunciation of the state name.)

  28. marie-lucie says:

    it seems like everyone here already knows each other and has a similar background
    I think there are quite a few different backgrounds represented here, together with a common interest in language(s), and sometimes unusual bits of individual expertise. It just occurred to me that this is a virtual salon with both regular and occasional guests. I look at other blogs from time to time and none of them feels as congenial as this one. Stick around, Nijma, and thank Mr Hat for his wonderful hospitality. It is up to you whether you wear a hat or not.

  29. marie-lucie says:

    (Quebec people have a soft spot for Vermonters)
    Many Vermonters are of French origin (directly or through Quebec), as the name of the state indicates, and some of them speak French like Quebecois (no disparagement intended: this is a regional variety of the language).

  30. it seems like everyone here already knows each other and has a similar background
    People know each other, as far as I can tell, only from hanging out in this disreputable salon, and I seriously doubt there’s much similarity in background. People who enjoy talking about language, literature, hats, and/or obscure place names tend to enjoy it here, and after leaving >2 comments become one of the gang.

  31. Of course, things can get out of hand. I mean, here I post about the family name Boleyn and there’s not a single on-topic comment. What’s wrong with you people? How can off-topic comments properly be enjoyed without at least one on-topic comment to play against? So I’ll provide one:
    I don’t know a single person named Bullen, Bulleyn, Bullion, Bullon, Bullin, Boleyn, Bollen, Boullin, Boullen, Bullan, Bullant, Bullene or Bullent.

  32. Sorry, LH. I ought to have said that I went to school with a Bullen, and that before reading your post I had no idea that that was how Anne’s name was supposed to be said. Maybe my classmate was a relative from afar.

  33. When I was in Italy, I managed to overcome any residual qualms about English forms like Florence, Leghorn, and Turin, primarily by noticing how blithely all the Italians spoke of Parigi, Londra, and so forth. So I’m with you on Paris, too, for what it’s worth. (And we know what Paris is worth: a mass.)

  34. komfo,amonan says:

    Bülent Ecevit? [snort /]

  35. From now on I shall insist on pronouncing Bois de Boulogne to sound like Boys de Baloney. When I first arrived in Hawai’i after a childhood in Japan, I couldn’t bring myself to anglicize the plural of zori (Japanese rubber sandals) as everyone else did, but I soon got over it. Nowadays I can anglicize foreign words just as readily as I have long katakanized foreign words into Japanese.
    Am I vaguely on topic? If so, I apologize.

  36. Havre de Grace, Maryland, is pronounced by the locals as Habberdy Grass. (occasionally you hear Grace, but not often)

  37. traditional English pronunciations of foreign places, LYE-unz for Lyon and MYE-lun for Milan and Callus for Calais
    Traditional where? “LYE-unz” yes – probably helped along in the 19th-20th century by the J Lyons tearooms (always pronounced “Lions”). But I’ve never heard a UK speaker calling the others anything but “mill-ANN” and “cal-AY”.

  38. One of my coworkers lives in Buena Vista, Virginia, where the first word is pronounced BYOO-nuh. I believe Versailles, Indiana is pronounced vur-sails or perhaps vur-say-uls. (Sorry if my pseudophonetic spelling is unclear.)
    A Spanish professor once told me that Smackover, Arkansas was named after it’s wooden bridge: the name is a corruption of Chemin Couvert.

  39. John Emerson says:

    George Herbert Mead (psychologist) learned to read French in his youth from comic books floating around his neighborhood. H.D. Thoroo (American geographical pronunciation) may have owed his French fluency partly to neighborhood influences — he was of Canadian French descent, though a native speaker of English. Jack Kerouac’s father published a French-language newspaper in New Hampshire, and Kerouac was a native speaker of the local French.

  40. John Emerson says:

    George Herbert Mead (psychologist) learned to read French in his youth from comic books floating around his neighborhood. H.D. Thoroo (American geographical pronunciation) may have owed his French fluency partly to neighborhood influences — he was of Canadian French descent, though a native speaker of English. Jack Kerouac’s father published a French-language newspaper in New Hampshire, and Kerouac was a native speaker of the local French.

  41. I knew an Anne Bolen.

  42. A.J.P. Crown says:

    With comic books floating around his neighborhood it’s no wonder he had an interest in psychology — psychoanalysis even — but it doesn’t explain how they taught him to read French. it didn’t work for me.
    There are well-known actresses named Jane Seymour and Anne Hathaway, that’s as close as I can come to this topic. I think it is hard for some of us.
    I don’t understand why the French city of Lyon is spelt Lyons in English. This seems absolutely pointless to me, the same with Marseille(s), when the esses aren’t even pronounced (in England, at least).
    I didn’t realise I was responsible for the silk road, I thought that was part of John’s area of expertise, though you could probably say that about almost anywhere (I’m not sure how much he knows about Australia, though). Wasn’t it marie-lucie who first mentioned the silk road? I think so. Nijma is right, we cannot let the Thai stave churches drop. I am thinking of raising it here in Norway. My wife (a Norwegian) thought it was very odd and interesting. Unless I can get hold of some of these here Dravidians I may just contact the Thai embassy in Oslo.

  43. A.J.P. Crown says:

    Ah-ha, I see I can link my Lyons point to MMcM’s question about Selons in the Hathi post. This is another job for Siganus Sutor and marie-lucie, obviously.

  44. Is Pullen related ?

  45. I’ve been reading Trollope recently, and in The Eustace Diamonds a relationship crisis arises when an impoverished suitor tells his equally impoverished suitee that, without more income, they “may have to go to Boulogne.” Was Boulogne noted as an especially cheap place for errant Brits?

  46. Pullen is a (not very common) last name in the Netherlands. According to the Nederlandse Familienamen Databank it’s an “adresnaam” – a name derived from the name of a farm, a field, river or something like that.
    On the other hand, if Bullen = Boulonge then Pullen = Pologne, no?

  47. Graham Asher says:

    On-topic comment: my tailor is called Bullen. Off-topic comment: the really weird thing is the word ‘persnickety’ used by our host – no doubt a pleonastic Americanised version of ‘pernickety’.

  48. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Asher, is that anything to do with the ash tree or Norse myth?

  49. “Plantagenet”: the English might be crazy but in this case as in many others they have kept to the medieval French pronunciation when every letter was sounded (or every sound was represented by a letter) and there were no letters without corresponding sounds, and ge or j (and similarly ch) were pronounced as in English. Only the stress has changed to follow English habits.
    How was the stress pattern in mediaeval French? Very light as in modern French?
    What about Agincourt (ADGE-in-court)? Was it originally written and pronounced with a z (Azincourt) as in modern French?

  50. Siganus Sutor: So with a -d sound, like in Taj Mahal, and with a final [εt] like in Pinochet? Ils sont fous ces Anglais
    A. J. P. Crown: Yeah, except we say Pinoché in English. It’s Plan-TADGE.a.nett. Helt gal, ikke sant?
    For what it’s worth (maybe not much, if you follow the rule that the proper way to pronounce things in English is the way English speakers pronounce them), in Chile you can hear all four possible combinations of Spanish and French ch with Spanish and French final t, and all of them are regarded as correct. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard the general pronounce his own name — how often does one ever hear a well known person, other than James Bond, pronounce his own name?), but I used to know someone whose segundo apellido was Pinochet, and as far as I remember she used a Spanish ch and a French t, which is, I think the commonest pronunciation in Chile. The present President, Michelle Bachelet, is likewise pronounced in all possible combinations, at least so far as the ch and t are concerned; I don’t think anyone gives her a Spanish -ll-.
    Incidentally, Chilean colloquial Spanish differs from most other forms of Spanish in pronouncing ch in a way closer to French than to peninsular Spanish, and in dropping many final consonants. Both of these make Pinochet and Bachelet more like their French ancestors would have said them than they would be if they were, say, Mexican or Spanish.

  51. From now on I shall insist on pronouncing Bois de Boulogne to sound like Boys de Baloney.
    It always amuses me to hear people pronouncing W.E.B. DuBois’s name as if it were French. Not in a smug, superior way, mind you, it’s just a quiet interior chuckle, because why should they know how he pronounced his name? But what’s especially amusing is the thought that when they hear people pronouncing it as he himself did (like Boyce), they doubtless feel amused. And thus laughter makes the world go round!
    Traditional where?
    Until the 19th century.
    I’ve never heard a UK speaker calling the others anything but “mill-ANN” and “cal-AY”.
    As I said above to a similar complaint:
    That’s why I called them “traditional” and said “they survive only in the names of backwater American towns.”

  52. Oh, and Pullen (also Pullan, Pullin, Pullein) is from French poulain ‘colt, foal.’ I still miss pianist Don Pullen.

  53. Crown, A. J.P. says:

    I’ve been reading Trollope recently, and in The Eustace Diamonds..
    Which features Plantagenet Paliser.

  54. It’s all connected!

  55. marie-lucie says:

    How was the stress pattern in mediaeval French? Very light as in modern French?
    I don’t know how light it was, but stress was definitely on the last syllable (except for final e), so PlantageNET.
    What about Agincourt (ADGE-in-court)? Was it originally written and pronounced with a z (Azincourt) as in modern French?
    No. Azincourt is in the Pas-de-Calais department (the closest to England) but there is an Agincourt in Meurthe-et-Moselle, closer to Belgium and Luxembourg. It is likely that Azin, which must have been pronounced Adzin in Old French, represents a local, regional variant of Agin (which might still have been pronounced Adgin at the time). Without more information on the relevant dialects and their history, it is hard to determine whether the English actually heard Adgin or interpreted a local Adzin as Adgin.

  56. LH: but watch out for that Emerson guy; he’s always trying to drag people off to Dravidia on the slightest pretext.
    I would tend to think that from an Emersonian perspective everything that is not Dravidian is off-topic. Which means that when the guy is back to Dravida, at last, he’s actually sticking to life’s substantificque moelle.

  57. (By the way, Jean: le 22 août 2008 à 17:17.)

  58. It was indeed cheaper for impoverished English gentry to live across the Channel, in Boulogne or Dieppe, typically, because they still had reasonably quick connections to the UK. (Still is, actually).
    Simona Pakenham wrte a delightful memoire on life in the (idle – never expected to work) British colony in Dieppe between the Wars, “Pigtails and Pernod”. Recommended.
    Didn’t someone complain we weren’t talking about hats ? I throw my Akubra Snowy River into the ring.
    The wider the brim, the fewer the sheep, as I’ve noted before.

  59. I really must get an Akubra. Very nice hats.

  60. marie-lucie says:

    … the word ‘persnickety’ used by our host – no doubt a pleonastic Americanised version of ‘pernickety’.
    Pernickety ?? and why would persnickety be “pleonastic” (= using unnecessary repetition, as in more better)?

  61. A.J.P. Crown says:

    Good point.

  62. Bill Walderman says:

    “It was indeed cheaper for impoverished English gentry to live across the Channel, in Boulogne or Dieppe, typically, because they still had reasonably quick connections to the UK. (Still is, actually).”
    Usually they fled across the Channel to escape the reach of their creditors.

  63. A.J.P. Crown says:

    Chapeau: It always amuses me to hear people pronouncing W.E.B. DuBois’s name as if it were French.
    I’m getting totally confused. On the thingumy Radio Hour, Bob Dylan says DuBois with the French pronunciation. Now, I’d always thought it was pronounced Boys, but if Bob says Bwa, surely it must be so? Or do you know better than His Bobness? Huh?
    …of course, he also says universi-tee and other weird pronunciations, but he does that on purpose cos he’s Bob.

  64. John Emerson says:

    Following French literature and music I occasionally find that surnames are often pronounced differently than a verb or common noun of the same spelling would be. IIRC Boulez and Desnos both pronounced the final consonant. Perhaps Marie-Lucie can enlighten us if she’s still around. Is that common?

  65. John Emerson says:

    Following French literature and music I occasionally find that surnames are often pronounced differently than a verb or common noun of the same spelling would be. IIRC Boulez and Desnos both pronounced the final consonant. Perhaps Marie-Lucie can enlighten us if she’s still around. Is that common?

  66. Ah, Australian hats. A friend of mine (the one with the Thai stave church photos) came back from Australia with one of those leather hats. Hasn’t left his head since. I don’t blame him, it looks stunning.
    I may just contact the Thai embassy in Oslo.
    Yes, I’m reluctant to embark for Dravidia without the Silk Road leg of the journey firmly in place.
    People who enjoy talking about language, literature, hats, and/or obscure place names tend to enjoy it here, and after leaving >2 comments become one of the gang.
    I see now I was unnecessarily intimidated by the perceived erudition of the other posters. Why, even the King of Mars is just a commoner here. I grok that it’s all about having fun. Still it’s pretty amazing that a lot of the comments are from people who, judging by their URLs, do not consider English their first language–some of the humor is pretty subtle.

  67. Bill Walderman says:

    I too would appreciate an explanation of the pronunciation of the final ‘z’ in French surnames such as Boulez and Berlioz and also the origin of these names, if someone knows about this. My impression (I’m not sure why) is that they originated in south-eastern France — Dauphine and Savoy.

  68. marie-lucie says:

    >Following French literature and music I occasionally find that surnames are often pronounced differently than a verb or common noun of the same spelling would be. IIRC Boulez and Desnos both pronounced the final consonant. …. Is that common?
    I found out only recently that Desnos pronounced both s’s in his name, instead of none as I thought, having seen the name in writing but never heard it said before.
    As in English, many French surnames have kept their original spelling (or the spelling adopted when the bearers of the names first became literate) while the more or less official spelling conventions have changed. Also, surnames come from all regions of a country, and the names may reflect local dialects, and in countries with a lot of immigrants there are lots of foreign names, or names of foreign origin more or less adapted in spelling and pronunciation to the official language. All these factors make it likely that rules for pronouncing surnames might be different from those for pronouncing ordinary words. (The same thing also occurs with many place names).
    For instance, in Boulez the final z is pronounced, because the pronunciation é for the ending ez is limited to the word assez ‘enough’ and to a set of verb endings corresponding with the pronoun vous. Not being a verb form, the name Boulez is treated like a non-French name and the last consonant is pronounced. However, it is likely that this name comes from a dialect which no longer pronounces a final z: for instance, in the name of Berlioz the final z is pronounced, but this name comes from the Savoie (English Savoy) area where there are plenty of names in oz and az (reflecting the local franco-provençal dialect) whose local pronunciation has lost the z.

  69. marie-lucie says:

    Bill Walderman: you asked the question while I was unknowingly answering it.

  70. A.J.P. Crown says:

    I suddenly though of something on the topic while I was walking the dog. At school there were two adjoining rooms: in one we pronounced ‘Jacques’ as close as possible to how a Frenchman would say it, and in the other, where we were reading As You Like It, our extremely loony English master would make us pronounce it Jakes. I suppose it was reasonable, but for thirteen-year-olds it was pushing it.

  71. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Bülent Ecevit, if you look at his Wiki entry, had a remarkable resemblance to Groucho Marks. Like George Orwell, he drank fifteen cups of tea a day.

  72. Nijma: I may be a bit purist, but “the” Aussie hat, the Akubra, is in felt, not leather, the latter being to my mind rather touristy. But don’t tell your friend ….

  73. Going Dotty in Kansas says:

    All this talk about hats, esp. Australian hats, is chilling. Save the rabbits!!
    Marais de Cygnes, in these parts, is pronounced “mare duh ZEENZ”. My initial reaction to hearing this place name was
    what
    FWIW, a native of Baltimore once told me foolproof way to distinguish outsiders: ask them to pronounce Calvert Street. Apparently the natives approve when you say “CALL-vert”.

  74. rootlesscosmo says:

    There’s a published interview with DuBois, conducted by the historian Herbert Aptheker, in which he says he pronounces the second syllable of his name to rhyme with “Joyce.” I believe the pronunciation with the voiced sibilant (“DuBOYZ”) is more commonly heard, but that wasn’t his own preference.

  75. Vaguely on-(original)-topic ie the name Bullen, but lowering the tone of the debate somewhat, by introducing the subject of pubs or inns.
    There are a handful of pubs (inns) in England called The Bull and Butcher. These pubs often date back 400 years (eg this one in Henley, near Oxford, http://www.thebullandbutcher.com/pub_history.htm) and the name is believed to be a reference to King Henry VIII (reigned 1509-47), namely the ‘Bullen butcher’.
    Anne Boleyn’s family home is Hever Castle in Hever, a small village in Kent, SE England. There is a pub in the village called the Henry VIII(http://www.kinghenryviiiinn.co.uk/history.php). Clearly, the residents of Hever were more likely to sympathise with the Bullens than with Henry, and apparently the locals called the pub/king ‘Bullen’s Butcher’. This snippet is from the 1882 Abram Smythe Palmer book ‘Folk-Etymology’, but I intend to check it next time I visit Hever, which isn’t far from me.

  76. CALL-vert? I’ve never heard that one. I haven’t spent much time in Baltimore, but Calvert is my middle name. And they didn’t say it that way on “The Wire”.

  77. Admittedly, the street name didn’t come up that often on “The Wire”, and I’m not sure the characters that used it were supposed to be natives. In think I have heard the CALL-vert pronunciation recommended for the county, so I guess it fits together. Plus some people ended up spelling it Culvert.

  78. My junior school teacher was Mr Pullen, and he used to claim it was from the same origins as Boleyn …
    Bois de Boulogne has to be pronounced in English in a way that will make the rhymes work in The Man Who Broke The Bank at Monte Carlo:
    “As I walk along the Bois Boolong with an independent air …”

  79. Interesting that the usual pronunciation of Boleyn stresses the second syllable (boo-LINN), but all the variant spellings – which mainly affect that second syllable – would imply that the earlier pronunciation must have stressed the first (BOO-luhn) (‘boo’ as in ‘book’). Likewise Purcell was spelt in various ways as regards the second syllable, including -sall, but with no variants of the first, so he must also have been stressed PUR-suhl, not pur-SELL.

  80. Bob Dylan says DuBois with the French pronunciation
    Bob Dylan is a notorious prankster and confuselator; I highly recommend not getting your pronunciations, or much else besides music for that matter, from him.
    Graham: I have always stressed the first syllable in both names, mainly from general Sprachgefühl but also (I think) because of the variant spellings.
    This is going to be one of those threads, isn’t it? We’re all going to wind up on an ice floe with headaches and mysterious ticket stubs in an unknown language, I can just feel it.

  81. David Marjanović says:

    All this talk about hats, esp. Australian hats, is chilling. Save the rabbits!!

    Save the rabbits? In Australia?

  82. Might PUR-s’l versus pur-SELL be a transatlantic difference? I remember a conversation with Alan Flavell years ago, maybe on alt.usage.english, about differing stress in “-ell” names and how Americans thought he was fluh-VELL rather than FLAY-v’l.

  83. John Emerson says:

    We’re all going to wind up on an ice floe with headaches and mysterious ticket stubs in an unknown language, I can just feel it.
    The Dravidian Arctic is one of the world’s premiere as-yet-unspoiled tourist destinations.

  84. John Emerson says:

    We’re all going to wind up on an ice floe with headaches and mysterious ticket stubs in an unknown language, I can just feel it.
    The Dravidian Arctic is one of the world’s premiere as-yet-unspoiled tourist destinations.

  85. “The Dravidian Arctic is one of the world’s premiere as-yet-unspoiled tourist destinations”
    Given the rapid increase in the Tamizh and Malayali population up here in Zild, you might soon have a Dravidian Antarctic, too.

  86. Language Hat: MYE-lun for Milan
    The other day on YouTube I heard the governeress of al-Aska (you know, the pit-bull etc.) say “Aïrak” to refer to the country where the old Sumerians used to scratch their head with their stylus. And that sounded weird as for me (as well as for the BBC it seems) the name “Iraq” begins like “irritate” and not like “ivory”. Is it common to hear it said like that in the whole of the United States (as opposed to a former Russian colony)?
    And what about Iran? Between Boston and San Diego Garcia is it often pronounced like “I ran away”?

  87. My ex-husband’s name was Purcell and I still use the surname myself in some contexts. My ex is Irish and he stresses his name on the first syllable when in Ireland (it’s a very common surname there) and on the second syllable when in Britain. I do the same; if you stress the first syllable in England (PUR-cell), people think you’re talking about the washing powder Persil.

  88. wind up on an ice floe
    *shiver* Must change direction posthaste:
    Is Goa within the Dravidian sphere of influence?
    I know an anthro prof who is always talking about Goa for its beaches, its Bollywood dentistry that costs a fraction of the dentistry here, and incidentally the opportunities for scholarship about the influence of Portugal in colonial India.
    If it is Dravidian enough, Goa might also be worth exploring for signs of Freya and stave churches with dragons, not to mention the beach.

  89. There is also a claimed Welsh origin for Pullen.
    I echo David’s astonishment about rabbits and Australia – they are only good for stews and felt…

  90. crown, A.J.P. says:

    Australians are good for many things, not just stews and felt.

  91. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Language: This is going to be one of those threads, isn’t it?
    Can you explain why Hathi, for example, gets only seven comments while the following one is still going strong at 85? It seems to follow no rational course.

  92. One hypothesis, Your Majesty: it must have something ferengi in it so that the kafirs will feel aroused and start babbling their head off.

  93. M.-L. (September 18, 2008 01:42 PM): the English might be crazy
    No might required here: they definitely are, not least because they attacked Mars and irresponsibly stayed there for over a hundred and fifty years before quitting. (As a matter of comparison, do some people seriously think that the Iraqis will be Americanised by 2161?)
     
     
    ge or j (and similarly ch) were pronounced as in English
    I didn’t know that, and it sounds quite bizarre. For some reason probably pertaining to conditioning I can’t imagine French speakers saying “mandger”, “djaune”, “madjeur”, “nadger”, “djoli” or “djeune”. (Er, no, forget the last one: here’s the (current) definition of djeuns, or djeun’s as it is also written for no other obvious reason than looking somehow more English.)

  94. “One hypothesis, Your Majesty: it must have something ferengi in it so that the kafirs will feel aroused and start babbling their head off.”
    Ferengi? The little bald shysters from Star Trek: The Next Gernation whose name appears to be an allusion to the Hindi फ़िरंगी, firangi? My dictionary tells me that that word originally meant “Franks”, and one of the most famous bearers of that surname shared a given name with the Boleyn of the other thread, so maybe the two threads are connected. Or maybe the people who post comments here just hate elephants.

  95. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    I hate elephant and indeed all grey food. That’s one thing I learned from the French. I’m sticking with Australian stew, Stuart.

  96. Is it common to hear it said like that in the whole of the United States…? And what about Iran? Between Boston and San Diego Garcia is it often pronounced like “I ran away”?
    Yes and yes. Eye-RACK and Eye-RAN are perfectly normal U.S. pronunciations. I do not use them myself, because I am overeducated and effete, but I do not look down on them either.

  97. marie-lucie says:

    Similarly calling Italians Eye-talians or even Eye-ties – or is that more British?

  98. Steve, thanks for your answer. And thanks again for providing me with a new word, one that I had to search for in the dictionary:
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/effete (pronounced e-feet).
    However, I am at a lost when it comes to guessing if in your case it should mean n° 1, 2, 3 or 4:
    1. Depleted of vitality, force, or effectiveness; exhausted.
    2. Marked by self-indulgence, triviality, or decadence.
    3. Overrefined; effeminate.
    4. No longer productive; infertile.
    Nu?
     
     
    Simba, A.J.P.: http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0688091717.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

  99. John Emerson says:

    Speaking of the subtropical arctic, Winnipeg (the coldest city in the world outside Siberia and Mongolia) has quite a large Filipino population. The first migrants came around 1960, and some of them are still alive. That would be an interesting oral history.

  100. John Emerson says:

    Speaking of the subtropical arctic, Winnipeg (the coldest city in the world outside Siberia and Mongolia) has quite a large Filipino population. The first migrants came around 1960, and some of them are still alive. That would be an interesting oral history.

  101. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    …or is that more British?
    Eye-tie is a word that has only ever appeared in Second World War films and in Monty Python.
    Language doesn’t look down on anybody. Any reasonable person would look twice, at least, at somebody who says Eye-ran or Eye-rack. A good example would be, let’s see… ah yes, Sarah Palin!

  102. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Although it’s an understandable mistake Mars, by the way, is not part of the British Empire. It is my own fiefdom, on which no taxes are paid.

  103. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    The truth is my wife has asked me to put Martian affairs to one side while I put away the summer furniture from the garden. I have, however, managed to write a brief note of inquiry to the Thai embassy about their Buddhist temples. I’m going to send another letter to the stavkirke people here in Norway.

  104. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Nijma, give me your email and I’ll send you the temple and stave church pictures I’m sending around. It won’t fit in the camel’s mail box, because it’s pictures.

  105. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    I’m not eating elephant just because it’s covered in green squares. My mother tried that trick when I was a baby.

  106. Nijma, give me your email
    It’s in the URL for this comment.
    With a free blog from wordpress.com you can have unlimited space for posting images.

  107. it must have something ferengi in it
    Firengi is a medieval corruption of the Arabic word for French فَرَنْسي or Frankish. Apparently they thought all the crusaders came from France. You see the word a lot in European accounts of the Crusades, especially the older and less politically correct ones. See also Racial Slur Database:
    http://www.mcgonigal.org/Data/general/RacialSlurDatabase.pdf

  108. effete
    This word was made famous by former American Vice President Spiro T. Agnew when he referred to the press as an “effete corps of impudent snobs”. The phrase even made it into the cult classic mini-book “the Wisdom of Spiro T. Agnew”, meant to mimic Mao’s little red book, except of course it was reprinting the quotations in order to ridicule them.

  109. Any reasonable person would look twice, at least, at somebody who says Eye-ran or Eye-rack. A good example would be, let’s see… ah yes, Sarah Palin!
    Palin’s accent is Fargo-esque and more. In the mid-west I would expect to hear ear-on and ear-rock more than eye-ran and eye-rack. The later pronunciation I would interpret more as blue collar (the demographic Palin is supposed to help out with) and possibly meant to be facetious, something like Ay-rabs instead of Air-rabs for “Arabs”.
    Palin’s pronunciation more approximates the name the Iraqis give their own county, though, al-iraq or in Arabic العراق.
    The third letter, ein ﻉ (or in its medial, final, and initial forms ﻋ ﻊ ﻌ)is pronounced, as far as I can pronounce the thing, a lot like the German ë. So in Arabi Iraq would be more like “ah-ieer-rog.

  110. “ë”? German?

  111. Maybe long e without ooomlaut? I think of the number one in German “ein” and pronounce it in the back of my nose. Or form your mouth like ee and say ah. The Arabs seem to understand me, but there’s no equivalent English sound.

  112. A.J.P. Crown says:

    ä in German (sometimes).
    All I get from your url is the camel … ah, you’ve changed it.

  113. Nijma: effete
    This word was made famous by former American Vice President Spiro T. Agnew when he referred to the press as an “effete corps of impudent snobs”.

    And,as I discovered today, one who would wander on the web looking for self-indulgence, triviality, or decadence would have a good chance of falling on a post called Effete that was published on Language Log five days ago. What is meant by this word seems however to be controversial at times. One might indeed see the fetus hiding there but whether it can actually mean “having given birth”, “no more able to give birth” or “not male enough to give birth” depends on the psychological background of the speaker (or the listener as the case may be).
    It is said on Language Log that it comes from “ex-fetus”, where “ex” is supposed to mean out. That might be baffling for an ex-cimentier martien who in a former life has dealt with quotations on which it was written “ex-factory”, which was meant to mean “out of the factory”, or “as from the door of the factory”. Here “ex-uterus” would have made more sense. Except that fetus in that case means fruitful says Merriam-Webster (breeding says Mark Liberman), thus giving to ex-fetus the meaning “out of fruitfulness”, QED.
     
     
    Furthermore, on September 18, 2008 12:55 PM the former cimentier martien has used the locution in fine to simply mean “http://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/in_fine“, “in the end”. Later, however, he was wondering whether his ferengish mind hadn’t been jumping to premature conclusions, mislead, as it may have been, by the use of this Latin expression in ordinary, unspecialised French. Can it have this (common) acceptation in English?

  114. A.J.P. Crown says:

    Now I’m beginning to understand why you keep referring to me as Your Majesty. I didn’t know you had been a cimentier, you may know M. Hennibique? The French invented reinforced-concrete, and the Swiss and Italians were their brilliant followers.
    No one says “in fine” in English, but we don’t have enfin.

  115. The OED says the sense “in the end, at last” is obsolete, the “current” meaning being “to conclude or sum up, finally; also, in short.” I put “current” in scare quotes because the last citation is from 1849, and as His Martian Majesty says, no one uses it any more.

  116. John Emerson says:

    I don’t use the phrase and rarely see it, but I’ve always vaguely felt that it meant something like “to be precise” or “most essentially”.

  117. John Emerson says:

    I don’t use the phrase and rarely see it, but I’ve always vaguely felt that it meant something like “to be precise” or “most essentially”.

  118. Ah, all right — thanks. That’s surprising to some extent because generally English seems much more eager to keep or include Latin expressions in its lexicon then French. (And in French they are often italicised, a priori, whereas they are normally written in plain roman type in English.)
    Incidentally, accidentally, I have mixed up the URL and the text in the link of one of my sentences, which should instead be {keeps fingers crossed}:
    Furthermore, on September 18, 2008 12:55 PM the former cimentier martien has used the locution in fine to simply mean “finally“, “in the end”.
    Toutefois, ce n’était pas trop grave in fine — but it’s probably better like that, this type of error giving strange results.
     
     
    H.R.H. A.J.P.: Being a Martian citizen — sorry: subject — of whom Your Majesty says Your Majesty is the king, I cannot speak to Your Majesty without saying “Your Majesty”. It’s much too risky otherwise. Think for instance of the person whose name appears on top of this very page.
    Hennebique? Yes (even if the French themselves still talk of ciment Portland for some good reasons). But, strangely, I rather had in mind the name of Vicat or Freyssinet — the latter probably because I have been (pre)stressful for many years.

  119. Freyssinet the canal builder ?

  120. Crown, A. J.P. says:

    “Freyssinet’s key contribution was to…counteract the effects of creep”, according to Wiki. He may even have been responsible for the General Creep Equation, which you can see at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creep_(deformation), I don’t know really.
    Actually, I remember a fantastic diagram of a skeleton of iron reinforcement for the stone in the front of Soufflot’s Ste-Geneviève (The Panthéon) in Paris, the French were working on the principles of reinforcement in the mid-late eighteenth century without even knowing where it was leading. Is everyone asleep yet? NOBODY expects reinforced concrete at Language Hat.
    I’d never chop anyone’s head off, not personally at any rate. I find it hard enough just splitting logs of wood.
    And then there’s the Champs des Mars, with the Tour Eiffel and giant hedge things on either side. If I weren’t a Martian at the moment I would like to be French, but unfortunately there’s no money in it.

  121. > Paul
    Freyssinet built canals? It might be the case, but I think he was more involved in bridge construction. Moreover, he is mostly known as the inventor of prestressed concrete.
     
     
     
    > Nijma
    On your website I have seen a post called “Ramadan Kareem”. This “kareem” caught my eye as here Muslim Martians always refer to the fast as “carême” — I should probably write karem since we are speaking of Creole —, which basically is the French name normally used by Christians (but used by Hindus as well). This “kareem”, used next to the name of the month during which Muslims fast, seemed too close to “carême” to be a mere coincidence. I started to wonder how it could have gone from one to the other. But it seems that it didn’t, “kareem” apparently meaning generous in Arabic. Is this a form of greeting — not unlike “Eid Mubarak” — to say “Ramadan Kareem”?

  122. marie-lucie says:

    NOBODY expects reinforced concrete at Language Hat.
    AJP, stay here long enough and you will learn that NOTHING is unexpected at Language Hat (as long as people are reasonably civil about it). That’s one of the many attractions of this salon. Where else would a king and a cimentier meet (and the rest of us get to meet them)?

  123. And, Marie-Lucie, if you don’t mind may I send H.R.H. two years back?
    http://www.languagehat.com/archives/002512.php
    (“Our plant is a concrete plant. Our brigade is a concrete one. Our plant is a concrete plant. And our task is concrete. Concrete, concrete, concrete, concrete…”)

  124. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    NOBODY expects reinforced concrete at Language Hat.
    If anyone had told me ten years ago that I’d one day have a daughter who was an expert in reinforced concrete I wouldn’t have believed them, but I’d have been wrong.

  125. effete
    I would agree with the common understanding of the word as elitist or vaguely homosexual, someone who drinks tea with pinkie up. It was funny when Agnew said it because he was not regarded as very intellectual and liked to use uncommon words in unusual ways. Also you would think the press would have been insulted and dropped it, but they kept it in the echo chamber, maybe they liked the attention. Maybe it was also funny because the alternate word “fag” would be what is being called these days a “trigger word” that causes instinctive disgust in a wide group of people, while “effete” does not carry the same emotional response.
    kareem ﻛﺮﯦم
    “Ramadan Kareem” is most certainly a formula greeting like “Merry Christmas”. I have also seen “Ramadan Mubarak” on greeting cards but have never heard it spoken. I have always heard “Eid Mubarak”, a very common greeting for the end of Ramadan. Wehr lists several definitions including noble, distinguished, high-ranking, eminent, high-minded, etc…. al-Kareem الكريم is also one of the 99 names of God, meaning bountiful, generous. The little greeting card widget I made for my sidebar for the holy month is from a photo of the al-Hussein mosque in downtown Amman a stone’s throw away from my old apartment. I always liked the architecture and the town square atmosphere–political demonstrations used to leave from here and it’s surrounded by vendors and shops–but ironically it’s one of the few mosques that doesn’t permit women inside.
    In Jordan it was a great point of courtesy to learn what someone’s religion was (there are only two socially acknowledged ones and they don’t include atheist and J…. oh you can’t say that word either, it’s a trigger word…) and give them the correct greeting on their holiday.

  126. “I echo David’s astonishment about rabbits and Australia – they are only good for stews and felt…”
    Here in Aotearoa we have a similar sentiment. At one stage, before the illegal introduction of the Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease virus, the rabbit population in Te Wai Pounamu got so large and desperate that there was footage on the TV news of rabbits eating rabbits, which was not something I realised they did.

  127. John Emerson says:

    Agnew’s speeches were written by William Safire, IIRC.

  128. John Emerson says:

    Agnew’s speeches were written by William Safire, IIRC.

  129. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Ooh. What a great pre-stressed concrete wiki page that is Sutor, well found! There are some great comments there on that concrete, concrete post, I liked Bill Poser’s about Sanskrit being the only language where you learn ‘three-headed’ in the first semester. Also Bulbul’s expression, ‘the guy with the keys to the concrete mixer’, I’ll be using that one.
    …one day have a daughter who was an expert in reinforced concrete…
    I know this feeling, mine’s always wanted to be a vet. She is still only 14, but I think she’s going to do it. I have a broader conversational repertoire about concrete than about disease, but that’s just me.

  130. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Where else would a king and a cimentier meet (and the rest of us get to meet them)?
    I’ve only been the King since August 1. There’s a wider interest in Mars than I had reckoned with. Perhaps I should have chosen somewhere smaller and further away, but there’s really no money in that.

  131. “There’s a wider interest in Mars than I had reckoned with.”
    Given the number of Martins in the world, that ought not have been such a surprise. I’ve always been weirdly proud of the fact that other than my father sister and nephew, I am effectively not related to any of the thousands of Martins in Aotearoa. Of course, if you’re offering Extraplanetary Citizenship of Mars for less than the cost of Overseas Citizenship of India, I may be preparted to make your subject base infinitely larger than it currently is.

  132. A.J.P. Crown says:

    What is the cost of Overseas Citizenship of India (I might be interested in that, too)?

  133. When I first enquired a few years ago, it was around $700NZ (c. 48p). They must not have had many takers at that price, because when I checked again earlier this year, it was down to about $400NZ.

  134. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Hmm.
    I could probably offer Martian citizenship at…somewhere around…$299NZ.* I’ll sleep on it.
    * (that’s 1,174 Norwegian Kroner to the rest of us).

  135. Perhaps I should have chosen somewhere smaller and further away, but there’s really no money in that.
    Not to mention that introducing yourself as King of Uranus might lead to demeaning interactions.

  136. Siganus Sutor says:

    Could Pluto be considered now that it’s no longer a planet?
    Nijma, thanks for your answer. So it looks as if carême and kareem look alike out of pure luck… By the way, do you know what the root is in that case?

  137. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    In structural engineering the language is a source of all sorts of jokes. In addition to creep, there is ‘sheer stress’ and ‘the slump test’, ‘the elastic limit’, ‘the yield point’, concrete vibrators, stiffness and a lot of talk about ‘the ultimate moment’. I also found this at a Wiki discussion page, I don’t know if it’s true: the Italian word for concrete is calcestruzzo, which is lime ostrich.
    For anyone who is interested in bridges there are some books by a structural engineer at Princeton, David Billington, that are well worth reading. One is ‘The Tower and the Bridge’ (I think the Tower is the Tour Eiffel, it’s mostly bridges). He’s also written separately about the Swiss alpine bridge-builders Robert Maillart and Christian Menn (whose bridge is on the cover of Tower & Bridge, here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tower-Bridge-New-Structural-Engineering/dp/069102393X/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_1

  138. A.J.P. Crown says:

    Calcestruzzo, I guess it really is lime ostrich. Struts is Norwegian for ostrich, too. I don’t know where the word ostrich comes from. Struzzo must have some additional meaning to do with structure, as in English. Could it be it comes from…Latin?

  139. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Could Pluto be considered now that it’s no longer a planet?
    There are three things that are important in real estate: location, location and location. Being a planet is not so important.

  140. Siganus Sutor:
    Pluto
    Eris, also a dwarf planet, is larger than Pluto, in a nearby location, and has the advantage of a moon, but you might find the Discordians a distraction.
    Kareem
    The root appears to be ﮐﺮم which has a variety of meanings having to do with nobleness and generosity, as do most of the words formed by it. Makes sense; I guess beggars are rarely considered generous. Another colloquial meaning is listed as “vine, grapes, grapevine, vineyard, garden, orchard”, with such words as “karma” meaning vine and bint al-karm (literally girl, virgin or maybe daughter of the vine) meaning wine.
    Ramadan is indeed the time when everyone eats well, thanks to the many iftars provided every night by those who want to safeguard their afterlife position under the best trees in paradise. And the poor don’t feel bad about taking charity during this month either, since they are doing their benefactor a favor in helping them with the hereafter.
    “carême”
    I’m not sure what to make of this word since I have never studied Martian and don’t know any Martian Moslems. However I am absolutely sure they would have a Koran in classical Arabic, with every vowel marking in place–and not left out willy-nilly like in common handwriting–since we know that Allah spoke Arabic, at least in the Mecca part of the world. If it is in another language it is not a real Koran, it is a “meaning of the Quran”. And while there would be only one spelling in Arabic, in another language there would be a variety of spellings–I mean look at just Koran and Quran as two common spellings for the sacred book.
    Arabic is a phonetic language. Perhaps they are trying to spell ﻛﺮﯦم kareem (karim?) phonetically using the rules of some other alphabet system.

  141. Freyssinet: There is a “gabarit Freyssinet” which is used to describe the maximum size for a traditional French commercial barge, and also for the canals they use. I think this is governed by the size of the locks. The barges are usually 28 metres long and 5.5 metres wide, carrying 300 tons, but where possible, rivers and new canals, they are largely displaced by big commerical rigs of 1200 tons and more.
    This led me to believe that Freyssinet was a canal builder, but I can’t find any etymology for “gabarit Freyssinet”.
    Your Maj : maybe you could enlighten on the gabarit of the Martian canals, and if it would be worth setting up an export business in obsolete French barges ?

  142. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Le gabarit Freycinet est une norme régissant la dimension des écluses de certains canaux, mise en place par une loi du programme de Charles de Freycinet datant du 5 août 1879.
    According to le wiqui, de Freycinet was an engineer, as well as being an homme politique.
    I’d forgotten about the canals. I’m all for using them, as long as I make money from it.

  143. Ah, I mixed up my Freyssinet/de Freycinet.
    I’m not the only one. French Wiki has the following entry:
    Bassin de Saint-Mammès à l’embouchure du Loing, l’ancienne écluse date de 1724. Agrandie au gabarit Freyssinet au XIXe siècle, c’est une écluse à bajoyers initialement prolongée par un barrage qui régulait le cours du Loing.

  144. A.J.P. Crown says:

    Frogs are trying to confuse us. But otherwise I’d never have found out about the gabarit. I love the idea of dating your laws, we should all have that. Like do something on Aug. 4, and you’re ok …but do it again on Aug. 5, and they’ll chop off your head.

  145. John Emerson says:

    When Ramadan comes in July, there are no Muslims in the Land of the Midnight Sun. At least, that’s what an Iranian who spent time in Alaska told me. Others claim that it’s permissible to fast according to Mecca time.

  146. John Emerson says:

    When Ramadan comes in July, there are no Muslims in the Land of the Midnight Sun. At least, that’s what an Iranian who spent time in Alaska told me. Others claim that it’s permissible to fast according to Mecca time.

  147. marie-lucie says:

    Just because laws in other countries are not referred to by their date does not mean that the result is not the same: from such a date on, the new law takes effect.
    I personally find it strange to see laws referred to by the names of people involved in a legal dispute, as in Roe vs. Wade, without a mention of the date or even the topic of the law.

  148. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    There’s something remarkable to me about actually seeing the date; for one thing it reminds me that France’s laws are not immutable (a good thing).
    And Roe just means ‘Ms X’, which is also peculiar.

  149. Roe v. Wade isn’t a law. It’s a Supreme Court decision. We don’t refer to laws by people’s names, except for a few weirdnesses like Megan’s Law.

  150. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Was there a federal law that the Supreme Court tested in Roe v. Wade, or did the issue bypass the Congress completely for some reason? M-l is right it’s a bizarre, or at least, an unnecessarily
    arcane, way to refer to the US’s current law about abortion.

  151. it’s permissible to fast according to Mecca time
    This is a point of controversy in the U.S.–but the real political question is when Ramadan ends. Before 9/11 everyone depended on the Saudis to look for the moon and declare when it was seen. After 9/11 Jordan’s King Abdullah, who walks on water, established a cabinet level position on Islamic affairs to determine holidays, and all the surrounding countries quickly followed suit that same year. Last year the big bru ha ha was the moon rising one minute before sunset in Saudi but not in Europe or the U.S., so do you use Saudi time or GMT?
    http://camelsnose.wordpress.com/2007/10/13/eid-mubarak-one-hundred-percent-sure-inshallah/
    If you live in an area where the sun doesn’t set, do you have to wait for winter to celebrate Eid?

  152. Roe v Wade
    Here is the court case:
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=CASE&court=US&vol=410&page=113
    You have to remember that the U.S. also has states that make laws and there is a whole pecking order about who is allowed to make laws about what. The Constitution trumps everything, so when there is a gray area, the courts have to decide based on the constititon.
    Wikipedia:

    According to the Roe decision, most laws against abortion in the United States violated a constitutional right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision overturned all state and federal laws outlawing or restricting abortion that were inconsistent with its holdings.

    There are similarly famous Supreme Court cases like Plessey v Ferguson and Brown v Board of Education that addressed racial segregation and had sweeping effects on governmental practices.
    And Roe just means ‘Ms X’, which is also peculiar.
    A “Jane Doe” or a “John Doe” is another name for an unidentified or anonymous person, as in “There’s another Jane Doe in the county morgue, we’ve got to find the serial killer.” There were two Supreme Court abortion cases decided at about the same time with two different anonymous pregnant women, “Jane Roe” and “Mary Doe”.

  153. This is the best thread in the world.
    But I have a question. I’m not effete or overeducated, but I am not a very nice person. I have noticed that Eye-ran, Eye-rack and Eye-talian correlates not with socio-economic class, but with negative stereotypes about the people of the first two countries and the last people (and why, BTW, if people say Eye-talian, don’t they say Eye-taly?) I have never heard someone say, “Eye-ran. Now there’s a place I want to visit. Amazing culture.”

  154. I think the correlation is not with stereotype but with knowledge or lack thereof. If you have become acquainted with the Middle East through some other means than being stationed there surrounded by other Americans, you’re likely to use the “correct” pronunciations and to have a more nuanced and perhaps more favorable view of the cultures. Most people who say Eye-ran and Eye-rack don’t know much about the places (just as most Americans don’t know much about most foreign places), and added to the normal quotient of vague xenophobia we now have years of negative propaganda. It’s not surprising there are negative stereotypes, but I don’t think it’s fair to connect them with pronunciation, any more than it’s fair to correlate the pronunciation “nucular” with any particular politics.

  155. I should really start a sidebar list of great threads. I’ll do that as soon as I figure out how to stash the archives-by-month somewhere where they take up less room.

  156. A.J.P. OM (Even the other AJP didn’t get that…)
    A benefit of the gabarit is that obselete barges to that size make tremendous living quarters moored e.g. on the banks of the Seine in Paris. Sterling Hayden lived on one. I lived next to several (but in a motor yacht – more character, less living space and dreadful headroom – I still have the scar tissue).

  157. Eye-ran, Eye-rack:
    I’m wondering if pronunciation might be a coded way of transmitting political opinions, specifically a perceived threat. My grandfather was a great follower of current events and cold war rhetoric through the local Minnesota newspapers and he always talked about “the Rooshins”. Maybe that was a way of saying “I don’t trust them” without spelling it out.
    There were certainly times when I felt threatened in the Middle East and perhaps I was even in danger, but I believe words an have the power to redefine that kind of situation. If you run from a strange dog, it might chase you. But if you hide your fear, hold out your hand, and let it sniff you, you may be able to sleep in the same room with it safely. Not that anyone from another culture is a dog, but dogs are instinctual and we react on instinct as well. The risk is still there, but you minimize it and move to something more interesting. If you read Kipling though, the Brits considered “going native” to carry its own danger.
    living quarters moored e.g. on the banks of the Seine in Paris:
    I seem to remember in one of the diaries of Anaïs Nin that she once lived on such a conveyance. It might have been when she lived in Paris.

  158. Re: Eye-ran and Eye-rack:
    I’m wondering if pronunciation might be a coded way of transmitting political opinions, specifically a perceived threat.
    Shortly after 9/11, Alan Jackson (a country music singer, for all y’all non-rednecks) composed a song entitled “Where Were You” with a line “I watch CNN, but I’m not sure I can tell you the difference in Eye-rack and Eye-ran”. I’ve always thought he used this ‘uneducated’ pronunciation to underline his point. In this particular case, the dog whistle would not make sense, considering how this song is one of the few country hits composed in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 which didn’t call for kicking butt.
    Also, in Jackson’s pronunciation, it almost sounds like Uh-ruck / Uh-ran.

  159. marie-lucie says:

    I have been wondering whether the “eye” pronunciation is a kind of hypercorrection, in an attempt to avoid the neutral “uh” pronunciation of unstressed vowels, but there are probably other contributing factors.
    Among “eye”-initial countries there is Ireland and Iceland, both stressed on the initial vowel, and among ordinary words there is iron (and ironing), irony, icon and idol. Exceptions are Italy and image (there is also Israel, but here the i is followed by two consonants, a detail which is significant). Starting with unstressed “eye” followed by a single consonant we have Iberia (and Iberian) along with ironic. It seems that the pronunciation “eye” is more common than the one with “i”, hence there are more models for Eye-talian than for It-alian. For Eye-ran and Eye-raq there may be an influence from Eye-reland but also an avoidance of Uh-ran and Uh-rack as noted by bulbul: the presence of an r generally tends to distort the vowel before it and make it more neutral, especially in uneducated speech, so a pronunciation “eye” makes the initial vowel more noticeable and (at least in intention) socially more acceptable.
    As to the lack of Eye-taly, I can’t think of a compelling reason at the moment, but there must be one (or a combination of factors here too). .

  160. Siganus Sutor says:

    Steve: (just as most Americans don’t know much about most foreign places)
    That’s what is often said in the world in general and in Le Monde in particular (I don’t know about Die Welt), and it has almost become what the French call a lieu commun (“commonplace, platitude”, says my Harrap’s), but is it really true? I mean, is it more likely to be the case for the “average American” than for the “average” Mexican/Chinese/Russian/Indian/French/Brazilian/Nigerian/Iranian? I don’t know if Language Hat is representative of what an “average American” might be (if such a thing exists), but here I see people who know a lot, plus another lot, about foreign countries, cultures and languages.

  161. Interesting about Eye-rack and Eye-ran. Requires more research. Didn’t Stevie Wonder sing about Eye-rack and Eye-ran, making puns out of them?
    Hat, I also tend to think that Americans know less about the world than people in other countries, but am not so sure. Russians think they know a lot about the US, but it’s really just from movies (and the now ridiculous “news”). The jury is out, as far as I’m concerned.
    On barges and canals… come to upstate NY and take a trip on the Erie Canal (“I’ve got a mule and her name is Sal…”) Lots of locks to go through.

  162. Eye-rack and Eye-ran
    marie-lucie seems to be making an argument for the pronunciation as an example of “avoiding the appearance of rurality”. I do remember as a child learning to read the word “a” and how we pronounced it “ay” instead of “uh” for a while because we thought it sounded more sophisticated.
    But wondering if there was an actual official pronunciation for Iraq and Iran I have turned to my much-neglected Webster’s and found the following:

    Iran \i-’ran, -’rän; ī-’ran\
    Iraq \i-’räk, -’rak\
    in other words ear-ran, ear-rahn, eye-rahn and ear-rack, ear-rock

    So the “ruralized” pronunciation of Iran is correct, it’s just not the preferred one. And the Iraq one is half right.
    Let me reiterate that the Sarah Palin-esqe pronunciation or Iraq as Aïrak may be the closest English approximation of the way the Iraqis themselves say it. Although she probably said it with that Fargo twang that the Iraqis definitely do NOT have.

  163. Looking on teh interwebs I found this techie version of iRack:
    http://www.funn.info/other-videos/ibush-iraq-and-iran/

  164. Eye-Rack and Eye-ran:
    Okay, here’s the Alan Jackson video of the rather mushy and twangy, but not angry or snarky “Where were you”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9PwWkV4HQ4
    “eye-rack and eye-ran” are at 1:39 and again at 4:15

  165. “ah-rock, ah-ran”
    Stevie Wonder rap at the beginning of “don’t you worry about a thing” at about 0:25
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkBUx6Zn6mo

  166. Steve: (just as most Americans don’t know much about most foreign places)
    Marie-Lucie:That’s what is often said in the world in general

    Marie’s thoughtful comment prompted me to add my tuppence in defence of US introspection. Living in a tiny country near the top of the world, half a world away from other English-speaking countries, and 2000 kilometres from Australia, New Zealanders have no choice but to look outward. Like most Kiwis of my generation and older I am shamefully of my own country because we’ve always assumed everywhere else was more interesting and more important. It seems to me that the US’s inward gaze is understandable. If one lives in a country as big and important as the States, it’s hardly surprising that the rest of the world seems irrelevant. With so much to learn about your own country, why not assume that the Sydney Harbour Bridge links Sydney and Auckland, as one disappointed American tourist mentioned on arrival here in early 80s?

  167. Siganus Sutor says:

    Stuart: Marie’s thoughtful comment
    Many Christian (read “Catholic”) Martian males have “Marie” amongst their first names, but (un)fortunately I’m not one of those.

  168. Sorry Siganus – that will teach me not to post pre-coffee!

  169. The Ear-rai-e Canal ? Sort of fits this thread…
    Don’t know it, though I do know the Finger Lakes, Ithica, Watkins Glen area a bit (because of racing at the Glen).

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  171. A.J.P. Crown says:

    Flattery will get you nowhere, Pokemon.
    Regarding ‘on top of the world’, Stuart, and of course I have my own Norwegian interests to take care of here, what’s to stop us having the N-S axis in a horizontal direction (vis-a-vis the tabletop, obviously)? It’s a win-win, with the only losers (i.e. bottom dwellers) being those at the equator, and that for only a small part of the day. Someone could make some money making globes like this, I think. This may be off topic, but it’s worth it (for me and Stuart, anyway).

  172. “what’s to stop us having the N-S axis in a horizontal direction (vis-a-vis the tabletop, obviously)?”
    Since I owe my name to the planet of which you’re King, how can I naysay my liegelord? Plus, it sounds cool. I, for one, welcome my new axis-reorienting overlord.

  173. A.J.P. Crown says:

    Thanks. I always liked the Stuarts, too; it was the Hanovers who queered the pitch. My spellchecker doesn’t like Hanovers and neither do I.

  174. OM? I hadn’t even noticed his Marsjesty posting on Pharyngula.
    So … is it Dies /iraj/ or /irɛ/?

  175. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Well Sili, if you doubt this is possible, how is it there are PYGMIES + DWARFS??
    Besides the OM, AJP Taylor never got the VC or the Order of the Bath. On the other hand, I’ve never had a regular column in the Sunday Express.

  176. Siganus Sutor says:

    Nijma: don’t know any Martian Moslems
    And they, on their side of the solar system, don’t know the expression “Ramadan Kareem”…
    But tell me, do you think writing “Moslem” instead of “Muslim” is somehow derogatory? I am not an English speaker and it’s hard for me to know these things, but I remember the case of R***, a Martian atheist with a Hindu background, who was complaining that I*** — a Martian Muslim with a lesser command of the English language than R*** — was (wrongly as it was said) finding the use of “Moslem” belittling.
    To some extent you were cracking a joke about Mauritian Muslims, weren’t you? If we weren’t on Language Hat, the blog where everybody ends up having fun one way or the other, if you were writing something formal and likely to be heard or read seriously by serious Muslims, would you have written “Moslems”?
    (Please don’t think I’m trying to cut anybody’s head. It’s just to get the implications right, if any.)

  177. Siganus Sutor says:

    > Nijma
    PS: Think for instance of the word “Mahomedan”, or “Mohammedan”. This was probably of standard use at some point in time. However, if someone uses it today I believe it would constitute an attempt either to be demeaning or to be funny, no?
    Isn’t it strange to se how words who are rather neutral (or pejorative) at a certain time can have their registre* changed over time?
     
     
     
    * “Registre”: I can’t find the English word. Marie-Lucie, F1!

  178. Siganus Sutor says:

    words who are rather neutral
    Hum, hum… (Not the first mistake, I know, but “hum, hum” nevertheless.)
     
     
    Your Majesty: In structural engineering the language is a source of all sorts of jokes.
    I have many of them readily available, but I’ll just give you two for the time being: the king post (central vertical element in a truss, sometimes called a “king rod” if the king is, er… [blush]) and the standard known as “BS EN ISO 22476-3″. The last one is not so funny? Then let’s try to read what’s written on the cover of this official document… “Part 3: Standard Penetration Test” [a.k.a. "SPT"].

  179. I mean, is it more likely to be the case for the “average American” than for the “average” Mexican/Chinese/Russian/Indian/French/Brazilian/Nigerian/Iranian?
    Hat, I also tend to think that Americans know less about the world than people in other countries, but am not so sure.
    N.b.: I did not say Americans know less about the world than people in other countries. I said they don’t know much about the rest of the world. For all I know, that’s equally true of people in other countries.
    But tell me, do you think writing “Moslem” instead of “Muslim” is somehow derogatory?
    No. It may be (becoming) slightly old-fashioned, but it’s a perfectly normal and acceptable spelling, in contrast to “Mohammedan,” which unless used by a very decrepit person is probably used with unfavorable intent. I’m pretty sure the vast majority of Americans say “Moslem” (you have to be pretty aware, perhaps through knowing an actual Muslim, to say “Muslim”), and there’s no reason they shouldn’t. A more accurate transliteration from Arabic does not equate to greater virtue.

  180. Jeez, you go out for a couple of hours and miss seven sub-threads AND have a dozen links to check out.
    For what it’s worth, Rosalie Maggio’s book Talking About People states that “Moslem is an unacceptable westernized corruption of Muslim.” Frankly, I don’t see why, particularly because in American English — in many regional accents — it would be hard to hear the difference. But there you have it.
    Oh, yes, Watkins Glen. I drove around the empty track in my feckless teenage years.
    Now I’m going to go listen to Stevie singing Don’t You Worry About a Thing.

  181. Oh — wanted to reply to Stuart. I have spent all of life living in the two big powers, USSR-Russia and US, and now my idea of heaven on earth is living a small country that doesn’t invade or threaten anyone, whose eonomic coughs don’t spread fiscal pneumonia all over the world, a country that is proud of two scientists, a poet and three cheese-makers, and that fills the newspapers and TV screens and airwaves for months with the debate on whether to put the new dump on the north or south side of the big mountain. Excitement and size are vastly over-rated (at least in countries).

  182. “a country that is proud of two scientists, a poet and three cheese-makers”
    I’m not sure that NZ is as proud of its Nobel Laureates as it ought to be, but because of their contribution to our GNP, pretty much everybody here acknowledges that “blessed are the cheese-makers”, obviously referring to any manufacturer of dairy products.

  183. For what it’s worth, Rosalie Maggio’s book Talking About People states that “Moslem is an unacceptable westernized corruption of Muslim.”
    Sounds to me like your basic “let’s go look for something to hang the PC flag on and make people feel guilty about” nonsense. If an actual Muslim tells me he doesn’t like the term “Moslem,” I’ll bear it in mind; Rosalie Maggio (according to her website, “wordsmith, quotations collector, screenwriter, and author of 19 books”) scouring the world for things to tell people not to say doesn’t impress me.

  184. N.b.: In Farsi/Persian, it’s pronounced /moslem/, and the Persians are just as good Muslims/Moslems as the Arabs. (In fact, I’ve sometimes wondered if the “Moslem” form was borrowed from Farsi.)

  185. Moslem/Muslim
    My dictionary lists both Moslem and Muslim as accepted spellings, and both entires reference the other. By now everyone knows I use a 30-year-old Webster’s. I have always thought “Moslem” was the preferred spelling and it’s certainly closer to the way the word is pronounced in Chicago.
    Chicago is also the home to the Black Muslims which is a totally separate movement from Islam. (They started out using the Bible but have since grown closer to the Koran.) I tend to use “Muslim” in referring to this group.
    As far as how Arabic-speakers refer to the members of the Islamic religious group, I tried to find out, but could not get an answer. Perhaps they consider the question impolite. Perhaps they are distressed to discuss religion with someone of another faith. Perhaps the word changes with the religion of the person using it. Who knows. I have absolutely no insight about this. I can tell you the name “Jesus” changes depending on the religion of the person talking. Issa=Moslem and I think Jesus in Christian is Ya-su-ah. You can tell I hung out with mostly Moslems. My one Christian informant, when sober, told me the correct name for Christian is mes-sa-HEE-ya (feminine form), which seemed to work fine for me when tested on Moslems.
    There’s also an old word for Moslems, “Musselmen”, which you tend to find in old historical novels set in the time of the crusades.

  186. Yes, the Christian Arabic name for Jesus is Yasū3 (يسوع ).

  187. As far as how Arabic-speakers refer to the members of the Islamic religious group, I tried to find out, but could not get an answer.
    Incidentally, though it probably won’t be of interest to speakers of English, I discussed this with a bunch of Muslims just the other day, I think in connection with the new Slovak translation of the Quran. Most of them seem to prefer “Muslim” for its Classical Arabic pronunciation, but in casual speach they use whatever sounds OK to them based on their dialect. “Moslem” is not used in Slovak, so the choice is either “muslim” or “moslim”. “Musulman” is an archaic term OK for historical fiction, but not in contemporary discourse. “Mohamedán” is a no-no.
    the correct name for Christian is mes-sa-HEE-ya (feminine form)
    That would be either “Christianity” (religions, ideologies and political movements are usually feminine in Arabic) or “a Christian woman”. masīḥī or a variation thereof is “a Christian (man)”. naṣrānī (or niṣrānī) / pl. naṣārī is another word for “Christian”, perhaps somewhat archaic to some, but fairly common, too.

  188. Siganus Sutor says:

    LH: and the Persians are just as good Muslims/Moslems as the Arabs
    Well, I’m not sure all Sunnis, whether Arab or not, agree with this statement, since Shia are sometimes frowned upon, if not regarded as plain heretics. (But on top of that you do have Arab Shiites… :-))
     
     
     
    Bulbul: “Mohamedán” is a no-no.
    Isn’t it funny when you think rationally about it? After all, if you consider that Christians = followers of Christ and Mohammedans = followers of Mohammed, there should be no harm in saying “Mohammedan”. But too often words carry secondary meanings (connotations, nuances, overtones) together with their standard definition, and very often it has nothing to do with the word itself. To some extent the same thing is true of pronunciation.
    Muslim/musulman: If memory serves me right, in Primo Levi’s ‘If This Is a Man’ there was a word used among prisoners at Auschwitz to talk of those who had given up: Muslims (‘musulmans’ in my French translation). And, as far as I remember, Primo Levi didn’t understand why. (Why this word was used, not why some gave up and just waited for death to come).

  189. musulmaan – for some reason, this word is the only one that my young, NZ-born, Punjabi friends understand. I like the way it rolls off the tongue anyway, but despite being bilingual, these children understand what I’m saying if I say when speaking English that, “the masjid next door to your house is where Musulmaans meet for worship”, but if I use “Muslim” and “mosque”, I have to explain those terms. Perhaps because they spend much time in the company of many monolingual relatives.

  190. the Christian Arabic name for Jesus is Yasū3 (يسوع ):
    Oddly enough, at one point I was hanging out with an American missionary (I think Pentecostal)who was trying to keep a low profile, as a lot of countries frown on proselytizing and tend to kick out Pentecostals. Her big calling was the blind who she would anoint with a tiny vial of olive oil, while praying over them in what she said was either Greek or Aramaic. She had huge biblical dictionaries with her in fancy cases, although she didn’t appear to be particularly educated. Anyhow she prayed over them in the name of Yasua which she meant as Jesus, which she got from one of her books, because she said they wouldn’t recognize that as being Christian.
    masjid-
    That’s pure Arabic. There’s a more common word for mosque, something like jammaaaa, which I can’t seem to pronounce well enough to differentiate between university, meeting, mosque, women’s center and bus station. So in order to be understood I have to say “mujahmma bahsaht” for bus station, add the name of the school to “jammaaaaa” for university and mosque is “mesjid”.
    masīḥī or a variation thereof is “a Christian (man)”. naṣrānī (or niṣrānī) / pl. naṣārī is another word for “Christian”:
    I believe the “nasrani” thing means from Nazareth. I was told to say mes-SA-hee for male and mess-a-HEE-ya for female Christian, based on “Messiah”. The Moslems of course have a Jesus tradition, but as a prophet, not as part of the deity. Jews I’m not sure about, they might have some tradition of Jesus as a rabbi, but certainly not as messiah. This is not Modern Standard Arabic (foos-ha) which I loathe, but colloquial Levantine Arabic.

  191. if you consider that Christians = followers of Christ and Mohammedans = followers of Mohammed, there should be no harm in saying “Mohammedan”. But too often words carry secondary meanings:
    You might say Christians do worship Christ, as Jesus is considered part of the Trinity (and don’t get me started on that “three gods” bullcrap, or I’ll have a lot to say about the 99 names), but Moslems do NOT worship Mohammed (PBUH). When asked specifically what he wanted to be called, The Prophet (PBUH) said he was not God but only the messenger (rasool), and just to wish him peace, knowing they would try to worship him. So now with every mention of name of Mohammed (PBUH) they also have to say Peace Be Upon Him. It really slows down any objective discussion of The Prophet (PBUH) if you have to stop and say (PBUH) every time the name of Mohammed (PBUH) is mentioned in polite conversation. I say the rasool had his followers pegged pretty good.

  192. “masjid- That’s pure Arabic. ”
    It’s the most common word for “mosque” in ordinary Hindi, although the shuddh Hindi fanatics probably use some sequipedalian Sanskrit swearword instead.

  193. via Wikipedia: “Some scholars believe that the term originated from the similarity between the near-death prone state of a concentration camp Muselmann and the image of a Muslim prostrating himself on the ground in prayer.”

  194. Siganus Sutor says:

    Dot: “Some scholars believe that the term originated from the similarity between the near-death prone state of a concentration camp Muselmann and the image of a Muslim prostrating himself on the ground in prayer.”
    If scholars believe this, which they certainly can, I would tend to think that it could have more to do with the image of fatalism that is sometimes associated with Islam and Muslims. Since Islam is supposed to mean submission, make peace, surrender (to God, thus to fate), maybe I’m right, inch’ Allah.
    Siganus “Zeno” Sutor

  195. Siganus Sutor says:

    Nijma: You might say Christians do worship Christ, [...] but Moslems do NOT worship Mohammed (PBUH).
    Really?
    No, more seriously, who would believe, er, think, that Muslims consider Mohammed (saw) as God? In some sense, for Muslims Issa (saw) is more divine than the Prophet himself. According to tradition didn’t he have a miraculous birth? And isn’t he the one who is supposed to come back on Earth at the end of time?
    If we consider the teaching (and not the status) of the two of them, then I would see the words “Christians” and “Mohammedans” as having similar meanings. But of course we live in a word where words have certain connotations which we can’t change and which we need to take into consideration. All type of words, including names: think for instance of the name Adolf (noble wolf), a name that didn’t carry any negative connotation once upon a time…

  196. Whenever I see this in the supermarket, I always wonder if it’s halal.
    http://www.musselmans.com/AppleSauce.aspx

  197. Siganus Sutor says:

    Stuart: It’s the most common word for “mosque” in ordinary Hindi
    Every mosque on Mars is probably called “Masjid”, would you believe it? But don’t say here that it’s a Hindi name or you’ll get sent to hell (even if doesn’t exist). No, man, it’s an Urdu word of course.

  198. “Every mosque on Mars is probably called “Masjid”, would you believe it? But don’t say here that it’s a Hindi name or you’ll get sent to hell (even if doesn’t exist). No, man, it’s an Urdu word of course.”
    I did not say it was a Hindi word, or a Hindi name. I said it was the most common word in Hindi.
    I nearly said “Hindustani” for precisely that reason, to avoid the increasingly political quagmire that is “shuddh” Hindi. Apparently there have been billboards posted urging the use of shuddh (i.e. heavily Sanskritised) Hindi as a mark of “Indianness”, but many of those billboards use words of Urdu origin because if they didn’t, few of the target demographic would be able to make sense of them.

  199. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Oh, I must just say something about Adolf. When I lived in Hamburg I knew a very nice old woman who had been a dissident-leftist type in her twenties when the nazis came to power. She told me that one of her friends had a dog named Adsche — I’m not sure how it’s spelt, but it was in those days a well-known diminutive form of Adolf that was used by some as a rude way to refer to the Führer. The dog was something like a pekinese or a Yorkshire terrier: very small and non-wolflike. They used to take this little dog to a crowded Kneipe in the evenings and say stuff like ‘Oww does little Adsche need to go outside for a pee-pee?’, just to annoy all the nazis in the bar.

  200. Siganus: registre = tone ?

  201. After all, if you consider that Christians = followers of Christ and Mohammedans = followers of Mohammed, there should be no harm in saying “Mohammedan”.
    As Nijma says, Muslims do not worship Muhammad and consider it a grave sin to worship a human being: worship belongs to God alone. Since Christians do worship Christ as a person of God, the term “Mohammedan” is avoided for its implication of a parallel relation.
    In some sense, for Muslims Issa (saw) is more divine than the Prophet himself.
    No, Isa is not considered in any sense divine. Muslims like to point out that Isa, unlike the Prophet, is considered to have been able to perform miracles (which shows how highly they regard him, and points up the fact that Muhammad was a messenger, not a miracle-worker), but considering a human as worthy of worship that belongs only to God is a huge no-no. That’s why the Wahhabis go around destroying shrines: to go to the grave of a holy person and perform rituals smacks of shirk (polytheism, idolatry).

  202. A hundred and ninety-four comments, huh? I feel like I got grounded and missed the biggest party of the summer.

  203. You should have seen what Emerson did to Kron when he fell into the swimming pool!

  204. Your Marsjesty,
    I bow to your logic.

  205. What hat said.
    Since Christians do worship Christ as a person of God
    … what with ὁμοούσιον τῷ πατρί and all. And then there’s that thing that we Catholics and Orthodox do to him by means of the Eucharist. No wonder Muslims don’t like the comparison :)

  206. John Emerson says:

    “Men” in “Turkmen” is a Turkish word, not a version the English or Germanic “man”. I’ve wondered whether “Musselman” isn’t of that derivation.
    The first Christians in China were Syrians whose Syriac language was close to Aramaic and Arabic, and their word for “God” was “Ilahu”, cognate with “Elohim” or “Allah”.
    One of those Muslim words for Christian is translatable as “Nazarene”. Chinese names for western religions are beautifully nominalistic and slapdash. They’re not necessarily aware that Protestants, Catholics, and Mormons are all Christians, or that Jews aren’t a kind of Muslim, or that Manicheans weren’t exactly a kind of Christian (or maybe Buddhist). Either Jews or Muslims are sometimes called “tendon-eaters”, based on the differences between halal and kosher.
    If I understand correctly, revering the relics of saints dhas a weak scriptural basis in Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, or (I think) Hinduism, and often comes close to violating the basic principles of all four. My belief is that it’s a survival of archaic practices which the founders of those religions tried more or less unsuccessfully to control and moderate.

  207. John Emerson says:

    “Men” in “Turkmen” is a Turkish word, not a version the English or Germanic “man”. I’ve wondered whether “Musselman” isn’t of that derivation.
    The first Christians in China were Syrians whose Syriac language was close to Aramaic and Arabic, and their word for “God” was “Ilahu”, cognate with “Elohim” or “Allah”.
    One of those Muslim words for Christian is translatable as “Nazarene”. Chinese names for western religions are beautifully nominalistic and slapdash. They’re not necessarily aware that Protestants, Catholics, and Mormons are all Christians, or that Jews aren’t a kind of Muslim, or that Manicheans weren’t exactly a kind of Christian (or maybe Buddhist). Either Jews or Muslims are sometimes called “tendon-eaters”, based on the differences between halal and kosher.
    If I understand correctly, revering the relics of saints dhas a weak scriptural basis in Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, or (I think) Hinduism, and often comes close to violating the basic principles of all four. My belief is that it’s a survival of archaic practices which the founders of those religions tried more or less unsuccessfully to control and moderate.

  208. LH: As Nijma says, Muslims do not worship Muhammad
    I think I know that.
    and consider it a grave sin to worship a human being
    I think I know that as well. Or I think I know it is supposed to be like that, even if popular fervour cannot always refrain from having a deep devotion aimed at certain holy people (think for instance of the various tombs of Hussein). It shouldn’t be like that but in reality a lot of people can’t help it, and Wahhabis are too stubborn to understand that every individual human being has his or her own needs and needs his or her sort of comfort. Even if praying in front of any idol is not permitted, the strictest of all Muslims will pray towards Mecca if out of the Holy City, towards the Holy Mosque if he is in the City and towards the Kaaba if he is in the Mosque. And all this just to be facing a stone. (I know, it’s not an idol, it’s just a stone, but…)
    “In some sense, for Muslims Issa (saw) is more divine than the Prophet himself.”
    What I meant by this is not that Jesus is considered god — be it partly — by Muslims. It is to say that tradition gives him attributes that normally belong to the divine realm, that there is something supernatural with him, which isn’t the case for Mohammed — who doesn’t need it. Be that as it may, some could in fact have a greater respect for those who don’t need tricks to impress their followers than for those who think it works better with them.

  209. Paul: registre = tone?
    Yes, I suppose it could be. My Harrap’s says this at registre:
    3 Ling. Register, level of language
    4 (style) tone, style
    But maybe ‘connotation’ or ‘nuance’ would have been better for what I was trying to say.
     
     
    Elohim: Don’t you find it amusing that those who basically invented the concept of monotheism had a plural name for their god(s)?

  210. Today’s Le Monde runs the text of a lecture given by eric Hobsbawm a few days ago about European hisotry. The interesting point for this thread is the repeated references to “muselmans”. It is obviously a completely neutral word in the context.
    Seems to have a different connotation in English and French.

  211. Siganus:
    “Tone” was a quick comment, and I knew I should have dug deeper. Now I see it, connotation and nuance are what I was searching for.

  212. Syrians whose Syriac language was close to Aramaic and Arabic, and their word for “God” was “Ilahu”
    ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ “alohō” or ܐܰܠܗܰܐ “alhā”, actually.
    My belief is that it’s a survival of archaic practices which the founders of those religions tried more or less unsuccessfully to control and moderate.
    Or even use for their own purpose, as it happened among Slavic peoples where Christian saints or even Old Testament figures (St. Nicholas, St. George, Eliah) were often identified as local deities and churches were built in place of shrines dedicated to those deities.

  213. bulbol:that thing that we Catholics and Orthodox do to him by means of the Eucharist
    We Methodists have ritual cannibalism too, we just don’t have transubstantiation–but why would Moslems in particular get freaked out by that?–oh, yeah, the wine.
    John Emerson: their word for “God” was “Ilahu”, cognate with “Elohim” or “Allah”
    Some have noted a similarity between Allah and AL-Lat the triple goddess whose image previously resided in the Kaaba–which is far from just a stone. It previously held more than 300 idols, plus it has a curious formation on one side that the faithful sometimes try to touch.
    Siganus Sutor Elohim: don’t you find it amusing that those who basically invented the concept of monotheism had a plural name for their god(s)
    ~Aton, as in King Akhenaton and Queen Nefertiti?
    ~I was surprised when reading Bruce Feilor’s Abraham book with a group, the OT doesn’t really rule out the existence of other gods, it just prohibits putting them before Elohim/Adonai.
    ~Any truth to the rumor that Elohim is not only plural but feminine–or was that the Greek word for Holy Spirit?
    ~I was told by a Modern Standard Arabic professor (Christian) that Allah as in “allahu al-Akbar” is feminine plural, no explanation, it’s just the traditional name for the deity in classical Arabic.

  214. Any truth to the rumor that Elohim is not only plural but feminine
    None whatsoever. The feminine plural marker in Hebrew is ‘-ot’.
    or was that the Greek word for Holy Spirit?
    πνευμα is neuter.
    I was told by a Modern Standard Arabic professor (Christian) that Allah as in “allahu al-Akbar” is feminine plural
    Nonsense. First, it should be “allāhu akbar” where “allāhu” is a definite noun and “akbar” is an adjective in the elative, in this case, superlative. Secondly, “allāhu” is traditionally understood as a fosilized form of “al-ilāhu” where “al-” = the definite article, “ilāh” = “deity” and “-u” is the Nominative suffix. Cf. structures like “ilāhī” = deity-POSS.1SG = “my God” (note that the possessive suffix also makes the noun definite).

  215. John J Emerson says:

    Bulbul: Ilahu was my transliteration of the Chinese representation, but I’d have to look up the Chinese again and check it against a historical dictionary.

  216. John: I see. That is interesting, how do the Chinese write that?

  217. John Emerson says:

    I have to dig up the book. I’ll email if I can find it.
    I used contemporary phonetic values for an 8th century inscription, so it’s possible I was wrong.

  218. John Emerson says:

    I have to dig up the book. I’ll email if I can find it.
    I used contemporary phonetic values for an 8th century inscription, so it’s possible I was wrong.

  219. but why would Moslems in particular get freaked out by that?–oh, yeah, the wine.

    But wine freaks out the Methodists too, at least officially (and the Baptists, and …). That’s why they invented grape juice.

  220. wine freaks out the Methodists too
    Oh, definitely, but only in public. Like when the codependent among us are doing those feeds for the homeless who are mostly “recovering”–you know, twelve-step stuff. The good stuff we’ve got discreetly hidden away where Mom won’t see it by accident. And the Moslems drink their cognac behind locked doors or by spiking drinks that look innocuous.

  221. A.J.P. Crown says:

    Before our service so-called provider packed up yesterday, I was going to say what a wonderful resource the internet is, etc., for putting me in touch with (possibly) the only other Martian on Earth with a ready supply of structural engineering jokes.
    The incident at the pool is nothing to laugh about. I still can’t breath properly.

  222. A.J.P. Crown says:

    One problem with long threads: I was going to tell you all I’d read somewhere recently that Eye-rack and Eye-ran are the closest pronunciations in English to the original. Then I realised it was Nijma who had said it, at about comment number 43. I am getting older, no question.

  223. This thread… is your life.

  224. A.J.P. Crown says:

    That’s right, à la récherche du comments perdus.

  225. John Emerson says:

    The Norwegian police have informed me that Kron hasn’t breathed (or done anything else) properly since the day he was granted asylum. “Better three Kurds than one Kron” has become a proverbial saying.

  226. John Emerson says:

    The Norwegian police have informed me that Kron hasn’t breathed (or done anything else) properly since the day he was granted asylum. “Better three Kurds than one Kron” has become a proverbial saying.

  227. Eye-rack and Eye-ran are the closest pronunciations in English to the original
    I still don’t see how. In Iraqi Arabic, you have [ʕiraːq], in Farsi, it’s [iːrɒːn]. No sign of a diphtong in either, the first vowel in Arabic is short, in Farsi it’s long, the second vowel in Arabic is front, in Farsi it’s definitely back.
    Not even close, at least to my ears.
    That’s why they invented grape juice.
    And a whole new hermeneutics, where οινος sometimes means “grape juice” (e.g. John 2) and sometimes “wine” (e.g. Romans 14:21).

  228. Tell anyone in Norway you know my family — ‘access to loads of kroner’ is the way to put it — and you’ll make all sorts of new friends.

  229. And a whole new hermeneutics
    Not really, but we find the biblical passage about changing water into wine deeply distressing.
    Eye-rack and Eye-ran…Not even close, at least to my ears.
    The letter ein ﻉ (or in its medial, final, and initial forms ﻋ ﻊ ﻌ)has no English equivalent and is hard for English speakers to pronounce understandably. Since the remark being attributred to me is entangled up in this thread somewhere I’ll repost it:

    Palin’s pronunciation more approximates the name the Iraqis give their own county, though, al-iraq or in Arabic العراق….so
    in Arabic Iraq [عراق] would be more like “ah-ieer-rog.

  230. I am distressed to hear of Kron’s pool mishap. Weren’t we depending on Kron to finance the Silk Road leg of our Dravidian adventure?
    Oh, and I finally looked for Kron’s stavkirke photos–the jpg files didn’t come through on the email. I have a new semi-public email address which I am putting in my signature here and also on my camel website, in the right sidebar under the heading “love mail and troll mail”.
    For sharing photos:
    http://teachernotebook.wordpress.com/resources/
    scroll down to “file sharing” for a partial list of free places “in the cloud” to store files. I have used photobucket. If someone can get the stave church photos to me I will either publish them or publish the links or upload them somewhere.

  231. marie-lucie says:

    the name the Iraqis give their own county, though, al-iraq or in Arabic العراق….so in Arabic Iraq [عراق] would be more like “ah-ieer-rog.
    So the diphthong is not for “Iraq” by itself, but for this word preceded by the article, which of course is not used in English (no “the Iraq”). The name itself (and similarly that of Iran) does begin with a plain vowel: it approximates Ee-RAHK, not Eye-rack.

  232. marie-lucie:
    The name itself (and similarly that of Iran) does begin with a plain vowel
    That’s the thing, it doesn’t. [ʕ] is an honest-to-God consonant. True, sometimes it is pronounced with something as if it were preceded by a very short [a], especially when following a consonant, but it still is a consonant itself.
    It holds for Iran, though, but there are no definite articles in Farsi.

  233. it approximates Ee-RAHK, not Eye-rack
    Not at all. It ﻉ doesn’t approximate anything. If you wanted to approximate ee a better choice would be إ or ي .
    Here’s a native speaker pronouncing the letter ﻉ at about 0:34
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPB2pgtPKS4

  234. marie-lucie says:

    bulbul, you are absolutely right. I was concentrating on the vowel quality, forgetting the Arabic consonant, which is not pronounced in English and is therefore irrelevant to the topic under discussion, which is how best to approximate the names of Iraq and Iran in English.

  235. marie-lucie says:

    it approximates Ee-RAHK, not Eye-rack
    - Not at all. It ﻉ doesn’t approximate anything. If you wanted to approximate ee a better choice would be إ or ي .
    Nijma, not knowing Arabic, I am just trying to make sense of the information provided above, some of it by you. The question is not what is the best Arabic transliteration of an English sound (something which is way beyond my competence), but what English pronunciation would be closest to the initial sounds of an Arabic word, especially the first vowel, since the initial (pharyngeal ?) consonant will not register as a consonant to an English ear and will be left unpronounced.
    It seems to me that the pronunciation you described earlier (the name the Iraqis give their own county, … , al-iraq or in Arabic العراق….so in Arabic Iraq [عراق] would be more like “ah-ieer-rog) includes an article which is not translated in English. Surely the fact that in other languages than Arabic the article is not used as part of the name of the country means that it can be omitted when discussing the pronunciation of the main word. Or am I misunderstanding what you wrote? Is “ah-ieer-rog” the pronunciation without the vowel? In that case, more languages should use the diphthongized pronunciation, eg the French equivalent could be “Ayirak” rather than “Irak”. Has the pronunciation of the vowel changed over the centuries (something quite possible, after all it happened in English)? I am confused!

  236. marie-lucie says:

    Is “ah-ieer-rog” the pronunciation without the vowel?
    Sorry, I meant without the article.

  237. what English pronunciation would be closest to the initial sounds of an Arabic word
    [i] as in “irrate” is perfectly OK.

  238. ﻉ to me is more like a vowel (in Arabic, not Farsi) The pronunciation given was without the definite article in front, which I pronounce il- or ahl- or əl-… but my first language is English, and English speakers are notorious for their difficulty in pronouncing ﻉ.
    I have found some more examples and will try to put them together tomorrow after work.

  239. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Weren’t we depending on Kron to finance the Silk Road leg of our Dravidian adventure?
    Emphatically not. I had nothing to do with the money side, because of having to buy this Icelandic horse and a new saddle for it. You are traveling under your own steam because of the doubtful character of your hangers-on. However, you will be financed by John Emerson. John is rich, getting richer by the day from the sales of Substantific Marrow to LH readers, via his website. He had kindly volunteered to pay your expenses as a thank-you gesture.
    You will be hearing from me shortly, Nijma, about the stavkirkene.
    Will someone let me know when you’ve decided on an acceptable pronunciation for Iraq and Iran? Then I can tell my friends. I personally don’t understand why we don’t use the French spelling, IRAK, rather than being stuck with this freestanding Q-with-no-U weirdness. If we put ‘The’ in front, it would mean one more consonant for “The Eye-rack” than for “The’raq”; I don’t know if that helps anyone.

  240. Nijma is right, the initial ayn (ﻉ) sounds to English speakers like a dark/back vowel, creating a quasi-separate syllable.

  241. tom-felton-naked about says:

    Hi. Great website.
    nudsex info online youtube-pantyhose blog blog tom-felton-naked info online
    [N.b.: Comment kept for the sake of subsequent naked-on-moon japery, but spam URLs deleted—LH]

  242. Siganus Sutor says:

    Nijma [September 23, 2008 02:36 PM]: Before 9/11 everyone depended on the Saudis to look for the moon and declare when it was seen.
    Americans are crazy to delegate such a piece of National Sovereignty (sometimes I just love capitals) to a foreign power. We are not mad (like Englishmen, or dogs) to the point of having such lunacy here. We decide for ourselves. In my diary, on the 1st October page, it is written:

    EID UL FITR*
    * Depends on the visibility of the moon

    “Depends on the visibility of the moon” meaning visible by people here on Mars (usually people from the Jummah Masjid, i.e. the main mosque in Port-Louis). The implication is that until 8 or 9 o’clock in the night, sometimes later, people still don’t know whether they will go to work the next morning and whether children will go to school.
    However, even if this remains a problem for the planning of everyday life, it was much worse in the past, when there was almost no radio, no television and no telephone. It was rather funny to see the police going on the roads in the evening with blaring loudspeakers to inform the population that the next day would be (or wouldn’t be) a public holiday.
    How would anybody have done if the green (moon) light had to come from Arabia, eh?
     
     
     
    Stuart: I did not say [masjid] was a Hindi word, or a Hindi name. I said it was the most common word in Hindi.
    True, but I couldn’t help bring in a little bit of controversy (which is certainly a sin).

  243. A.J.P. Crown-naked on the moon says:

    Hi! This is a fabulous, totally great website. I just love it!

  244. Siganus Sutor says:

    Your Majesty, do you believe those who say that to-day some are nioude while having sex? [Let's test Hat's filter.] O tempora…
    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -
    Your comment could not be submitted due to questionable content: nυde
    Ha ha, on Language Hat having sex is permitted but being nυde is not.

  245. English speakers are notorious for their difficulty in pronouncing ﻉ.
    I’m not saying anybody should pronounce it and whatever pronunciation you pick is fine with me. I just think that Eye-RACK and Eye-RAN don’t even come close to the original.
    the initial ayn (ﻉ) sounds to English speakers like a dark/back vowel, creating a quasi-separate syllable.
    To me, almost any ayn sounds like [aʕ]. In fact, back in the first year when we were learning to pronounce it, we were told to start with [a].

  246. Siganus Sutor says:

    Back to pronunciation: Having heard George W. Bush say “dooty” to mean “duty”, I’m just wondering now if “nυ*de” is not pronounced “nood” in the USA. Is it so?
    * In case anyone wants to talk of nυdity, just use the letter upsilon; the filter can’t detect υr lack of clothing in this case. Le roi est nu. (A.J.P., nothing personal.)

  247. Siganus Sutor says:

    Opinel [September 24, 2008 07:46 AM]: what’s to stop us having the N-S axis in a horizontal direction
    Actually to have that you ought to migrate to the planet of which you could be the new king, as Steve humorously suggested on the 21st September at 6:08 in the aftermoon. The angle between the plane of the ecliptic and Uranus’ axis of rotation is close to 90°, which means that at times it rolls on its orbit like a wheel (sometimes it rolls backward, sometimes it spins parallel to its orbital path).
    But it is only days after Steve had been teasing you that I got the trick: in English the name of the planet Uranus can be pronounced exactly like “your anus”. It was bad not to get the message straightaway, the more so since I am a regular listener of Astronomy Cast, an excellent podcast which even took some time to discuss the various pronunciations of the name Uranus.
    (Check here: http://www.astronomycast.com/solar-system/episode-62-uranus/
    There is even a transcript of the programme — see the beginning.)

  248. Sigh. OK, OK, I’ve eliminated “nude” from the MT-Blacklist and stripped the spam URLs from the nude spammer. The things I do for you sex-crazed lunatics.

  249. Siganus Sutor says:

    I’ve eliminated “nude” from the MT-Blacklist and stripped the spam URLs from the nude spammer. The things I do for you sex-crazed lunatics.
    Let’s not get into too many details, please. The kids haven’t gone to bed yet. (Tonite I think I’ll sleep before they do.)

  250. no-estamos-desnudos says:

    NSFW! Eeek! Eeeeeeek! We’re definitely not nekkid here.

  251. We’re definitely not nekkid here.
    What, new rule? Should I put on a t-shirt?

  252. Siganus – thanks for the link to Astronomy Cast. Having listened to the podcast, it becomes obvious that journalists never listen to the people they’re talking to: Dr Pamela Gay makes it absolutely clear that URanus (Stressed on the first syllable) is the safest, and historically most correct pronunciation, but Fraser Cain continues to stress the second syllable – uRAYnus. Patrick Moore, the eminent British amateur astronomer, has always been adamant that the first syllable stress is “correct”, and when asked, the Greenwich Royal Observatory told the BBC that although some young astronomers would come in saying ‘uRAYnus’, they would soon have it beaten out of them!

  253. Should I put on a t-shirt?That was at work–I just had to peek. Fortunately no one was looking over my shoulder–there’s no one at work I’m ready to discuss nekkidness with. The idea of stripping a URL with nude spammers in order to mock a spambot might be Too Much Technology for a believable explanation.

  254. marie-lucie says:

    Nijma, I think you mean no-desnuda if you are speaking for yourself.

  255. if you are speaking for yourselfOh, no, it’s that sort of workplace, although with the students I usually emphasize the cellphone prohibition more.

  256. I am intrigued by John Emerson’s venture in to self-publishing with his opus Substantific Marrow. I had wondered how he was able to extend his generous offer of the Dravidian tour complete with life insurance.
    I have considered writing a book, although I’m not going to reveal the topic here because I don’t want anyone to steal it–but let me say when I approached a book vendor at a recent training session, I was told the topic was a “niche-market”…. I suppose one self-publishes only if there is no time to approach a vendor properly, but I seem to remember CafePress also does self-publishing.

  257. Siganus Sutor says:

    > Graham
    Fraser Cain is primarily an engineer I think. But it’s true that he’s involved in on-line programmes and websites and he has written books, which would make him a kind of journalist.
    Regarding the pronunciation of Uranus, note that Pamela Gay also says this (02:27 to 02:42):

    If you really want to be formally educated about it, from the Latin it’s Uranus…
    But over a couple of hundred years, ur-ANUS has become perfectly acceptable.
    So yeah – go with it. It’s all good.

  258. Siganus Sutor says:

    By the way, how would this venerable assembly pronounce my first name? I have never asked myself this question before (in Creole or in French it’s completely flat), but suddenly I’m willing to know the existentialist truth — which may not be the same for all.

  259. A.J.P. Crown says:

    It’s CIGAR-ness SUIT-er for me, in my head. I knew it was wrong, but what does it mean?

  260. It’s a fish. I say “si-GAY-nǝs SOO-tǝr” myself.

  261. A.J.P. Crown says:

    price category: high; price reliability: questionable… A food fish that is occasionally poisonous.
    Hmm. It’s not that expensive fish some Japanese eat for reasons of machismo, is it?
    Very nice podcast, thanks. When I was ten, my friend’s father told us this joke (he liked puns). Warning: this is a non-rhotic joke. A young married couple and the mother of the wife are taking the staircase up the Eiffel Tower one evening. The mother goes first. The husband, at the back, says “What a clear evening, I can see Uranus!” “Oh can you?” says the wife, “I can see Mars!”

  262. Siganus Sutor says:

    Steve, on my screen there are two empty white boxes — □ and □ — where the -u and the -o are supposed to be. How will I ever know how you say my name? [Sobs his heart out.]
     
     
    Kro, when this name chose me I didn’t know that sutor meant shoemaker in Latin (I’ve never done any Latin in my life but cf. suture and, further away, syū- in Indo-European roots — please do not consider points II.4 and III that are too embarrassing for me). However, I must confess that I quite like it now, not least because I usually wear sandals during weekends.
    If you click Siganidae on the page to which Steve has linked you will see that siganuses are also called rabbitfishes, which would make me a cobbler rabbitfish if you will, or a shoemaker spinefoot as we are often called in English (cordonnier in French and in Creole). But for me the word siganus itself remains a mystery.
    Wikipedia says that “Siganus is simply the Latin term by which Mediterranean rabbitfishes were known in ancient Rome” and Fishbase.org has this about the word: “Etymology: Latin, siganus = rabbit fish, by the similarity of the nose (Ref. 45335).” Well, why not, but that doesn’t explain much. If I’m not mistaken, in Latin rabbit is cuniculus (cf. coney — no, I won’t get dragged into that one) and fish is piscis. So where could siganus come from? Any clue someone?

  263. Wikipedia may say what it likes, but siganus is not in the Oxford Latin Dictionary, so I have my doubts.
    on my screen there are two empty white boxes
    Sorry, those are supposed to be schwas.

  264. Siganəs Sutər says:

    No need to be sorry, it must be the settings on my computer.
    One suggestion: couldn’t siganus have something to do with the nose? (Cf. Fishbase.org’s etymology.)

  265. Or couldn’t siganus… never mind.

  266. A.J.P. Crown says:

    My God! I never realised what this was about. How awful for you, I’m so sorry!

  267. Oh, what’s in a name… That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. One gets easily used to certain things.
    Er, by the bye, how do you say “bébégayer” in English?

  268. Begayer ? stutter ..

  269. Begayer ? stutter ..

  270. marie-lucie says:

    Siganus, I would think that if your first name is Latin (and not just a name from another language with the -us added to make it Latin), it is probably based on the root sig-, whatever that might mean.

  271. A.J.P. Crow says:

    No, it wasn’t moi. There have been bad and inexplicable things going on with the Norwegian internet for the past few days. Kro, by the way, is the Norwegian word for routier, or truckstop; and corbeau — or crow(n) — is quite like ‘Corbu’, the architect Le Corbusier. I will continue to think of you as Cigar-ness the shoemaker fish, and we’ll forget the other unpleasantness.

  272. Here is Valenciennes 1835, which fishbase references.

  273. d’Orbigny says Forskål got it from Sidjan, from Arabic.

  274. In my mind I pronounce the gentleman’s name as “CIGG na tor”.
    Not sure why I conflate this, maybe because this week I was teaching contractions…
    The name also reminds me of Sigmund Signatur, an Icelandic crafter of dental stuff who wrote a column for the Jordan Times which I looked forward to every weekend. My favorite was the one where he invites some locals over for eats and they all leave abruptly when they discover he has toilet paper instead of “Fine”, the local equivalent of Kleenex.
    Eastern toilets are always a mystical experience, and I had already discovered that apparently every female Arab teacher carries Fine in her purse. The local female bonding ritual consists of on the way to the bathroom someone taking one of these out of her purse and separating the layers to share with friends.

  275. marie-lucie says:

    [Siganus is] from Sidjan, from Arabic
    Then it is actually from Sigan which would be the equivalent of Sidjan (Sijan) in another variety of Arabic, just as Jamal (written in French Djamal) and Gamal are the same name, as spoken in different countries. Does Sidjan/Sigan mean something in Arabic, apart from being the word for the fish in question?

  276. I don’t see سيجان in Lane, but it is on this page.

  277. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    No, it wasn’t moi. There have been bad and inexplicable things going on with the Norwegian internet for the past few days. Kro, by the way, is the Norwegian word for routier, or truckstop; and corbeau — or crow(n) — is quite like ‘Corbu’, the architect Le Corbusier.
    Who remembers enough Nabokov, or knows enough Russian (our host, I would guess) to recall the comment that Nabokov made about a badly corrected misprint in a newspaper, in which “crown” was printed as “crow” and later corrected with the words “this should of course have read ‘cow’ “? Nabokov, being extremely interested in the problems of translating puns, jokes, etc., pointed out that this would work equally well in Russian.

  278. You’re thinking of Kinbote’s footnote to line 803 (“a misprint”) in Pale Fire:
    Translators of Shade’s poem are bound to have trouble with the transformation, at one stroke, of “mountain” into “fountain”: it cannot be rendered in French or German, or Russian, or Zemblan; so the translator will have to put it into one of those footnotes that are the rogue’s galleries of words. However! There exists to my knowledge one absolutely extraordinary, unbelievably elegant case, where not only two, but three words are involved. The story itself is trivial enough (and probably apocryphal). A newspaper account of a Russian tsar’s coronation had, instead of korona (crown), the misprint vorona (crow), and when next day this was apologetically “corrected,” it got misprinted a second time as korova (cow). The artistic correlation between the crown-crow-cow series and the Russian korona-vorona-korova series is something that would have, I am sure, enraptured my poet. I have seen nothing like it on lexical playfields and the odds against the double coincidence defy computation.

  279. Thanks, this will keep me going for weeks.

  280. Siganus Sutor says:

    Cronen-burg, Le Corbusier wasn’t Le Corbusier’s real family name (it was Jeanneret-Gris). As Jean Tosti says, “le surnom ‘Le Corbusier’, pris pour se différencier de son cousin, est une variante de Corvisier, Courvoisier (= cordonnier)”. So the Protestant architect scorned by Salvador Dali’s managed to become another member of the Sutor family. He he.

  281. Siganus Sutor says:

    Thanks to MMcM and Marie-Lucie (and LH) for their help. You know the injunction “know thyself”, don’t you?
    Glad to learn that I could have Arabian roots. What remains to know now is what sigan might be in Arabic. (And to understand how a reputable encyclopaedia can write that in ancient Rome a fish was known by a name which was actually coined by 18th or 19th century naturalists…)

  282. Nijma: The name also reminds me of Sigmund Signatur
    Would you believe me if I say that a number of people have called me “Signatus” on different blogs? (Click the sig.) It happened at least twice on Language Hat alone, the last one being on September 16, 2008 08:20 PM by someone called…

  283. Ref. 45335 is this, which sounds like a great resource, but whose accessibility leaves something to be desired.

  284. Wow, that’s interesting. I’ve never heard the ‘-Gris’ bit. Gris means pig in Norwegian, even though they are pinkish here, too.. He did some early-ish work in Paris with his Jeanneret cousin. I didn’t know of the courvoisier connection with shoes. Sole is of course the name of a fish in English.

  285. MMcM, your are a delicious person indeed.
    It would be interesting to know how the nose fits in.

  286. If there’s anyone here whose library I really envy it’s MMcM. In my mind at least, it’s one hell of a place

  287. Your Majesty, be careful. (“Le bon saint Éloi lui dit ô mon roi votre Majesté devrait se méfier.”) If you continue commenting you will just disappear. It would be somehow ubuesque.
    (I for one would rather be invited for lunch by MMcM. A Ubu, Ubu et demi.)

  288. Thanks, that’s very interesting, once again. They sound like Jeeves and Bertie Wooster — which one would it be better to have been? Éloi is the patron saint of horses and founded all these convents for 300 virgins, Dagobert was very handsome and had five wives. He was also buried at Ste. Denis. I’ll go for Dagobert, there are no horses on Mars anyway.

  289. Sig4N#$: a number of people have called me “Signatus”
    Oh, and would that have been…moi? I see I spelled my own name as NIjma as well. I prefer Signatus actually–it sounds like faux Latin for “signature”, not bad if that’s a nom de guerre (if I can show off the one word I know in French) and not a given name. “Sig@N#$” sounds too much like snus. But I realize it’s bad manners to rename someone intentionally.
    BTW, I have always wondered what the AJP part of Crown was for.

  290. A.J.P. Nork says:

    A is for Arthur.
    J is because John Emerson suddenly and inexplicably became John J. Emerson and then reverted.
    P because of A.J. A.J.P. Taylor being a modern European historian, British by nationality and very well-known there from the fifties to seventies, I’d say, because he was always on television whenever ‘an expert’ was required to talk about… well, anything, but especially Hitler.

  291. Siganus Sutor says:

    Nijma: I prefer Signatus actually
    Feel free to use it then. It would remind me of some sénatus-consulte (senatus consult(um) says the SOED), which I thought of every time I read my name written this way, don’t ask me why.
    By the by, snus appears neither in my Collins nor in my copy of the SOED. What is it?
    And by the bye-bye, Eid Mubarak! Some moon has been seen yesterday (can’t tell you whether it was Phobos or Deimos), which means that today we rest at home — i.e. “on reste à la maison.”

  292. Artifex Amando says:

    In Swedish, “snus” means “tabac à priser”, according to this link:
    http://images.google.com/images?filter=0&q=snus
    I think the word is “snuff (tabacco)” in English.
    I never thought that my first post at LH would be about snus, but here it is.

  293. Siganus Sutor says:

    Spammers are getting particularly polite these days. They all thank Language Hat for the quality of his blog. Nice people, though a bit abstruse at times.
    Artifex, thanks for your pinch of snus, even if I think this is a disgusting habit (and the first photo to be seen on the page you linked to is appalling). In Scotland I met a Norwegian who was very amused to tell me that some Swedes even pushed things to the point where they would put broken glass behind their upper lip so that their gums would be slightly cut, which would help the active substance get in. I wondered at the time if he wasn’t pulling my four legs at least but the abovementioned photo made me think twice about it.
    Further up I have used the adjective ubuesque out of pure provocation — almost a crime of lese-majesty — but I nevertheless found it later in my French-English Harrap’s (1. Littérature. Ubuesque.   2. (grotesque) grotesque, farcical.), which suggests that it is also an English word. Could it be that it was put there mainly to please the French and the manes of Alfred Jarry?

  294. A.J.P. Taylor being a modern European historian, British by nationality and very well-known there from the fifties to seventies, I’d say, because he was always on television whenever ‘an expert’ was required to talk about… well, anything, but especially Hitler.
    All true, but one should add that he was utterly brilliant on television. He could speak for 30 minutes without notes, without repeating himself, without getting lost, without running out of time, and without having to pad it out to fill the time slot available. Of course, if anyone did that today they’d say he used a teleprompter, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t.

  295. Artifex Amando says:

    Siganus, I cannot help you with verifying the gum-cutting story, I’m afraid, any further than having provided the above link, as I share your disgust for the habit.
    By the way, your provocative use of an -esque-word actually have given me the name for my art portraying the Kallur sisters (they are hurdlerunners): Kalluresker. (Kalluresques) It looks kind of strange, but I like the sound.

  296. A.J.P. Snork says:

    I like Kallureskene — the Kallur boxes, in Norwegian. Or Kallurelskene, the Kallur lovers.

  297. A.J.P. Socks says:

    And in doing so he lost some professional credibility for being popular with the general public, but everyone loved him. An old friend of mine wrote the first (and best) biography of AJP.

  298. What remains to know now is what sigan might be in Arabic.
    No luck, I’m afraid. I have not been able to find it in a proper dictionary.
    So I’m not sure whether it has some relationship to سيجان, the plural of ساج ‘teak’; or to the root سجن ‘imprison’; or is a non-Semitic loan.
    There are entries for Siganus, siganid and Siganidae in The Arabic contributions to the English language : an historical dictionary, from Neo-Latin, from Arabic sijān. That would seem to be سجان, which also gets a hit here. What with the Euro-Dollar exchange rate, this isn’t really a book for home, but there was a copy in one of the research libraries around Boston, all but one of which are happy to have outsiders use them.
    Maybe some Arabic-speaking ichthyologist will happen by.
    It would be interesting to know how the nose fits in.
    I’m inclined to believe that that explains the English rabbitfish and not the Arabic / Latin, until more info surfaces.

  299. What remains to know now is what sigan might be in Arabic
    ﺳﺠن sukn hot,warm?
    ﺳﺎق pl. saqin cupbearer, Ganymede, saki
    ﺳﻜﺎن cutler, rudder, same root ﺳﻜن habitation for sukeen=knife and sukun=the little circle over a consonant in fully-voweled classical Arabic that shows absence of a vowel.
    I tired the other “s” ص with nothing obvious, nose turns up nothing, neither does rabbit or @n#$.
    Arabic doesn’t really have a g sound unless you count Egyptians, which I don’t. so equivalent ق which is a shibboleth pronounced either k or g is the closest, written in English as q. I tried ك –is a stretch, as far as I know always pronounced k.
    The only fish we had were the ones in the Dead Sea, the Mahfee Fish. ﻣﺎ ﻓﻲ

  300. AJP
    An interesting character, his wiki says

    A subtle but important difference in the style between the two historians was their manner of addressing each other during their TV debates: Trevor-Roper always addressed Taylor as “Mr. Taylor” or just “Taylor”, while Taylor always addressed Trevor-Roper as “Hugh”.

    In the recent presidential debate McCain kept referring to “Senator Obama” while Barack referred to McCain as “John”. Oddly enough, in this not so post-racial city, you must refer to the janitor (if black) always as Mr. So-and-so while with colleagues you can use first names, although we teachers usually use last names with each other. Hispanic female office staff and male computer techs get first names, administrators have last names. Black male computer tech got Mr. So-and-so to his face, but first name behind his back. Never could remember his last name.
    snus
    Those young people in the pictures don’t know how to chew snoos right. In my home town they sold a lot of snus, usually Copenhagen brand, but you never saw it in anybody’s mouth. My grandfather kept a large coffee can beside his chair for spitting.
    Thanks for the Eid reminder, must change my sidebar widget and email Moslem friends. Kul ahm inta bxeer.

  301. what sigan might be in Arabic:
    Oh, wait yes I see further up in the thread the root is already known from the other sources: سجان
    and the “prisoner” thing is how it is translated by Foxlingo
    Here is another clue for سجان in the text here
    http://www.thegrace.org/plan.htm
    The biblical reference is Acts 16:30-31, the story of Paul being released from a Macedonian jail by an earthquake, so “prisoner” again.

  302. A.J.P. Crown says:

    My friend who did the AJP Taylor biography was then asked to do the authorised biography of Trevor-Roper. Apparently there going to be some ‘surprises’, but probably only if you’re very interested in British historians. I read a book of Trever-Roper’s letters and found him insufferably smug; however, someone who knew him told me that Trevor-Roper was not only very, very smart but had a breadth of knowledge that just doesn’t exist nowadays.
    Yes the first-last name thing is funny, and how difficult it must be to remember who goes by which name at your place of work. I saw the exact same thing in a joint interview of two British politicians: Tony Benn said ‘Ted’ and Edward Heath said ‘Mr Benn’ throughout. All done with a straight face. Pompous old git, Heath was.

  303. How McCain refers to Obama on the senate floor, I don’t know. But if he uses Obama’s first name in a debate I believe he would be accused of r@cism. So McCain can choose between looking r@cist or stuffy.
    It is also a truism in campaigning never to mention the name of your opponent, because it gives them name recognition and is basically free advertising to mention their “brand”. It’s always “my opponent”. The Clintons especially are aware of this. It’s always a point of interest to me to watch one of the Clintons making a speech on behalf of Obama these days and see how many times they mention his name.

  304. A.J.P. Crown says:

    Well do they mention it a lot or not very often?

  305. A.J.P. Crown says:

    He’s not a racist. He is, in fact, just stuffy.

  306. do they mention it a lot
    They mention Obama’s Name of course, and with much fanfare and what seems to me studied neutrality and careful enthusiasm, since Hillary has a $30 million campaign debt and the Democratic party is rumored to be helping out with that. To my mind, they don’t use the Name as often as I would expect, although there is always one good sound bite with it. It seems to me the sentence constructions are slightly strained in other places the Name would likely come up but doesn’t. Bill has a not-for-profit foundation he is promoting, and IMHO he’s more interested in that.

  307. Siganus Sutor says:

    MMcM and Nijma, thanks for all your kind attention. Unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to make out an alif from a ba and all these vermicelles (noodles), as a Moroccan friend used to call the Arabic script, are somewhat lost on me. But if anything else than speculative bubbles surfaces one day, I’ll be very happy to learn about it.
    The only fish we had were the ones in the Dead Sea, the Mahfee Fish.
    The Dead Sea isn’t completely dead? Wow! what kind of creature is this Mahfee?

  308. Heh. If I recall correctly, “ma fi” means “there aren’t any” in Levantine Arabic.

  309. Siganus Sutor says:

    Ha! so the fish got caught!

  310. hee, hee.
    Yes “fee” is “there are” and “ma” is negation. ‘There are’ ‘no’ fish in the Dead Sea, although this joke only seems to be funny to Americans learning Arabic and not Jordanians.
    Fish is terribly expensive in Jordan when it’s available at all. I had it once in the north; I think it came from Lebanon. Canned tuna is plentiful–you turn the can upside down on a plate, squeeze a lime over the top, and put the dish in the middle family style so everyone can scoop it with pieces of pita bread. You can tear off a piece of the bread with both hands, but dip with the right hand.

  311. Siganus Sutor says:

    Grrr.
    You can tear off a piece of the bread with both hands, but dip with the right hand.
    Yes, because the left hand is for… Hem, too many funny words are already floating around on this post. But, anyhow, if one just knew his wife, he’d rather take a shower because if he suddenly died he wouldn’t go to paradise. I’m sure Jacob Z. knew that.

  312. first names/stuffiness:
    Did anyone see the Palin/Biden debate? The first thing, Palin asks Biden “Can I call you by your first name?” If he says ‘no’ he is stuffy. And she is looking at him with those beauty queen eyes–of course he says yes.
    Leave it to someone from Alaska to remember the rule–we had this in South Dakota too. If someone asks you to call them by their first name (“Call me Joe”) then it’s not rude.

  313. if one just knew his wife
    I have heard that Arabs shower after while Americans shower before, but of course none of this is first-hand information.
    the left hand is for…
    Who knows what anyone really does in the bathroom. If you are a house guest and come out of the bathroom, two of the hostess’s twelve children will meet you with soap and towel. They wash before they eat and if its mansaf, afterwards too. If it’s a feast in the desert, a little kid will come around with a big plastic pitcher of water (like the ones in the toilets) and pour it over your hands for you away from the area where everyone will sit in the sand around the big plate of food.
    So which hand you use for eating is less important than which hand you accept food with (or dip with in the community plate). If someone brings you tea or coffee, you pick up the saucer with the right hand and shift it to the left. Then you pick up the cup with the right hand and placed in on the saucer.
    If some one offers food or water, you take it with the right hand. Money or cigarettes can be accepted with either hand.

  314. You use the right hand because you recognize something is, well, sacred I guess. Bread is sacred. Water is sacred. This is a desert people, or at least they come from a tradition where the desert and the sown are close together and the fallaheen (farmers) mingle with the nomads (bedu). Any bread not used at the table shows up later as Magluba, an upside down chicken and rice dish with a soggy bread layer. Anything forbidden is called “hah-rahm”. Eating pork is an example of haram. But dropping bread on the floor is also haram and I can’t find this in the Koran. But if a child drops a piece of bread on the floor, an adult will immediately say haram.
    So the left hand toilet thing is there in the culture, yes, but it’s a footnote.

  315. stave churches:
    I have finally posted AJP Crown’s Norwegian stave church/Thai temple montage.
    http://camelsnose.wordpress.com/2008/10/03/stave-churches-in-thailand-or-thai-temples-in-norway/
    If you want to just see/download the file, the URL is:
    http://camelsnose.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/pastedgraphic.png
    I received the file in Yahoo with no problem, but when I tried to respond to the email, my reply was returned by one of those infernal MAILER-DAEMON’s as undeliverable.

  316. Thank you Nijma. We’re continuing to be blacked out in Norway with only intermittant service. Something to do with the King oif Norway not paying the bill.

  317. The left hand toilet thing is a footnote?

  318. Crown:
    My pleasure. Yahoo did a lot better with the file. Spam.la does fine with links, but it totally garbled the file. I had to change the format on the file though, as I can’t even get my computer to see .tiff files, but it’s easy enough with either Paint or Irfanview.
    Amazing what you can do with a free wordpress.com blog. They offer unlimited image upload capacity–all you have to do is put up with their glitches every once in a while until they get the bugs out for their wordpress.org customers.
    Bathroom footnotes:
    The real thing to worry about in the bathroom, I was told by the elementary school religion teacher, is shayateen. I was working on plurals and trying to learn the plural of shaitan (devil) while freezing to death in the teacher’s lounge and wishing I was back in the library which had a small propane heater suitable for keeping a teapot warm. She told me the shayateen like especially to hide in the toilet. In fact, it was a good idea to pray while in the bathroom. I found this idea so startling I forgot to get further particulars about whether they are invisible or what kind of prayer would be efficacious but believe me, once you start thinking about that, trying to figure out the hand thing is insignificant. All you have to remember is food=right hand, water=right hand.

  319. Siganus Sutor says:

    In fact, it was a good idea to pray while in the bathroom.
    A bit like saying “bismillah” when you get into a car or a bus.

  320. The devil who hides in the toilet is a lovely idea for a children’s story.
    Yes, I’ve been too lazy, but I ought to do the wordpress thing as soon as broadpark Norway has proper service again. Thanks for the suggestion.

  321. A.J.P. Crown says:

    Yesterday my father-in-law told us a story that’s similar to the first-or-last name awkwardness. He is an explosives expert who was in the army after WW2, in northern Norway. Once he had to get eight tanker trucks filled with gasoline on to a ferry crossing over a fjord. Two civilians, a couple, also were on board for the crossing. Suddenly the man took out a cigarette. My father-in-law, who doesn’t suffer fools, really didn’t want to die so he yelled as he ran over to the man, ‘You! Don’t light it!’ Clueless to the danger, the man responded, ‘Who invited you to duse?’, to use, in other words, the 2nd person singular familiar ‘du‘ form of address. The soldiers took his lighter and locked him in the cabin for rest of the trip.

  322. “The devil who hides in the toilet is a lovely idea for a children’s story.”
    Pretty much overdone already in TV disinfectant ads,unfortunately …

  323. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    There are still some people left in the world who don’t watch tv disinfectant ads.

  324. Disinfectant commercials are for hammam ferengi; I think the shaiyateen like to hide in the hammam arabi:
    http://news.webshots.com/photo/1403891216074813828fpnNyx
    The shayateen can cause you to have naughty thoughts if you aren’t careful, but I’m sure no one who blogs here is like that.

  325. Siganus Sutor says:

    > Stave churches
    Couronne, while looking at pictures and drawings of these churches built using vertical staves (thus their name), I couldn’t help thinking “How on earth are these structures braced?” (Bon sang ne saurait mentir: one cannot reject what he is.) They don’t fall down when you have a cyclone in Norway? And even without wind, these huge pieces of timber must weigh tons. They are laid diagonally for the roof (like any roof, except most Martian roofs) and therefore must push the walls outward. Sometimes these buildings seem to be damn high, and they have nothing like gothic flying buttresses or counterforts. Apparently there is not much to stabilise them horizontally. I’ve seen a few “croix de saint-André” (cross braces) here and there, but not many. And the staves are not even embedded in the ground it seems. If I had to design something like that today I would never dare do it like these guys did it (unless there is something I don’t see or understand). And we’re supposed to have software(s) like Robot, GSA or STAAD-QSE readily available, as well as a modern, scientific understanding of material properties. This is just wood, and sometimes the thing looks just like a house of cards. House of cards that lasted centuries…

  326. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    I’m no expert in stave churches but in a typical Norwegian wooden structure the tree-trunks that make up the roof rafters run parallel to the ridge instead of perpendicular to it. Thus the main outward thrust is on the shorter end walls rather than the side walls. The walls themselves are not infill wooden panelling but half tree trunks with dove-tailed jointing at the corners — they aren’t going anywhere, no cross-bracing or buttressing is required. The whole structure is raised on stone piers above the ground by up to about one metre to allow for the circulation of air underneath the floor, rot being a big worry.

  327. vic bingo says:

    engines remorse blips hatefulness attainably braze?cauldron infighting

  328. Siganus Sutor says:

    It would have been nice if you were an expert in stave churches. Some of them are amazing constructions.
    the tree-trunks that make up the roof rafters run parallel to the ridge instead of perpendicular to it.
    In this case I believe these rafters would be called purlins, even if they are tree-size. But even if your purlins could span from one gabble to the opposite one, i.e. span across the length of the building, there would still be horizontal forces. They would just be concentrated on the gables, which should then be strong enough to carry these loads down to the ground — if they are resting on the ground, which isn’t the case for some of them that are up in mid air when the building steps back.
    And if the timber structure is resting on a raised stone base — which indeed is a good thing with regards to rot —, how is the timber structure fixed to the stone? I can’t imagine it’s just laid like that, relying just on the friction of wood on stone to prevent the staves from moving sideways, especially when strong winds are blowing.

  329. The left hand toilet thing is a footnote?
    I discovered another left hand footnote today. A friend was teaching me how to “make wudo” in the mosque. This is the ritual washing before prayers.
    When cleaning the nostrils, you use the right hand to scoop water from the running faucet and brush it upwards over the nostrils and nose (DO NOT INHALE). Then you use the left hand to brush the water downwards over your wet nose and nostrils into the trough with the running water. This nostril thing is done three times, putting the water on with the right hand and wiping it off with the left.

  330. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    Siganus, I’ll try to get you some pictures, but I don’t promise anything.

  331. A.J.P. Crown says:

    One interesting thing about these old wooden buildings is that it’s quite common (my father-in-law has done it several times) to number all the pieces of the structure, take it apart and reassemble it in another place. Some of them are by Norwegian building standards very old, I remember one my father-in-law bought and moved himself had seventeenth-century forged iron window-fittings.

  332. marie-lucie says:

    You must be referring to “log houses” (bigger than “log cabins”). These are quite popular in rural areas of Canada. Some of them can be ordered from a manufacturer who will ship the logs, numbered and ready to assemble. A well-made log house is a beautiful thing and leaving the exposed wood inside creates a wonderful feeling.

  333. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    It’s probably a similar form of construction. These aren’t all houses, though they mostly have domestic or farming uses: a stabbur is a common one, it’s a store-house for food, usually around 6 metres square.

  334. The Vesterheim museum in Decorah Iowa has several buildings like this that have been move to the site.
    http://vesterheim.org/exhibitions/index.php
    Little Norway in Wisconsin has one of these food storehouses:
    http://www.uplands.ws/fullarticle.asp?AID=14
    The top step has a gap between it and the building so the mice can’t get in.
    There used to be a toy for children, Lincoln Logs that had the notched construction at the ends. Supposedly designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son.
    http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=1223304594/ref=sr_kk_2?ie=UTF8&search-alias=toys-and-games&field-keywords=lincoln%20logs

  335. Siganus Sutor says:

    I’ll try to get you some pictures
    That would be very nice of you. (Getting me a stave church too.) And pictures of details would be great. I have seen photos of shingles on Urnes stave church. They are just fascinating. I don’t know however if there are connection/fixing details available for these churches.
    Maybe those which are still up today are those who survived some sort of natural selection, who knows…
    log houses
    Ma cabane au Canada ?
    These log houses are nice indeed. They look so rustic, and you just want to be there by the fire, sirotant some maple syrup. But I’d say that the stave churches are something else. First they are religious constructions, which must have been particularly meaningful for those who built them. And some are just incredibly high for their overall size, not to mention these cascading roofs. Added to the fact that they are nearing a thousand years of age, it’s just great to see them, be it on a screen only.

  336. Crown, A.J.P. says:

    The top step has a gap between it and the building so the mice can’t get in.
    That’s right they do. Although if I were the contractor that’s the excuse I’d give for the gap, too. They have all sorts of mouse-prevention gizmos.

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