|About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us|
You are not logged in. [Log In] Wordsmith.org » Forums » (Old) Weekly themes. (have been consolidated into a single forum above) » Words with unusual etymologies » butterfly Register User Forum List Calendar Active Topics Search FAQ
#171440 - 11/18/07 06:48 AM butterfly
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Maybe this one has passed the scene before in all those years, but the O.E. origins are funny and obscure.I used online etymology. Maybe there are better sources.The French Italian origins seem to be more logic.
Butterfly O.E. buttorfleoge, perhaps based on the old notion that the insects (or witches disguised as butterflies) consume butter or milk that is left uncovered. Or, less creatively, simply because the pale yellow color of many species' wings suggests the color of butter. Another theory connects it to the color of the insect's excrement, based on Du. cognate boterschijte. A fascinating overview of words for "butterfly" in various languages can be found here:
The small point in this is that in all the long months of camping out in our life in a place with many butterflies around they never showed any interest in butter or milk of cream.
PapillonÉtymol. et Hist. A. 1. a) Fin du xiies. papeillon «insecte lépidoptère» (Audigier, éd. O. Jodogne, 42); b) α) 1685 «esprit léger, volage» (La Fontaine, Poésies diverses)
Farfalle Looking into French and Italian etymologies the word origins from latin papilio. with the redoubling (batting and lifting...)of the root 'peb' which stands for flying.
I has remained almost unchanged in French: papillon and in Italian: padiglione, which means 'pavilion'. The Italian word for butterfly : ' farfalle' is however largely remote from the latin, constructed by the same criteria ; the repetition of the syllable to remind of the double movement of the lightweight wings.
Entire topic Subject Posted by Posted butterfly BranShea 11/18/07 06:48 AM und vut ist wrongk mit schmetterling? zmjezhd 11/18/07 10:26 AM Re: und vut ist wrongk mit schmetterling? BranShea 11/18/07 11:06 AM
Forum Stats 8829 Members
Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members ggia, dcfhnjrth, Angela, vishuma1954, Akella80
8829 Registered Users
Who's Online 0 registered (), 49 Guests and 4 Spiders online. Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
LukeJavan8 64 endymion6 44 wofahulicodoc 42 Cowboy_Monkey 10 A C Bowden 7 Tromboniator 5 May 2 T_V 1 tsuwm 1 BranShea 1
wwh 13858 Faldage 13803 Jackie 11613 tsuwm 10528 LukeJavan8 7257 Buffalo Shrdlu 7210 AnnaStrophic 6511 Wordwind 6296 wofahulicodoc 5610 of troy 5400
Board Rules · Mark all read Contact Us · Wordsmith.org · Top
Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat
© 2014 Wordsmith