Etymology

mindless tv

In Romani, the word for television translates as ‘fool’s looking box’

In the ‘gypsy’ language of Romani they call a television a ‘dinnilos-dicking-muktar’ which literally translates as ‘fools-looking-box.’ The words ‘chav’, ‘lollipop’, and ‘pal’ also come from Romani. Pal – a friend, from the Romani word phral, meaning brother. ‘Loli phabai’ means red apple which mutated to ‘lollipop’. Bonus fact: Some people call them ‘gypsies’ but …

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sharing bread

What do the words company and companion have to do with bread?

The words company and companion come from the latin ‘com’ meaning with and ‘pan’ meaning bread. So a companion is someone you eat or share bread with. c. 1300, “one who accompanies or associates with another,” from Old French compagnon “fellow, mate, friend, partner” (12c.), from Late Latin companionem (nominative companio), literally “bread fellow, messmate,” from Latin com “with, together” (see com-) + panis “bread,” …

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coronavirus

Why is it called quarantine?

The word quarantine comes from quarantena, the Venetian for ‘forty’. This is because during the times of the Black Death (15th century) ships returning to Venice were ordered to remain on an island for 40 days( which is where we get the word ‘isolation’ coming from the latin ‘insula’ meaning island). Why 40 days? The …

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