COBBLERS AND HOVES.

A couple of minor word issues:
1) My wife made a delicious peach cobbler and asked me why such things were called “cobblers.” Once I’d finished off my portion, I dashed to the OED and discovered that it cravenly included it as sense 4 under “One whose business it is to mend shoes” and didn’t even try to justify the semantic development. The AHD sensibly separated the words, but had “Origin unknown” for the etymology. Even Wikipedia didn’t venture a guess. The only attempt I’ve found is here: “Cobbler is made with fruit and chunks of dough, sort of a lazy-man’s pie, and those chunks of dough, forming the top crust of the dessert, might be see[n] to resemble the rounded surface of a cobbled road.” Well, OK, that makes sense. I guess it’ll do for now.
2) Reading Anthony Lane’s review of Neil Marshall’s new movie Centurion, I hit the sentence “Marshall offers his characters no such room for conversation, requiring them, instead, to gouge, behead, and hack anything remotely Pictish that hoves into view” and stopped dead. This from a writer who obviously prides himself on his style and a magazine that once gloried in its impeccancy! Hove is an archaic past tense, maintained in nautical usage, of the verb heave; we say “he heaved it up,” but “the ship hove into view.” As a staunch descriptivist, I shouldn’t allow myself to say such things, but hoves strikes me as completely illiterate. As always, though, I am willing to be corrected; if any readers say it sounds fine to them, I will sigh and chalk my reaction up to old-fartism.

Comments

  1. Blech. That’s my reaction.
    The OED does not show any use of hove in the present tense. The participle, by the way, is hoven.

  2. The OED lists an obsolete verb hove (with unknown derivation, so apparently not related to ‘heave’ at all) in what seems to be the relevant sense: “3. To come or go floating or soaring; to be borne (as on horseback), move, or pass away; to pass on, pass by.”

  3. Judging by the 400+ (genuine) examples of “hoves into view” Google throws up (including an attempted pun, “Brighton hoves into view”, for people familiar with the English south coast), I’d say the battle was being lost.

  4. I always assumed a fruit ‘cobbler’ was akin to something ‘cobbled together’ roughly. Cobblers are usually not smoothly mixed, but left in large chunks and clumps, like a cobbled street. As for where ‘cobbled’ for streets comes from, and if that’s related to shoe repair, I’ll bat that back to you.

  5. rootlesscosmo says:

    Another alte fartzer for “hove” as the preterite of “heave.”
    As to New Yorker editing standards, though, Nancy Franklin writes in a review of the new HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” that the principal character, Nucky Thompson, is “a pleasure poo-bah.” Oh dear. “Now though you’d have said/that head was dead/(For its owner dead was he),/It stood on its neck,/ with a smile well-bred,/And bowed three times to me!” Where does descriptivism give way to respect for a well-known author’s creation?

  6. Bless your heart for confirming what I’d suspected about hove and heave. Can you confirm or deny a similar relationship between wreak and wrought? Another seat-of-the-pants hunch I’m not sure where to research.

  7. Wasn’t “heft” originally a past tense of “heave”?

  8. “As a staunch descriptivist, I shouldn’t allow myself to say such things, but hoves strikes me as completely illiterate.”
    Look at it this way: you’re describing your own reaction as a user of the language. I think descriptivists should be able to describe perceptions of usage along with the usages themselves.
    “Wasn’t ‘heft’ originally a past tense of ‘heave’?”
    No, it’s a nominalization of heave on analogy with other formations such as weave/weft, thieve/theft, draw/draught, give/gift and so on. The verbal use of heft was a later development.

  9. Interestingly, the NY Times review of the film contains the same word:
    ‘From the heaving mass of carnage in Neil Marshall’s galumphing, atavistic gorefest, “Centurion,” a cautionary message struggles to escape.’
    I thought Anthony Lane’s wordage could be a rather nice blend of ‘heave into view’ and ‘hoof on’. There isn’t much of a sea in the film, but surely a few hooves?
    The NYT reviewer also notes that the Romans speak in highly cultivated English and picts in heavy Gaelic Scot, subtitled. Sounds like they were trying to weld Braveheart onto Gladiator. And there is a Bond girl too!

  10. ‘cobbles’ or cobs are also roundish lumps of coal used for heating homes. They do look like pies, but it’s a bit stretching it. Cobble together feels more like it.
    What about the drink? is it also from cobble together? How unromantic. Back in the Soviet days шампань-коблер, pronounced the French way cobblaire, was one of the most popular cocktails in Russian bars, perhaps because it was easy for bartenders to cheat with doses.

  11. michael farris says:

    Active dislike of an innovation is fine for even the least prescriptivist among us (comme moi).
    Not being a prescriptivist doesn’t mean ‘having no judgement or preferences’ it means realizing the one’s personal preferences aren’t the arbiter of correctness (actual usage is) and that others are not and should not be bound by some self-described expert’s hobby horses.
    I have no particular feeling one way or another about hoves except that that particular combination of sounds with that meaning strikes me as vaguely funny. I wouldn’t recognize it as a form of heave (I’d use heaved for both the past tense and participle).
    That means I might use for a private humorous effect (and I’d used hoved for the past forms, so there).

  12. cobbler:
    The only cobbler recipe in my library is from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook © 1969 by General Mills which says, “‘cobble up’ means to put together in a hurry”. I too would prefer “cobble together” (840,000 ghits) over “cobble up” (1,660,000 ghits). “Cobbled together with bailing wire and twine” gets 1,190 ghits, although I see spit, hope, and chewing gum are also mentioned as adhesives.
    I won’t be using the cobbler recipe soon, because although the recipe book is from the post-lard era, it is pre- heart-healthy/olive oil and calls for shortening.

  13. Ain’t nothing wrong with lard.

  14. The OED lists an obsolete verb hove (with unknown derivation, so apparently not related to ‘heave’ at all) in what seems to be the relevant sense
    Yes, but it was last used in 1650, so I think we can be reasonably confident that is not the word Lane thought he was using.
    Judging by the 400+ (genuine) examples of “hoves into view” Google throws up (including an attempted pun, “Brighton hoves into view”, for people familiar with the English south coast), I’d say the battle was being lost.
    Sigh. Maybe I neglected to do a Google search in a subconscious effort to protect myself from the horrid truth.
    Not being a prescriptivist doesn’t mean ‘having no judgement or preferences’ it means realizing the one’s personal preferences aren’t the arbiter of correctness
    Oh, yes, I know that; it was the specific judgment of illiteracy that struck me as excessive.

  15. Ain’t nothing wrong with lard.
    I completely agree, and the idea of a dessert of this kind made without any shortening at all is appalling.

  16. “Hove into view” doesn’t sound right to me either. I always thought hoving was something done to boats rather than something boats did by themselves. Teh Wiki says a boat…er, vessel… that is hove to is at rest “or nearly at rest because the driving action from one or more sails is approximately balanced by the drive from the other(s)” and does not need to be steered.
    Is heave/hove like cleave/clove and weave/wove, and why isn’t it like leave/left or peeve/peeved (and probably Jeeve/Jeeved, if you can verb proper nouns)? And what about “yo ho heave ho”? After all tomorrow is international Talk Like a Pirate Day.

  17. the idea of a dessert of this kind made without any shortening at all is appalling
    This is why it is important to finish one’s portion before looking anything up.

  18. “Hove into view” doesn’t sound right to me either.
    You’re just not familiar with it. It’s perfectly standard.
    Is heave/hove like cleave/clove and weave/wove
    Yes, which is why it’s so odd to me that people take “hove” to be a present—it’s so clearly (to me, anyway) a strong past.

  19. David Marjanović says:

    Heben – hob – gehoben “lift”.

  20. marie-lucie says:

    Sure, the daily consumption of lard might be hard on one’s body, but the occasional indulgence is not going to ruin the health of a normal person (how much lard would there be in a single slice of pie?). I find the idea of olive oil in pastry rather strange.
    Does anyone know why the lard substitute is called “shortening”? does it shorten anything (time, perhaps?)

  21. short means ‘crumbly’ when applied to pastry.

  22. A precisely parallel error is heard in one of Del McCoury’s fairly recent (last ten years) songs. Unfortunately, I can’t remember which song or album, and the lyrics don’t seem to be on the web. He needs a rhyme for ‘God’, so he sings (in what the context clearly shows is the present tense) “as down the road I trod”. In other words, he seems to be unaware that “trod” is the past tense of “tread”.
    There are a few English verbs used so rarely that even most educated people are unaware that the different principal parts are related. (Does anyone besides Latin teachers call them “principal parts”? I mean the basic dictionary forms like “sing, sang, sung”.) I’m too lazy to look it up, but I’ve always assumed (with Robin Tell, 9/17 8:54pm) that ‘wreak’ and ‘wrought’ are the present and past/participle forms of the same verb, also that it’s related to ‘work’: to ‘wreak vengeance’ is to work vengeance on someone, and ‘wrought iron’ is iron that has been worked by a blacksmith, unlike cast iron that’s poured into a mold. (Those two phrases, plus “What hath God wrought?” are the only contexts I’ve ever heard the word in.) At least, that’s what I tell my Latin students when I’m trying to convince them that Latin verbs are no weirder than English verbs. I also use tread-trod-trodden as an example. People will say “don’t tread on me” and “well-trodden path” without necessarily being aware that those are forms of the same word. ‘Trod’ is rarely used at all, and so (I suppose) more likely to be used wrongly, as by McCourey.
    By the way, I teach out in the country (at a school with the wonderful name “Buffalo Gap”) so I often have to delicately suggest to students that they don’t want to use “drug” and “brung” as the past tenses of “drag” and “bring”, unless they’re planning careers as country-music singers. Most of them are already aware that “thunk” for “thought” is not up to standards.

  23. On the other topic of this thread, lard makes the flakiest pie-crusts ever. To make a proper American apple pie, you need (a) lard in the crust, (b) very tart apples, preferably Jonathans, though Granny Smiths will do, and (c) a pastry cloth and a rolling-pin sleeve.
    You do have to be careful when serving these delicious and flaky pies to warn unsuspecting Jews, Muslims, and vegetarians that your pies contain forbidden pork, since they certainly don’t look or smell sinful.

  24. I always ask.

  25. ATTENTION!
    Etymonline suggests that “cobbler” the dessert is perhaps related to 14c. cobeler “wooden bowl.”

  26. ATTENTION!
    Etymonline suggests that “cobbler” the dessert is perhaps related to 14c. cobeler “wooden bowl.”

  27. ATTENTION!
    Etymonline suggests that “cobbler” the dessert is perhaps related to 14c. cobeler “wooden bowl.”

  28. Re wreak/wrought/work: ‘wrought’ is an old past tense/past participle form of ‘work’, not of ‘wreak’. I think ‘wreak’ may be distantly related to ‘work’ (from the same Indo-European root *wrg-?), but am not sure.

  29. Judging by the 400+ (genuine) examples of “hoves into view” Google throws up (including an attempted pun, “Brighton hoves into view”, for people familiar with the English south coast), I’d say the battle was being lost.
    Since “hove into view” gets 597,000 hits, maybe not.

  30. I find the idea of olive oil in pastry rather strange.
    I don’t think it works, at least not in something as finicky as pie crust. Muffins made with olive oil can be delicious, and I have seen them disappear from a potluck like wildfire once the word got out they had been baked by a home ec major with a cardiac stent. You can’t just substitute one for one though, the recipe has to be developed specifically for olive oil. We are starting to see mayo with olive oil here too. I was taught not to use lard, not because vegetable shortening is healthier, but because the flavor is too strong and overpowers everything it is cooked with.

  31. Charles Perry says:

    On the concept of shortening: It comes from brick making. You add straw to clay to make your bricks stronger; shorter lengths of straw result in a more friable brick. Adding fat to dough makes it tender, and bakers compared this to making a “short” brick mixture.
    A similar phenomenon: Hard candies have a glassy texture because they’re super-cooled liquids, just like glass. When you boil sugar syrup to a candy density, there’s always a danger that it will “seize up,” or crystallize, as it naturally wants to.
    One way to prevent seizing is to add something to the syrup to interfere with crystallization. Fat has this effect — this is how butterscotch was invented. And so does an acid ingredient, which is why so many hard candies have an acid flavoring. You don’t have to be a top-flight confectioner to turn out lemon drops.
    As a result, 19th-century English candy makers referred to adding an acid ingredient as “greasing” the syrup. No actual grease was involved, but it had the same effect.

  32. It is behoveful to put behove on the table, whose second element is one with heave. Spelling, pronunciation, meaning, syntactic role, and forms are all slippery. Consider also the noun, behoof.

  33. … “greasing” the syrup. No actual grease was involved …
    Compare the mysterious deglaze. SOED:

    1 Remove the glaze from, give a dull or matt surface to. L19.

    2 Dilute the meat sediments in (a pan) in order to make a gravy or sauce. M20.

    I could never see how the second meaning came about.

  34. I can. The meat sediments + fat look kind of like a messy glaze on the bottom of the pan. Once you deglaze it, it looks like liquid. Delicious liquid.

  35. J.W. Brewer says:

    My aesthetic sense wants it to be heave/hove/hiven (rather than hoven). But alas although “has hiven” seems slightly more common on google than “has hoven,” it also seems to generally be a typo for “has given.” Although the first hit for “hoven” as past particle of “heave” is attr. Jeremy Bentham and I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could heave him.

  36. marie-lucie says:

    LH is right. Deglazing makes the “glaze” available for eating (by pouring the liquid over meat or potatoes) instead of leaving its nutrients stuck on the bottom of the pan.

  37. On deglazing, from Joy of Cooking

    ABOUT SAUCES MADE BY DEGLAZING

    Pan juices and scrapings are precious and are frequently used as the base for many delicious sauces…. In initially roasting meat, be sure to grease the pans lightly to keep from burning any juices which may drip, before the fats from the meat have covered the bottom of the roasting pan….When the meat is done, remove it from the pan and pour off the fat. Add ¼ cup or more hot water or stock to the pan and cook on top of the stove–stirring and scraping the solidified juices from the bottom and sides.

    For typical midwestern gravy, after skimming off the grease and maybe straining, the resulting juice is returned to the pan, and more liquid–water drained from vegetables, etc.–is added, then it is thickened with a flour-water paste.
    Compared to sauces made with a roux (and I seem to remember a discussion about this word in connection with redheads) where butter and flour are cooked together first, then the liquid added, you can see this is much healthier as you can control the amount of fat, and even make it without fat (although in practice it’s probably impossible to completely remove all the fat, and a little fat is considered to be desirable as it adds flavor).

  38. For me “hove” is strictly a preterite, but until now I didn’t know what the infinitive was. Neither “that heaves into view” nor “that hoves into view” sounds O.K. to me (though obviously that’s due to my own ignorance).

  39. Nijma, are you looking at olive oil in mayonnaise as a modern healthy innovation? It’s the traditional oil for the purpose, isn’t it?

  40. Ø, I think soy is more traditional. Olive oil is more expensive, but the cardiac people go nuts over it–Omega 3 or something. There is now tuna with olive oil too, again recommended by the cardiac people.

  41. The meat sediments + fat look kind of like a messy glaze on the bottom of the pan. Once you deglaze it, it looks like liquid.
    Yes, of course I can see that. But it strikes me as a decidedly odd choice of term. Poetic, indirect. After all, a glaze is supposed to be a glossy, glassy, lustrous, substance applied as a coating to enhance a surface. Here is how OED applies glaze in cookery:

    [“glaze, n.“] 2. gen. A transparent substance used for coating anything, so as to produce a glazed or lustrous surface. spec. in Cookery (see quot. 1877); also of a glaze, of the consistency of glaze.
    … 1877 Cassell’s Dict. Cookery, Glaze is made from clear stock, boiled down until it forms a sort of meat varnish or strong jelly; it is used to improve the appearance of many dishes.

    So the glaze is the jelly-like substance used in coating the finished product. I find it odd that it should also be taken to be the dirty-looking residue at the bottom of the pan used for cooking, as one source of the sauce in question.
    OED currently has little on deglaze itself. Forms of it occur thrice only in the complete text, without direct explanation:

    [“Montilla”:] 1993 Toronto Life June 94/3 Shrimp in montilla deglazing.

    [“de, prefix:”] [2] a. To deprive, divest, free from, or rid of the thing in question: as DEBOWEL (1375), deflesh, defoliage, deglaze, deglycerin, …

    [“red wine”:] 2000 A. BOURDAIN Kitchen Confid. (2001) 192, I sauté some chopped shallots, deglaze the pan with red wine vinegar,..and put that aside too.

    In other words, if you didn’t already have a meaning for deglaze, it is not certain that OED could provide you with one.

  42. There is apparently an English dish called an apple cob, in which an apple is covered with pastry and baked. (Something round and lumpy was called a cob.) It’s tempting to think that someone in the US (cobbler is an American invention) was from England or remembered the dish from childhood and called her own version a cobbler. But as far as anyone can tell, the dish appeared in the mid-19th century in the West of the US, so I guess it’s a stretch. Unfortunately for us, people codified recipes a long time after they were routinely made, so it’s hard to figure out the derivations of names.

  43. Noetica, I see what you mean. I’m not sure about this, but here’s what I think happened: There is a French term, glace de viande, which means a highly reduced meat broth that turns into a syrup which can then be used either as a seasoning in sauces or as a glaze. My guess is that the shiny, greasy, highly reduced stuff at the bottom of a roasting pan is like this glace de viande (meat glaze), and so adding liquid, flour etc “deglazes” it, i.e., makes it a glace/glaze no more. I think there was a transition from French to English with a bit of cook talk thrown in.

  44. David Marjanović says:

    Re wreak/wrought/work: ‘wrought’ is an old past tense/past participle form of ‘work’, not of ‘wreak’. I think ‘wreak’ may be distantly related to ‘work’ (from the same Indo-European root *wrg-?), but am not sure.

    German wirken “to have an effect” is clearly part of that mess, though it’s a weak verb (wirkte, gewirkt); Werk means “work” as in “a work of art” or “patchwork” and also appears in other work-related terms like Gewerkschaft “trade union”. “Effect” is Wirkung (when it’s not Effekt).

  45. David Marjanović says:

    Indo-European root *wrg-

    And here we get into the half-mythical “root extensions” that nobody understands. In addition to *wr-g-, there’s *wr-t- “turn” (invert, revert…), then there’s *wr-mi- “worm”…

  46. David Marjanović says:

    “Oh, I’ve trod on an Edmund!”
    – What the people who like Edmund Blackadder say when they step into dog shit.

  47. I think soy is more traditional.
    Soy? Traditional?? You have odd ideas about France and the Mediterranean. From Wikipedia: “According to Trutter et al.: ‘It is highly probable that wherever olive oil existed, a simple preparation of oil and egg came about – particularly in the Mediterranean region, where aioli (oil and garlic) is made.'” (Emphasis added.)

  48. rootlesscosmo says:

    Re “deglaze:” a very reduced meat stock, forming a jelly at room temperature without the addition of something like gelatin, is in traditional French haute cuisine called a glace de viande. Do the shiny, translucent blocks of the stuff remind someone of ice? It can be used to deglaze the pan after grease removal (rather than water) and further thickening achieved, if desired, by reduction rather than by combination with a roux.
    @nijma: I was taught not to use lard, not because vegetable shortening is healthier, but because the flavor is too strong and overpowers everything it is cooked with.
    Commercial lard is produced in such a way as to remove the porky flavor. Unfortunately this processing transforms much of it into trans fats which are a bad thing to ingest. Lard made directly from pig fat (I buy mine from Sr. Vazquez at La Gallinita Meat Market in the Mission District) is healthier, but does impart a porky flavor to the final product. I use vegetable shortening for pastry (to finesse the guest-dietary-restrictions issue) and real lard for making confit de canard. (You can buy duck fat around here but it’s very expensive and I don’t think it makes any difference to the result.)

  49. I can’t say what they might do in France, but here I have never ever ever seen anyone make mayo at home. Here is what is in the stuff that comes in jars:
    http://www.kraftrecipes.com/Products/ProductInfoDisplay.aspx?SiteId=1&Product=2100064015
    The major brand here, Kraft, uses soy oil. If you read the label of their latest “Mayo with Olive Oil” offering, it contains olive oil, canola oil (often used in the “low fat” offerings), and soy oil. The other major brand here, Hellmann’s is similar, the olive oil is merely substituted for part of the soy oil.
    http://www.hellmanns.us/products/mayo_olive.aspx
    (click image for nutritional information)
    Immigration here from the Mediterranean countries was late, and when it did happen the food they brought with them, tomato sauce, garlic, were viewed with suspicion. Vitamins were unknown and the best foods were thought to be white–refined sugar, wheat flour without the germ…until the 40s and government campaign to reintroduce nutrition into food. I remember this ad campaign, “Wonder Bread builds strong bodies 12 different ways”,
    http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/wonderbread.htm
    the 12 ways being 12 vitamins and minerals added to enrich the bread.
    If you go to Jordan and buy a can of tuna fish packed in oil, the oil will be soy. The reason probably has to do with expense.

  50. @rootlesscosmo, I suspect some of the resistance to lard here is that it was a reminder of grinding poverty in the old country–my grandfather used to take lard sandwiches to school–and trade them for roast beef with a rich kid!

  51. Here is what is in the stuff that comes in jars
    That’s a very odd definition of “traditional.” Do you also consider the ingredients in Spaghetti-Os traditional? Anyway, you should try homemade mayonnaise sometime; it’s delicious in a completely different way from Hellmann’s (which is the only commercial mayonnaise I will buy).

  52. US mayo is very different from mayo just about everywhere in the world. (Okay, what do I know about mayonnaise everywhere in the world?) But in any case, it originated with olive oil, and got transformed into something else in the US. I thought making your own mayonnaise was still kind of a ritual for the food-inclined in the US, no?

  53. “Traditional” to me is something that is passed down by word of mouth, as opposed to something historical or acquired from books. If it’s on the table at Thanksgiving, it’s traditional. Spaghetti in any of its incarnations would never appear on the Nijmasen table, period. And those Spaghetti-O’s are not food at all, they’re a gimmick. Of course I did survive on them in college when the cafeteria was closed on Sundays–you just heat them up in your electric coffeepot. And as I type this I am snacking on leftover spaghetti from last night–real #16 spaghetti made from wheat grown in Italy and cooked with fresh tomato, peppers, and garlic from the garden. Needless to say, my place is not in big demand for holidays.
    The Nijmasens don’t use actual mayo, but the lower calorie (and usually cheaper) Miracle Whip. The only reason I have mayo now is to satisfy a seasonal craving for potato salad–my own peculiar mix of Wisconsin hippie-commune style diced potatoes boiled with skin on, mayo, sweet cucumber relish, diced boiled egg (yes, I put in the forbidden yoke), chopped red onion, and Dijon mustard substituted for the yellow kind.
    I would love to try homemade mayonnaise, but only if someone else makes it. My forays into the kitchen often end badly.

  54. American fruit dessert names are an odd bunch generally. “Buckle” and “slump”, though not all that appetizing, presumably have something to do with what happens to the thing when it’s baked, but what about “grunt”?

  55. Great mayo kojo moe from a Wikipedia link.
    You can’t make homemade in a thunderstorm; it’s a colloid.

  56. John Emerson says:

    ‘Trod’ is rarely used at all…
    Hopkins tried to change that:

    The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
    Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
    Generations have trod, have trod, have trod….

  57. John Emerson says:

    My sister-in-law, a professional piemaker now famnous in the Portland (OR) area, says that her secret is shortening. On the other hand, her pies have recently become controversial, when an Oregonian reviewer with a different philosophy of crusts visited the restaurant. She remains famous, however.

  58. with a different philosophy of crusts
    More explanation, please. Sounds interesting.

  59. a different philosophy of crusts
    An alternative to Piethagoras.

  60. a different philosophy of crusts
    Dare we hope for a pi sale?

  61. John Emerson says:

    All I can say is that my sil likes her crusts just the way they are, but the reviewer thought they were awful. My bro suspects that the reviewer had a Sarah Lee crust philosophy.

  62. Charles Perry says:

    Some people say grunt makes little grunting noises as it bakes. It’s basically a steamed cobbler with a very thick biscuit layer, often served upside down, with the fruit as a topping.
    Traditionally grunt was a substantial farm breakfast dish. New England housewives supposedly claim that when they feed either grunt or slump to their husbands, they go out on the front porch, grunt and slump for the rest of the day.

  63. Hellmann’s (which is the only commercial mayonnaise I will buy).
    I remember that on the West coast it’s not called Hellmann’s but is in every other way identical. Does anyone know why?
    I came to the conclusion that Mills, the popular brand of mayonnaise sold in Norway, is actually better than Helmann’s. Reading the side of the plastic packet (no jars), it says it’s made from soy.
    You can’t beat homemade, though.

  64. on the West coast it’s not called Hellmann’s
    Of course there’s a wiki article.

  65. Thanks, Ø. I think it’s interesting that Hellmann’s is made with special Peruvian limes in Peru — do I need to get a life?

  66. No, no, Mr Crown. You have a wonderful life contemplating mayonnaise around the world.
    Now I’m curious. In Russia mayonnaise has the consistency of thick cream. It’s quite liquidy and tarter than US mayo (which is somewhat gelatinous). They can’t be used interchangeably in recipes. The Russian stuff doesn’t work in, say, US recipes for cold mousses, and you can’t pour the US stuff over, say, meat and pop it into the oven (classic Soviet cooking). (Actually, you can’t pour the US stuff at all.)
    How about store-bought mayo in other countries? Pourable or not?

  67. Norway, not. It’s like Hellmann’s.

  68. marie-lucie says:

    Real, homemade, handmade mayonnaise is not pourable (except very slowly), and it is yellow (from the egg yolks). It is tricky to make as the ingredients sometimes refuse to mix properly, or start to separate again (la mayonnaise tourne). The remedy, I am told, is to keep whipping and adding oil. Adding a little mustard (the real thing, not that awful yellow stuff that goes on hot dogs) at the beginning helps start the emulsion process. Beaten egg whites can be added at the end, which makes the mayonnaise lighter in colour and texture, but raw egg whites don’t agree with everyone.
    In France mayonnaise is one of many condiments now sold in tubes (like toothpaste). Tubes don’t let in oxygen to spoil the food, unlike jars which leave a large surface exposed once they are open.

  69. David Marjanović says:

    In France mayonnaise is one of many condiments now sold in tubes (like toothpaste).

    That’s the only kind I know, though mayonnaise is never eaten in this entire family.

  70. John Emerson says:

    In Taiwan one of the snacks was a big chunk of bamboo shoot with a lot of mayonnaise. This is the dark side of Chinese cuisine. Google image has no images, because the world is not ready to see it.

  71. Here you go, from here in Taipei.

  72. M can find anything.

  73. It’s true.

  74. mmm.. tasy thoughts
    in the back of my mind i have cobbler as an ingredient such as pommmegranite.( which is of course Tart/Acidic,wheras the peach is not.However the word cob is used to describe a male swan etc…the swan is perhaps the king of water fowl)
    iam afraid neither linguist,or cook. however I am fascinated by etymology most of the definitions appear to me to be educated guesses. wild guesses wishful thinking.
    the word avon happens to be currntly thought to be the welsh word afon-water.which was +apparently) mis-understood by the Saxons and or Normans to be the name of the river.
    which would mean that for 1400 years this mistake
    was perpetuated-continued. Imagine the mirth in the pubs as the ignorant refered to the river as the “avon” it would have been an “in joke”.
    simmilarly the word long in Gaelic means a ship the long-ships assumes that nobody understood or was capable of understanding the significance of the repetition for over 1200 years this is in my opinion preposterous. but of course this is probably wild conjecture on my part.
    So, therefore nothing should be read in to Significant and Cygnus or even swan-song and should not be taken as a sign.
    does any one know where peaches were indiginous (if not european) before they arrived in europe. regards

  75. Wiki sez
    The scientific name persica, along with the word “peach” itself and its cognates in many European languages, derives from an early European belief that peaches were native to Persia (now Iran). The modern botanical consensus is that they originate in China, and were introduced to Persia and the Mediterranean region along the Silk Road before Christian times.

  76. David Marjanović says:

    Bit more visible in German Pfirsich, which comes out (never mind the vowels) when you run persic[us] through the High German Consonant Shift.

  77. Cool. So where does the word Zwetschge come from?

  78. Damascus via an odd davascena (for damascena).

  79. I’m so glad I asked!

  80. I’m glad you asked too—what an etymology! (Though I must say the transition from davascena to Zwetschge (‘plum’) isn’t exactly obvious. I guess dav- > *dv- > *tv- > /tsv/- = Zw- is straightforward enough, but the rest is a mystery.)

  81. marie-lucie says:

    davascena to Zwetschge
    You have to ignore the -na Latin suffix and go from the stem dauasc- (“v” = [w]) to Zwetsch- as LH shows. I am not sure about the -ge but it may be a diminutive suffix (DM would know).
    I suppose that damascena is the original of Eng damson.

  82. David Marjanović says:

    I’m pretty surprised at damascena. I always thought it must be Slavic, as in Russian цвет “color” and BCSM цв(иј)еће/cv(ij)eće “flower”. Add some Slavic -ka diminutive suffix, and you’re there. (In Austria the word is even spelled Zwetschke, one of the very few differences in spelling between Germany and Austria. And no, this difference isn’t completely inaudible.) The German cognate of that is -chen
    I can see dama- ending up as zw-, but it would be pretty odd for -sc- to end up as -tsch- instead of -sz- or maybe -sch-. Really, /tʃk/ just screams “Slavic”.

  83. David Marjanović says:

    I hasten to add that my hypothesis requires a South Slavic origin. The West Slavic languages haven’t undergone the Fourth Palatalization: Czech květ, Polish kwiat = “flower”.
    Serbian diminutive of цвеће/cveće: цветиште/cvetište.
    A South Slavic origin would fit my impression that the word hasn’t spread far north in German. Up north, people appear to lump that fruit with Pflaume “plum”.

  84. David Marjanović says:

    The German cognate of that is –chen…

    High German, that is. There are plenty of Low German and Frisian nicknames in -ke. But only High German will give you the /tsv/ cluster out of a Latin/Romance word, and only High German could have borrowed directly from South Slavic.

  85. marie-lucie says:

    I wondered about -tsch too, but I thought it might be a dialectal feature, like -ge. I won’t quibble with a possible Slavic origin, though.
    Does Zwetschge mean ‘plum’? There is a French word borrowed from Alsatian, quetsche (pron. like ketch) for a type of plum.

  86. Zwetschge is one kind of plum. There is also Pflaume, meaning either another kind of plum or perhaps generally what we call plums — I’m not sure.
    I had no idea that Zwetschge, like Pfirsich, would turn out to have a place-name etymology; I was simply trotting it out as another (to me) enjoyably odd consonant-rich German stone-fruit word that I happened to know (from fruit tarts served at math conferences im Schwarzwald in years gone by).

  87. David Marjanovic` hates all fruit, poor boy.

  88. many thanks Ø
    glad you understand my spelling of indigenous
    many years ago I thought that the word the fruit orange, which appeared similar in every language I had the dictionary for and any the library possesed, but was missing from the latin /greek dictionaries. this I took to mean that it was introduced after the decline of Rome (is there a word in any language which is not similar). as I had imagined that it was a intoduced by Marco Polo, that words of objects introduced to a language eg.aeroplane cd etc had little (less) chance for corruption than if they were indigenous or had been introduced at an early date. However the peach is shown in the Han dynasty 200 bce. but I can find no previous short of trawling through every new age website at present, I therefore assume that the peach was introduced to china around 200 bce. as the goddess Xi Wangmu is supposed to be conected with the constellation of the big dipper then this would also imply a date of around 200 bce as Thuban (Draco) would then have been the pole star. according to Graves the greek myths the cult of demeter growing corn was introduced to greece from Egypt and that started as a school of agriculture (before he indicates they had a staple diet of beans and pulses). that is there is a record of the crop havig been deliberately introduced, complete with agriculural school. this leads to the skirophoria which was the attic month of late june early july, in which the priestess would walk through the streets carrying an parasol as this is the month of the summer solstice and the nights draw in then it follows that she was indicating that fact the word for squirrel shadow tail potentially parosol or umber ella (hellas) cf. “sarn helen” the welsh name of several roman roads. iken along with hodos being greek for a way and ikel is frisian for an acorn & iikhoran a squirrel.{see iklingham} other rodent street names ermine street (Lincoln {Lindum Colonae} southwards and ermin street west of cirencester (Corinium Dobuniorum)
    from cassells latin dictionary coccum the berry of the scarlet oak (quercus coccifera linn.) used as a scarlet dye by the ancients Plin.(the real source of the dye has been found to be an insect) therefore in my estimation quercus =squeril the squirrel =iikel is the you are/become what you eat philosophy red/scarlet. I have no problem imagining king Arthur being married to a squirrel as either he is an oak or another squirrel{making tintagel a place of dying cloth or tanning/curing leather forgetting of course that it is in Cornwall. (although I was quite fond of guanhumara (i think it was frazer golden bough but i might be wrong (again)for guenivere{the dung heap} if you wish to see the real king Arthur I would surgest you need look no further than the splendid Ice age (the animated movie).
    I would offer a fuller explanation but not here.
    hazel in irish coll and welsh cyll…
    Ps. I guess marco polo (at a guess Merx Polis) was like Heinz 57 a trading name. apologies for the length of this.
    regards

  89. have found ref to peaches chou dynaasty ie. 700 bce.
    the time of Homer and the rise of Rome two hundred years before Confucious, Buddah, Zoroaster,elijah or was it elsha @ 500 bce. The point is that the peach was known in europe in ancient Greek times but apparently the orange was not. the change in language for paeach and orange (naranje arabic/ portuguese){the great traders of medeival europe} along with…
    but seriously bullace if it is a “wild plum” grows equally well in britain as anywhere.”apparently Dogs bottom in french”.
    oed. Tartar a member of a central Asian people including mongols and turks.
    the other possible ingredient of cobler quince before Caesar Augustus quintilis was the “fith” month of july …but you say quintus means five not a sharp apple/pear malum which also means mast
    assuming that when in India the officer leaving the mess and upon seeing the flag hanging on the yard arm which(for sake of argue ment)was due south had the shadow somewhat to the east of the mess,{I assume in some cases inches) declared that it was time for a snifter of whatever took his fancy. the cassel dictionary of slang snifter/scnifter(mid 19C.) an alcoholic drink [SE a brandy glass , shaped to be warmed by the hands ……and for the fumes to be so intensified , to be sniffed.
    As a coffee house where the vent for the roasted,ground beans was passed directly into the street, at an age when my mother did not allow us to drink coffee. {she now drinks decaf}
    the secret of silk prouction was stolen by two monk in the time of justinian mid 500 bce. and industrial espionage also occured in devon when the Honiton lace industry was threatened by flanders, again by monks.
    However see persian orange wiki and therefore by time period genghis khan who wore no armour the arrows of the enemy (which rotated in flight due to the feathers,hence giving stability(regard a feather)apparently the barb caught in the fiber , a continuous strand and as the arrow rotated , bound the cloth around the tip, allowing the arrow to be withdrawn. for those with vivid imagination I hope you find the arrival of the bitter persian orange and the arrival of genghis Khan as significant however you will probably arrive at the route as being sanskrit.others might state that this was long after the time of Malory 1450 ce..le morte de Arthur .However Geoffrey of Monmouth…Geo means …
    regards

  90. industrial espionage also occured in devon when the Honiton lace industry was threatened by flanders, again by monks.
    Can you please explain just what you mean by this? The implication that Flanders, inventors of pillow lace in the sixteenth century, and users of a far superior spun linen than was ever found in England, needed a SPY in Honiton is preposterous. Honiton lace is very different conceptually from the types of lace made in Flanders and was never in a position to compete “industrially” (pillow lace is a pre-industrial CRAFT).

  91. I do apologise i did not make it clear that it was infact the english monks from Honiton who went to Flanders to spy on the production for exactly the reason that flanders lace was so succesful. as for industry I regard pottery manufacture in Roman times to be industry as I would the manufacture of arms, cloth leather fishing farming … on a large scale that is manufactured as handmade. however I would not describe a person who spied on the pottery to ascertain the type of glaze or the ingredients,used as anything other than an industrial spy. However the point is that if the Peach and Organge were both indigenous to China then for some reason the Peach made it to europe,in Greek and Roman times the Orange did not. the first orange to arrive appears to be a bitter persian orange.

  92. Etymology peach:

    late 12c., from O.Fr. pesche (O.N.Fr. peske, Fr. pêche), from M.L. pesca, from L.L. pessica, variant of persica “peach, peach tree,” from L. malum Persicum “Persian apple,” from Gk. Persikon malon, from Persis “Persia.”

    etymology orange:

    c.1300, from O.Fr. orenge (12c.), from M.L. pomum de orenge, from It. arancia, originally narancia (Venetian naranza), alteration of Arabic naranj, from Pers. narang, from Skt. naranga-s “orange tree,” of uncertain origin. Loss of initial n- probably due to confusion with definite article (e.g. une narange, una narancia), but perhaps influenced by Fr. or “gold.” The tree’s original range probably was northern India. The Persian orange, grown widely in southern Europe after its introduction in Italy 11c., was bitter; sweet oranges were brought to Europe 15c. from India by Portuguese traders and quickly displaced the bitter variety, but only Mod.Gk. still seems to distinguish the bitter (nerantzi) from the sweet (portokali “Portuguese”) orange.

    Dunno about that “Arabic naranj” thing though, the word I use for orange, both fruit and color is bortugali برتقالي , keeping in mind Arabic doesn’t have a “p”. In Spanish, orange fruit and color are both “naranja”.

  93. peach is toor and orange is amtat jurj in my language, so i’ve wondered whether Chinese call them that and peach is indeed tao, but jurj is not, it’s called cheng the dictionary says
    jurj is lemon and amtat jurj (tasty lemon) is orange
    In Spanish, orange fruit and color are both “naranja”
    nar, naran is the sun in my language btw

  94. Nar نار is hot in Arabic, actually fire, but someone attractive could be “nar”.

  95. from Skt. naranga-s “orange tree,” of uncertain origin
    that would have been a better connected citation maybe, b/c there are many words from sanskrit and/or who knows vice versa in my language i believe
    another word aranzal is bright red, orange colour in my language, just thought it could be like relevant too

  96. Thanks, goose. Alles klar!

  97. Read:
    peach is toor and orange is amtat jurj in my language
    What is your language, then? (We don’t all have these facts to hand.)
    Nijma:
    Spanish naranja (“orange”) and toronja (“grapefruit”) share an ending. Both arrive in Spanish from Arabic. Is there something systematic in this?

  98. Hi, Noetica!
    My language is Mongolian. It is in our customs to not talk about the things we revere too directly, similar with the customs of avoiding mentioning one’s ancestors names etc
    we call that as tseerlekh, tseer is not exactly like taboo, because it’s not something which is to be shunned or is avoided to be mentioned out of shame, but out of reverence
    so, for example, people call their family members, especially if they are older than the person calling them, not by their exact names but their reverent nicknames, like Ajaa, Anya etc so sometimes people even forget their great great granfather/grandmother/uncles’ given names except their nicknames, such was a buddhist detachment like tradition i guess

  99. marie-lucie says:

    reed: tseer is not exactly like taboo, because it’s not something which is to be shunned or is avoided to be mentioned out of shame, but out of reverence
    That is the original meaning of “tabu” in Polynesian culture: avoiding mentioning the sacred. It is only later that the word was adopted in English and other Western languages for things that are considered shameful or at least not suitable for most conversation.
    In the Christian religion there was for a long time a taboo about mentioning the name of the Lord outside of a religious context, and especially about swearing by this name (swearing an oath, mentioning the name, was something which should only be done on very important occasions) so in ordinary life there were many substitutions that people used when they needed to let off steam.

  100. Noetica: Spanish naranja (“orange”) and toronja (“grapefruit”) share an ending. Both arrive in Spanish from Arabic. Is there something systematic in this?
    Information about etymology of Arabic words is notoriously hard to come by. There’s this list by Andras Rajki that only tells us “burtuqal : oranges [from Portuguese Portugal]”. Then there’s this odd looking Russian “Database Query to Semitic etymology”, if only one could figure out how to wring information from it. REA is more helpful, but uses transliteration: “toronja.(Del ár. hisp. turúnǧa, este del ár. clás. turunǧah, este del persa toranǧ, y este del sánscr. mātuluṅga). naranja. (Del ár. hisp. naranǧa, este del ár. nāranǧ, este del persa nārang, y este del sánscr. nāraṅga).” Wiktionary says toronja is from Arabic ترنجة (turunja, “citron”), and orange:”From Old French orenge, from Italian arancia, from narancia, from Spanish naranja, from Arabic نارنج (nāranj), from Persian نارنگ (nārang), from Sanskrit नारङ्ग (nāraṅga, “orange tree”). Arabic does have an ending ها pronounced -ha, same as Spanish -ja, used for feminine singular possessive, but it doesn’t make any sense in this context–the ending must have come from the Sanskrit.

  101. Thanks Nijma. Good detail! My suspicion appears to be confirmed: the similarity in the endings (indeed, in the overall structures) of toronja and naranja is nothing special, poetically appealing though it be.

  102. nothing special
    Ha, ha, it’s Dravidian.
    nga=fruit
    also nar(d)(os)=fragrance nártei, citron
    [you will remember Arabic ترنجة (turunja, “citron”)]
    If not appealing, at least fruitful.

  103. fruitful
    “Fruit fool”? Yes. Delicious.

  104. David Fried says:

    To Nijma:
    The Spanish letter “j” was still pronounced like an English “j” or “zh” when the words “naranja” and “toronja” were borrowed from Arabic; the change to “h” is 16th c. (Actually the “h” phoneme in modern Spanish is the collapsed remnant of two medieval Spanish phonemes–the other was written “x” and pronounced “sh.” Cf. old Spanish “dixo” and “fijo” with modern “dijo” and “hijo.”) So an Arabic ending pronounced “ha” is not relevant.

  105. How did Cervantes pronounce “Quixote”?

  106. marie-lucie says:

    How did Cervantes pronounce “Quixote”?
    Probably with “x” as “sh” (hence the French transcription Don Quichotte). Similarly “Ximena” (now “Jimena”) adapted in French as Chimène.
    “x” is still pronounced that way in Portuguese.

  107. Probably with “x” as “sh” (hence the French transcription Don Quichotte).
    That French evidence is not decisive. Compare the second ʃ in Petit Robert’s pronunciation for sprechgesang: /ʃprɛʃgesaŋ/. French has no /x/, so when it borrows it normally substitutes /ʃ/ for /x/ or German /ç/. Here is a fuller story:
    Spanish quijote has two meanings:
    quijote(1) means “cuisse” (part of a suit of armour that covers the thigh).
    quijote(2), presumably derivative from quijote(1), means “Quixote” (SOED: “A person who resembles Don Quixote, the eponymous hero of a romance (1605–1615) by Cervantes, esp. in chivalry, romantic vision, and naive idealism”).
    In current Spanish both are pronounced /ki’xote/.
    English cuisse is of course one with French cuisse (“thigh”; SOED: “Orig. in pl. from Old French cuiss(i)eus pl. of cuissel from Late Latin coxale, from coxa hip”).
    Spanish quijote(1) is from Catalan cuixot m., “trouser leg” /ku’ʃot/ in the current language, itself from cuixa f., “thigh” /’kuʃɘ/, from Latin coxa, with addition of the vaguely augmentative (or “auxiliarising”; sometimes pejorative) suffix -ote.
    An initially plausible inference: French and Spanish both prefer to preserve Catalan /ʃ/. French lacks phonemic /x/, so despite possible interference from (Castilian) Spanish it simply kept /ʃ/ in Quichotte. Spanish lacks phonemic /ʃ/, so we cannot rule out that it immediately substituted /x/ in quijote(1), then in quijote(2). But we’d need to know the precise timing of borrowings to be certain. According to Ralph Penny (A History of the Spanish Language, pp. 100–101), “late sixteenth-century Spanish” did have phonemic /ʃ/, which soon after moved to /x/. Penny’s table (p. 101) reports /ʃ/ as “sixteenth century” and /x/ as “from 1650”. The first part of Cervantes’ El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha appeared in 1605.
    Among the questions we are left asking: 1. What was the pronunciation in Catalan when Spanish borrowed quijote(1) from it? 2. What was the status of Spanish /ʃ/ at the time of that borrowing, assuming that it was then stable? 3. How or to what extent might the answers to questions 1 and 2 affect Cervantes’ idiolect?
    It seems that we would need specific documentary evidence to settle these questions. Is there any?

  108. Old Spanish? Good luck with that. Academics seem to quote a handful of small esoteric lexicons. FWIW here’s the 1492 Gramática de la lengua castellana, the Catholic encyclopedia, and some discussion of Vulgar Latin in Old Spanish readings; then there’s the University of Wisconsin-Madison‘s 5-million-word Dictionary of Alphonsine Prose based on the 13th c scriptorium of Alphonso X “el Sabio” that was published in 1978 on microfiche and was expected to be completed in 1985 as a precursor to a larger Dictionary of the Old Spanish Language. Where is it?

  109. It does not answer your questions, but I suppose you noticed that the same page of Penny says:

    … the French and Italian adaptations of the name Don Quixote (Don Quichotte, and Don Chisciotto, respectively) show that the Spanish word was still pronounced /kiʃóte/ by at least some speakers.

  110. Old Spanish?
    Actually, for that earlier form there’s good evidence from Arabic and Mozarabic texts that x was [ʃ], because it’s ش or ש. See, for example, Ford.
    The question was where we were in the later velar development by Cervantes time.

  111. btw, Candide, at the end of Voltaire’s story, is said to be eating candied citrons.

  112. MMcM:

    [Penny writes, p. 101] … the French and Italian adaptations of the name Don Quixote (Don Quichotte, and Don Chisciotto, respectively) show that the Spanish word was still pronounced /kiʃóte/ by at least some speakers.

    I just think Penny is mistaken. If the /ʃ/ pronunciation of that name was ever used by Cervantes, or by any other speakers of Spanish, the evidence of Italian and French has no bearing on the matter. Italian does not have /x/, any more than French does. One might as well argue that the traditional English pronunciation (/’kwiksot/) gives us evidence about the Spanish pronunciation. It does not, and they do not.

  113. Nijma:
    Candiede citrons indeed. Shades of “La Monja Gitana”!

  114. marie-lucie says:

    Here is more on pronunciation from Wikipedia:
    The x was pronounced like an English sh sound (voiceless postalveolar fricative) in medieval times—[kiˈʃote]—and this is reflected in the Galician and Asturleonese name Don Quixote, the Portuguese Dom Quixote [ˈðõ kɨˈʃɔtɨ], in the French name Don Quichotte, the Dutch Don Quichot (or Don Quichote), as well as in the Italian name Don Chisciotte.
    The Nederlands version of the article gives both “Don Quichot” (a spelling adapted from French) and “Don Quisjot” (“sj” = Eng “sh”), which reflects the old Spanish pronunciation.
    In the original Spanish text there are several noticeable differences in the speech of Don Quichotte and that of Sancho Panza. Don Quichotte not only speaks in a more florid, literary style but also with an archaic pronunciation: words which had f initially in Latin still have f in his pronunciation, while Sancho has h, as in Modern Spanish (ex “fazer fazan~as” vs “hacer hazan~as” ‘to do deeds’). This shows that the development of f to h was still in progress at the time, and h instead of f was considered low class. It is quite possible that the change from “x” (sh) to “j” (as in Modern Spanish) had also started but had not become standard (and according to the statement above, the change has not occurred in all Spanish dialects, any more than in Portuguese or Catalan).
    Some French dialects also pronounce “ch” like Spanish “j”: this occurs in some Canadian dialects, reflecting a feature from rural Vendée (on the Atlantic coast) where some immigrants came from. I don’t know how old this feature is, or whether it is considered related to the Spanish change.

  115. marie-lucie says:

    Noetica, French and Italian do not have the velar fricative [x], but Nederlands certainly does.
    French normally replaces [x] by [k] or by the uvular “r”: the latter was irrelevant to older versions of the language which had trilled “r”, so ki[x]ote – if that had been the Spanish pronunciation at the time of Cervantes – would have struck French ears of the period as ki[k]ote.

  116. marie-lucie says:

    At one point I belonged to a Spanish conversation group which included a Frenchman who had spent years in Argentina. He spoke very fluent Spanish, but with a strong French accent: among other things, he pronounced “mujer” as ‘muker’ (and similarly for other words with “j”).

  117. Noetica, yes it’s our gypsy nun:
    Cinco toronjas se endulzan
    en la cercana cocina.
    Las cinco llagas de Cristo
    cortadas en Almería.
    Five citrons crystalize
    in the kitchen close by.
    The five wounds of Christ
    cut in Almeria.

  118. Marie-Lucie:
    Knowing as I do the editor’s side of Wikipedia, I repose little trust in the information you invoke concerning the vicissitudes of Quixote in Spanish. There are no citations for the section Spelling and Pronunciation, except for Merriam-Webster online for the English pronunciation.
    French and Italian do not have the velar fricative [x], but Nederlands certainly does.
    Of course. But you also say this:
    The Nederlands version of the article gives both “Don Quichot” (a spelling adapted from French) –…
    Yes. But if that spelling was taken from the French, why should we think any effort was made to emulate the Spanish pronunciation?
    … and “Don Quisjot” (“sj” = Eng “sh”), which reflects the old Spanish pronunciation.
    Accidentally. Perhaps. If indeed there was such an Old Spanish pronunciation. But anyway, Dutch “sj” resembles the “ch” of the French (clearly a model) as much as it resembles any presumed Spanish /ʃ/ in quijote. And where are the relevant citations, or other evidence, in Dutch Wikipedia? I see none.
    TLFi records Quichotte from 1631, and typically for French lexicography it evinces no interest in the “authentic” Spanish pronunciation. DRAE gives etymology but no dates. OED has Quixote from 1648.
    Pronunciamentos concerning Cervantes’ pronunciation of his hero’s name so far appear to be guesswork, backed by a mere semblance of evidence. When did quijote(1) enter Spanish from Catalan? No one seems to have asked, except me. And what was then the pronunciation in Catalan? And so on.
    We are witness to tenacious myths being perpetuated. 🙂

  119. Sorry about that last link to candied grapefruit.
    There are also these isogloss maps of Iberia at the end of this poorly sourced wiki piece.

  120. I seem to remember KEET-sote from high school Spanish class, but maybe that’s an old English pronunciation.

  121. I’m not sure I’m going to point to evidence to satisfy Noetica, but I’ve never seen any suggestion that the x that resulted from /ks/ and /sk/ in Catalan (as in Spanish and Portuguese) was anything other than palatalization. So that the pronunciation of cuixa always had [ʃ].
    Note the i on the way from coxa. Why would Catalan write ix (caixa, feix, coix, cuixa) for some other sound?

  122. Why would Catalan write ix (caixa, feix, coix, cuixa) for some other sound?
    I don’t know. Why should current Catalan pronounce cuixot as /ku’ʃot/, rather than /ki’ʃot/ or /kwi’ʃot/? Well, it comes from Latin coxa, and /u/ is nearer to /o/ than /i/ is. But why that spelling, and why do French and Castilian Spanish make it /i/? I don’t know that either.
    It is not I who dismiss evidence. I will accept it, but not evidence selectively adduced or selectively interpreted to support the opinion one already had. It is remarkable that so eminent a scholar as Penny should not see the flaw in his remarks about the French and Italian pronunciations.
    By the way, it seems that some Spanish commentators on Don Quixote have the name coming from either Catalan or French cuissot (found in Petit Robert along with the forms cuissard and cuisseau). See pp. 76–77 n. 28 of this source, for example.

  123. This encyclopedia entry gives a little literary and cultural background. (The whole work looks well worth getting hold of.)
    Searches here and there show that the name Quijote has been subject to decades of disputation. I like the idea of our Cuissard de la Mancha as a bathetic resonance of Achilles’ shield, myself.

  124. It is not I who dismiss evidence
    You certainly seem to be doing just that. You show every sign of having a bee in your bonnet on the subject, and like MMcM, I doubt any amount of evidence would be sufficient for you. Does it really strike you as plausible that every language that borrowed the name from Spanish would just happen to hit on the same unlikely equivalent for the /kh/ sound? Doesn’t Occam’s razor suggest that the Spanish sound was what they all borrowed, especially since it’s clear from the history of Spanish that that was the original pronunciation? I know it’s exciting to feel that one knows better than all them fancy-pants scholars, but “so eminent a scholar as Penny” was really not an idiot unable to see simple errors in reasoning.

  125. …for that earlier form there’s good evidence from Arabic and Mozarabic texts that x was [ʃ], because it’s ش or ש.
    There’s also the evidence from Mexico, where the x (as in the country’s name) was used to represent [ʃ] in Nahuatl. Mexican Spanish, unlike other varieties, also retains this phoneme, using it mostly in indigenous names like Xola and Uxmal.
    I take it that doubt about the pronunciation of “Quixote” mostly concerns chronology. A while back I bookmarked this article (www.h-net.org/~cervantes/csa/articf90/consonan.htm), which opines that Cervantes would have used the [ʃ] pronunciation of j/x; the modern pronunciation, though already extant, was regarded as low class, and the court didn’t adopt it until the middle of the 17th century.

  126. marie-lucie says:

    AS: There’s also the evidence from Mexico, where the x (as in the country’s name) was used to represent [ʃ] in Nahuatl.
    The early Spanish missionaries who learned and wrote down indigenous languages all used x for [ʃ], in Nahuatl (Aztec), Maya and a number of other languages. They would not have done so if [ʃ] the letter x had not been the normal spelling for [ʃ] at the time.
    Mexican Spanish, unlike other varieties, also retains this phoneme, using it mostly in indigenous names like Xola and Uxmal.
    It retains it only for indigenous names, since the name of the country “Mexico” is pronounced as if written “Mejico” (the general pronunciation has followed the Spanish change from [x] to [ʃ], even though the original spelling of the country’s name has been preserved).
    Cervantes would have used the [ʃ] pronunciation of j/x; the modern pronunciation, though already extant, was regarded as low class,
    This confirms what I suspected about the language differences between the Don and Sancho. Unlike the f > h change, this one was never reflected in the spelling. (This is reminiscent of the change from trilled apical r to uvular r in French: uvular r, now standard, started as lower-class Parisian a few centuries ago, while the rest of the country used the apical trill as in Spanish or Italian).

  127. But why that spelling
    Well, the argument I was trying to relate was:
    Latin ix (/iks/) palatalized to [iʃ], giving the base with etymological spelling.
    The same thing happened to isc (/isk/), which then got spelled ix as well, without the historical basis.
    When it (/ks/,/sk/ to [ʃ]) happened after the other vowels (see examples for a, e, o and u), it was spelled ix, meaning the consonant sound that had produced without the vowel.
    And, again, I can’t say that was never /x/ or /ħ/ or something. There just doesn’t seem to be any evidence that it was, given the likely historical development and the present pronunciation. From what I know, not being a Catalan dialectologist by a long shot. Spanish developed the velar after its similar palatal was complete.

  128. marie-lucie says:

    “Mexico” is pronounced as if written “Mejico” (the general pronunciation has followed the Spanish change from [x] to [ʃ],
    Sorry, of course I meant the opposite: Spanish has changed from [ʃ] (“sh”) to [x] (“kh”).

  129. This confirms what I suspected about the language differences between the Don and Sancho. Unlike the f > h change, this one was never reflected in the spelling.
    Eisenberg, in the article I cited, also has interesting things to say about the f > h change. I remember first encountering this in Quixote, the first classic I ever read in another language. I always assumed that the f must have survived only in, eg, antiquated books of chivalry such as the Don read, and not in everyday speech. That would certainly have added to the comic effect. On the other hand, it would also be more comic to have the Don use f for words beginning with h that had not originally begun with f, but according to Eisenberg, Cervantes never did this.

  130. I should have mentioned earlier that the 1621 German translation (which had to wait out the 30 Years War to actually be published in 1648) was Don Kichote de la Mantzſcha, Das iſt: Juncker Harniſch auß Fleckenland. (I take that to confirm that the pronunciation was in flux.)

  131. marie-lucie says:

    it would also be more comic to have the Don use f for words beginning with h that had not originally begun with f, but according to Eisenberg, Cervantes never did this.
    This means that the f/h fluctuation at the time was related to social class, and the Don’s use of f was not an artificial affectation but the norm for a person of his age and class.
    The novel is comic, but the Don is not a clown or a pretender, he is sincere and conscious of his own dignity (and he respects that of others), even when those qualities defeat his purposes.

  132. This means that the f/h fluctuation at the time was related to social class, and the Don’s use of f was not an artificial affectation but the norm for a person of his age and class.
    I don’t know, it’s been a long time since I read the book. Do any of the other characters, of whatever class, use f in the same way? I would guess that the “f” pronunciation of those particular words was pretty well extinct by then.
    On the other hand, to have the Don use f for words that never had it historically would have been going too far. As you say, he’s no buffoon. And familiarity with Latin, not to mention more closely related languages like Portuguese, would have helped keep it clear which words historically had it.
    But the whole question gets complicated by re-borrowings at various periods, so that you end up with both humo and fumar, fecha and hecho, etc.

  133. Wow! A random idle question on my part and look what happens.

  134. marie-lucie says:

    AS, it occurred to me also to wonder whether other aristocrats were using f rather than h: the young couple who torments the Don and Sancho in the second part, for instance. But my memory of the book is that only the Don – who is a generation older than they – speaks that way. He might be influenced by his old books of chivalry, but he might also be using an archaic pronunciation which he knows very well – that of his father’s or grandfather’s generation, for instance – although the other people about him (the vicar, for instance) use the then “modern” but only recently “low class” pronunciation.
    Can anyone locate a discussion of this point?

  135. LH:
    You show every sign of having a bee in your bonnet on the subject, and like MMcM, I doubt any amount of evidence would be sufficient for you.
    On a superficial reading of what has been said, I might seem that way. But what have I said? What is the opinion to which I cling so intransigently? Look closely and you’ll see that there isn’t one! I simply argue against others presenting opinions as if they were well-established conclusions.
    The question that prompted this discussion was from Ø:

    How did Cervantes pronounce “Quixote”?

    That is very particular and contained. Since Cervantes was writing just when the pronunciation of words like Quijote was in transition, it is not easily answered. Nevertheless, Marie-Lucie essayed a quick response:

    Probably with “x” as “sh” (hence the French transcription Don Quichotte).

    Probably? Why probably? I chipped in:

    That French evidence is not decisive.

    And my argument then shows that the evidence given is almost worthless. It is indeed surprising to find it in Penny, also. That evidence would almost certainly be the same no matter how Cervantes, or his contemporaries, pronounced Quijote. Your own response to my observing this about Penny suggests that you have not attended to the argument per se:

    I know it’s exciting to feel that one knows better than all them fancy-pants scholars, but “so eminent a scholar as Penny” was really not an idiot unable to see simple errors in reasoning.

    On the contrary: I am not excited but dismayed. And your ad hominem in favour of Penny only deepens that dismay. So does your coloured language, which misrepresents what I feel, think, and say. I see that neither you nor any other participant in the discussion has actually answered my point about the specific evidence of French Quichotte, and Italian Chisciotto.
    As for the Dutch evidence, it is clear that the spelling at least is affected by the French spelling. How is it reasonable to assume that the pronunciation was not equally affected? We might presume a general hegemony of French culture and language at the relevant time. Certainly European culture was more aware of French pronunciation, and more competent in it, than of Spanish.
    LH, you write also:

    Does it really strike you as plausible that every language that borrowed the name from Spanish would just happen to hit on the same unlikely equivalent for the /kh/ sound? Doesn’t Occam’s razor suggest that the Spanish sound was what they all borrowed, especially since it’s clear from the history of Spanish that that was the original pronunciation?

    You do not characterise what I say accurately or fairly. Is it established that the languages examined all borrowed the word from Spanish? No. Dutch, at least, appears to have to have taken it from French. Still, it does strike me as plausible that languages lacking /x/ would use /ʃ/ on adopting the word. Why not? I have presented evidence of present-day French practice for just such a default substitution.
    Alan Shaw:
    A while back I bookmarked this article …
    And a fine article it is! That sort of evidence is more what is needed, and the citations show how complex the question of Cervantes’ consonants truly is: not a matter to be dealt with in generalities.
    … the x (as in the country’s name) was used to represent [ʃ] in Nahuatl …
    But again, that in itself can’t clinch anything. What else would they be disposed to use, even if they had normally by then pronounced x as /x/?
    MMcM:
    … the 1621 German translation (which had to wait out the 30 Years War to actually be published in 1648) was Don Kichote de la Mantzſcha, Das iſt: Juncker Harniſch auß Fleckenland. (I take that to confirm that the pronunciation was in flux.)
    Well added. German, unlike French and Italian, had both /ʃ/ and /x/ available; and that early translation chose /x/ (represented in Kichote) over /ʃ/ (*Kischote).
    I don’t care how Cervantes pronounced Quijote. I would like to know, but why the hell should I prefer one way to any another? All I want to see is relevant evidence, properly weighed and interrogated.

  136. marie-lucie says:

    Well, after writing my question I thought to look up the link that AS mentioned above. According to the author, who gives several good reasons for his opinion, Cervantes would have pronounced Latin [f] as [h] (the “aspirated” sound as in English “hand”), but Latin h had long been silent (as in English “hour”) and the letter h was often omitted in writing (thus “hoy” was pronounced, and often written, “oy”). The (at the time) “modern” sound [h] then was a variant of the “archaic” sound [f], and there was no instance where [f] could have been used incorrectly in replacement of an [h] from another source, since there was no such other source.

  137. marie-lucie says:

    Noetica, with all due respect for your erudition and argumentative powers, you seem to be concentrating on an individual word, not on general features as a linguist would.
    it does strike me as plausible that languages lacking /x/ would use /ʃ/ on adopting the word. Why not? I have presented evidence of present-day French practice for just such a default substitution.
    The example you gave is “Sprechgesang” (a “French” word that is unknown to me!) which shows /ʃ/ for “ch” – but the “ch” in this German word is not the back velar [x] but the front velar [ç] (as you wrote) which indeed strikes monolingual French speakers as an equivalent of their /ʃ/. I wrote earlier that most French people would interpret the sound [x] as either their /k/ or their /r/: I remember most of my classmates being unable to distinguish between “nach” and “Narr”, saying [nar] for both (never, ever [naʃ]), or between the last consonants in “ich” and “Fisch”, both [fiʃ]. My example of the Frenchman saying [muker] for “mujer” is not unique, as there is a slangish French word moukhère ([muker]) for a type of “exotic” woman.
    Here is another example: the famous fortified wine from Jérez (older spelling Xeres), was borrowed as English sherry (modern English interprets modern Spanish “j” as [h]). According to the TLFI, in French the earliest quotation (1473, much earlier than Cervantes) is Cherez, corresponding to “sherry”. The later attested pronunciation of xérès (the name of the wine) is [keres]. So English “sherry” and Middle French Cherez reflect the Old Spanish pronunciation, while traditional Modern French [keres] reflects Modern Spanish [xeres]. (It is not the case that French Cherez became [keres] by a regular change in the French language, but that different people tried to indicate the Spanish sounds at different times).
    (In current French, [keres] is considered old-fashioned. We use it in my family, but many people instead use a spelling pronunciation [kseres] or even [gzeres]).

  138. Marie-Lucie:
    Thank you for addressing points I have made.
    … “Sprechgesang” … which shows /ʃ/ for “ch” – but the “ch” in this German word is not the back velar [x] but the front velar [ç] (as you wrote) which indeed strikes monolingual French speakers as an equivalent of their /ʃ/.
    I had appreciated that distinction when I wrote. English is more likely to conflate /x/ and /ç/, I think. We don’t have the distraction of a competing pronunciation of “r”. But that French /r/ is a relatively modern pronunciation, let us remember. How salient was it in the hearing of literate French speakers around 1640, say? That is a relevant consideration.
    Then, French is not consistent in rendering /x/ as /k/, and in any case we might suppose the Spanish sibilants in transition after 1600 to have provided nothing very certain to emulate. Petit Robert pronounces corregidor (dated 1655; also corrégidor) only with /ʒ/, though Spanish has /x/ for that “g”. The same dictionary has jojoba (1958; from Mexican Spanish with /x…x/, from a native word with /h…h/) only with /ʒ…ʒ/, not /k…k/. This despite its having /x/ in its repertoire, as for example in the pronunciation for mudéjar (1722), with either /ʒ/ or /x/.
    Of course corregidor might be seen as conformable to existing cognate French words, like corrigeable with /ʒ/. But that does not account for jojoba; and in any case we cannot rule out that Quixote too was thought conformable to existing French cuissot or one of its variants (trumping whatever Spanish pronunciation was heard). Petit Robert dates cuissot in French from the end of the twelfth century; and we might take it for granted that in all of the times in question, the vocabulary of armoury was far more familiar than it is now. In that case, a /ʃ/ version of the name might have seemed a perfect compromise between the French /s/ version and a putative Spanish /x/ version.
    Finally, do we really think that if Spanish had already moved to /x/ in Quijote (Quixote at the time, of course), French would have given the name a standard rendering as Quicotte? I for one have trouble accepting that, though I am ready to be persuaded.* You would have to accept it, if you think Quichotte counts as evidence for /ʃ/ in the Spanish version of the name at the time of Cervantes.
    * There is evidence of a decidedly minority use of Quicotte in French, from Google searching (Quiquotte also). And in Italian, where Quicotte makes no sense phonetically if the name were adopted directly from Spanish – reinforcing the idea of a French hegemony in orthography and pronunciation. Italian Chicote also occurs, which does make phonetic sense on the assumption of an attempt to transcribe the sounds of Spanish /ki’xote/ using Italian /k/ for a supposed Spanish /x/. How all of this is to be integrated with the other available evidence is quite problematic. I can see how it could work either way, for either /x/ or /ʃ/ being heard in Spanish. Timing and exact sequence of events is crucial; so is the role of pedantic “correction” of one sort or another.

  139. In the field of history at least, there is no shame in saying something is unknown if there is not enough evidence. There is something about the human mind that wants to connect all the dots, complete the story, but sometimes the story just isn’t finished.

  140. m-l:
    …there was no instance where [f] could have been used incorrectly in replacement of an [h] from another source, since there was no such other source.
    Ah, so an aspirated, as opposed to a silent h, would be a sure sign that the word originally began with f in Latin? Yes, that does seem to be what he is saying.

  141. marie-lucie says:

    AS: the consistent equivalence of Sancho’s (and others’) h and the Don’s f suggests that the change was still in progress, with f quite archaic but still heard occasionally. Even if Cervantes used h in his own pronunciation, he would probably have heard people use f, as well as read f-forms in older books. Portuguese also preserves f (but Gascon, an Occitan dialect, does not).
    The only other source of the sound h would have been Arabic, but most if not all Arabic words borrowed into Spanish were nouns borrowed with the article al attached, and so structurally distinct from the inherited Spanish nouns.

  142. the consistent equivalence of Sancho’s (and others’) h and the Don’s f suggests that the change was still in progress, with f quite archaic but still heard occasionally

    True, if you remember that by f is meant [h] and by h is meant zero. The actual debuccalization of /f/ > /h/ is much older than the 16C (there is evidence of it as early as the 10C), and the difference Cervantes is pointing out with his spelling is that the Don retains [h] in his phoneme inventory (though not in native words, of course) whereas Sancho does not. The change in writing from f to h happened at about the same time as the spoken change [h] > zero, quite reasonable when you consider that h had been a grapheme for zero for a long time.

    Wikipedia.

  143. For “native words” read “native words that had /h/ in Latin”, obviously.

  144. David Marjanović says:

    …Fascinating. I had long wondered how people figured out to dig up the letter h for a new [h]; turns out they didn’t…

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