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Old 04-07-2014, 03:59 AM
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Default Thread for words and word lovers

I thought we needed one. Here's a link to get it started:

11 Untranslatable Words You Didn't Know Existed - Word Porm
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:34 AM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

Quote:
While Eskimos have 100 different words for snow...
:blank:
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

And the Brits have 30 different words for rain.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

In breaking news, though, the Inuit language has no word for freedom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubrick in the comments

I've heard that, since it has come to light, this vocabularic hole has caused such outrage among the Inuit that they've collectively decided to repurpose word for snow #43 to mean "freedom" from now on instead.
Seriously, those vague pronouncements about language with "no word for" or "[x] words for" are simplistic and usually at least partly made up, but I think they're interesting as a meta topic.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

:lol: at "word for snow #43"
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

HA I FINALLY found this thing I was looking for for this thread.

This is a blog of neologisms some guy came up with himself, but not the cheesy portmanteau kind those things usually are.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

(I was able to find it eventually by casting around for this definition, because I heart this word.)
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crumb View Post
Quote:
While Eskimos have 100 different words for snow...
:blank:
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
In breaking news, though, the Inuit language has no word for freedom.

Seriously, those vague pronouncements about language with "no word for" or "[x] words for" are simplistic and usually at least partly made up, but I think they're interesting as a meta topic.
Stop mansplaining to mick, plz
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
<snip>

(I was able to find it eventually by casting around for this definition, because I heart this word.)
Ah. I've sondered quite a lot. Mostly when on public transportation, looking at the windows in apartment buildings as they light up, filled with evenings after work. People coming home to feed their pets, put some ice in a glass, turn on the TV, think about the weekend, and so on.
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Old 10-21-2015, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

What do Warsaw, Florence, and Vienna have in common? They are all exonyms, which is a word I have wanted for a long time.

Since I moved to Germany, I have been falling over all sorts of exonyms, my favourite being "Danube". The river flows by a few miles from here through a small town called Donauwörth, which gets its name from "Donau" which is what they call the Danube round here. Having learned that the Donau was indeed the mighty Danube of myth, legend and cheesey waltz, I idly wondered at which point along its great length it changed its name to the one I was familiar with. And of course the answer is, it doesn't. Not anywhere, not ever.



Now I find this a bit embarrassing. Having your own names for other people's places can, and often does, look culturally arrogant (see Ayers Rock) and here I am, an Englishman in Bavaria, humming the Blue Danube and Oktoberfestating in Munich.

Bavaria and Munich together with football (lol soccer) present a peculiar exonymic enigma in the form of the local team known throughout the English-speaking world as "Bayern Munich". If not Bayern München then Bavaria Munich, surely?

Lots more good stuff here: Exonym and endonym - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Last edited by mickthinks; 10-21-2015 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 10-21-2015, 02:11 PM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

Even Hungary has exonyms in Hungarian. I was speaking with a guy from Hungary, and we were talking about how the names of countries in English and Hungarian were very much different. It appears that most, if not all, languages adopt their own exonyms for "them" that's different from what the "us" call themselves. A lot of older countries in Europe have a suffix word added to the country. (Olaszország for Italy, Franciaország for France, but Kanada for Canada.) (I find Magyar interesting.)
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  #11  
Old 10-21-2015, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

Is Paris an exonym, in spoken English? Spelled the same but pronouncedly differently.

Exonyms that are respellings of the endonyms into the receiving language's common patterns probably account for most of them ... Fiorenze to Florence, London to Lontoon (Finnish), etc. And then may get a life of their own and get distorted over time, which is I assume how we get Munchen to Munich, London to Londres, etc.

The really interesting ones are ones that have no obvious connection with the endonym or some (possibly historical) part of the country.

The Finnish for Sweden is Ruotsi, and for Russia Venäjä. I have no idea where those names come from, and nor does the internet.
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Old 10-21-2015, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

8 page thread on Interesting exonyms.

Quote:
Exonyms in Chinese can be pretty funny. One of the oldest names for Japan is 倭奴國, literally the country of dwarf slaves.
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Old 10-21-2015, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeP View Post
Is Paris an exonym, in spoken English? Spelled the same but pronouncedly differently.

Exonyms that are respellings of the endonyms into the receiving language's common patterns probably account for most of them ... Fiorenze to Florence, London to Lontoon (Finnish), etc. And then may get a life of their own and get distorted over time, which is I assume how we get Munchen to Munich, London to Londres, etc.
Some of those are actually accounted for by borrowings which retained (some) of the original, older pronunciation, while the endonym continued to change in the native language.

For example, "fl" changing to "fi" was a change that happened in Italian (cf. flamma > fiamma 'flame', flumen > fiume 'river'). The English version comes from French (presumably from the original Latin), while in Italian it changed from Latin Florentia to Fiorenza to Firenze.

Obviously English vowels and stress patterns tend to be inaccurate, but on the "fl" part, English didn't change anything.

The same is true of Paris - the spelling reflects the older French pronunciation, so in pronouncing the 's', we aren't mangling anything.
Quote:
The really interesting ones are ones that have no obvious connection with the endonym or some (possibly historical) part of the country.

The Finnish for Sweden is Ruotsi, and for Russia Venäjä. I have no idea where those names come from, and nor does the internet.
Ruotsi and Russia have the same origin in a way, actually.

The Rus' of Kievan Rus' comes from Roslagen, probably as a result of Vikings becoming the rulers of Kiev. The modern form of the name "Russia" itself is from Byzantine Greek but seems likely a back-derivation from Rus' (i.e. they already had the name Rus', and assumed a Greek derivation and thus settled on Greek Rosia > Russian Rossiya).
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Old 10-21-2015, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

In Dutch we usually use the Flemish names for Belgian towns, while English usually uses the French names, except for the larger towns where there are English names (Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp) that are closer to the Flemish names.

Even the towns in French Flanders have Flemish names that the Flemish still usually use but the Dutch usually don't (Lille is called Rijssel for instance). Except Duinkerken (Dune Church) which is the original name of Dunkirk.
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Old 10-22-2015, 01:58 AM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

Now that I think about it we Dutchies also have a tendency to name the Belgian Walloon towns by their French names. Mons instead of Bergen, Bastogne instead of Bastenaken, with the exception of Luik instead of Liege.
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Old 10-22-2015, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

Next year I will call the classic bike race Luik Bastenaken Luik.
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Old 03-23-2017, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
(Yellow is the honest, hardworking person's word for 'amber,' if you're unfamiliar.)
lol Nobody plays Reverse-Condescension harder than lisarea.

word usage - Amber or yellow lights - English Language & Usage Stack Exchange
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

lisarea is the voice of honest, hardworking Americans. Ironic.
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

It's the 'middle' light.
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

The word is also used in the phrase. 'Amber nectar', often by Australians.

'Yellow nectar' doesn't sound nearly as appetising.
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Old 03-24-2017, 11:18 AM
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Default Re: Thread for words and word lovers

And strangely appropriate for some Australian beers ...
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