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#102718 - 05/07/03 06:22 AM window  
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anchita Offline
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Dunno if this qualifies as 'unusual' or not; sure sounded interesting to me!

From the American Heritage Dictionary:

for the word "window":

"ETYMOLOGY: Middle English, from Old Norse vindauga : vindr, air, wind; see w- in Appendix I + auga, eye; see okw- in Appendix I.
WORD HISTORY: The source of our word window is a vivid metaphor. Window comes to us from the Scandinavian invaders and settlers of England in the early Middle Ages. Although we have no record of the exact word they gave us, it was related to Old Norse vindauga, “window,” a compound made up of vindr, “wind,” and auga, “eye,” reflecting the fact that at one time windows contained no glass. The metaphor “wind eye” is of a type beloved by Norse and Old English poets and is called a kenning; other examples include oar-steed for “ship” and whale-road for “sea.” Recently we have restored to the 800-year-old word window a touch of its poetic heritage, using it figuratively in such phrases as launch window, weather window, and window of opportunity or vulnerability."



#102719 - 05/07/03 09:00 AM Re: window  
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Wordwind Offline
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Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Very interesting etymology, anchita.

Especially the info on 'kenning.'

There was a gorilla, I believe, that upon eating its first radish, signed a new name for it: 'tear fruit.'


#102720 - 05/07/03 12:52 PM Re: window  
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wwh Offline
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The first windows were to let smoke out of the house, because it was a long time before
chimneys were invented. And "auge" probably was used for other openings such as that
of a needle, which must be very old.


#102721 - 05/07/03 01:04 PM Re: window  
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The first windows were to let smoke out of the house

I thought they had holes in the roof for that.


#102722 - 05/07/03 05:18 PM Re: window  
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of troy Offline
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re:And "auge" probably was used for other openings such as that of a needle, which must be very old.

eyes in needles are a rather late developement.. the first needles were realy a type of awl, that punched holes in leather, and then the thong or strip of leather used to 'sew' was pushed through the hole.., the idea of having needle with an eye, and drawing a thread or strip through, came late in the game..

my first reaction was auge gave birth to auger-- a tool for making a hole or opening.. but i was total wrong!
from the american Heritage dictionary on line..A
AUGER: Middle English, from an auger, alteration of a nauger, from Old English nafogr, auger.
See nobh- in Appendix I.

Also ombh-. Navel; later also “central knob,” boss of a shield, hub of a wheel. Oldest form *3nobh-, variant *3ombh- (< *3onbh-). 1a. nave2, from Old English nafu, nafa, hub of a wheel; b. auger, from Old English nafogr, auger, from Germanic compound *nab-gaizaz, tool for piercing wheel hubs (*gaizaz, spear, piercing tool).
Both a and b from Germanic *nab. 2. Variant form *ombh-. umbo, from Latin umb, boss of a shield. 3. Suffixed form *nobh-alo-. navel, from Old English nafela, navel, from Germanic *nabal. 4. Suffixed variant form *ombh-alo-. a. umbilicus; nombril, from Latin umbilcus, navel; b.omphalos, from Greek omphalos, navel. (Pokorny 1. (enebh-) 314.)




#102723 - 05/07/03 05:20 PM Re: window  
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wwh Offline
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To be sure, the hole in the roof came first, But that let rain in. So when gabled roofs
were made, a hole just under the peak would let out smoke, without letting in much rain.
My command of architectural terms is quite rudimentary.


#102724 - 05/07/03 05:53 PM Re: window  
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The Genesee Country Museum outside of Rochester, NY, has an early 19th century dwelling with a hole in the roof to let the smoke out. It ain't exactly posh, but there it is.


#102725 - 05/07/03 06:14 PM Re: window  
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wwh Offline
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Dear of troy: Here is a URL to a site about Inuit (Eskimo) making bone needles with eyes.
Scroll down to second set of drawings. If the Inuit could make bones from reindeer
fibula into needles with eyes, needle eyes must be very old.
http://www.co.north-slope.ak.us/ihlchome/_Utq/descip/sewing/sewing.htm

I wish the article had told how they made the eyes in the days before they had steel tools.
I don't think I could do it.

Edit: I had a idea. The canine teeth of immature foxes or wolves might be pointed eough
so serve as awls for piercing the end of the fibula splinter to make an eye.


#102726 - 05/07/03 09:16 PM Re: window  
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of troy Offline
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before europeans, americna indians, most of whom spun, and wove, -using wool from wild sheep, and from the underbelly of a domesticated dog, -bred specifically of the soft fur of its underbelly, and domesticate llama's of south america- as well as cotton, and other fiberous plants, on looms, technically as complete as the simple looms of europe-(which are anything but simple!)

--they did not, how ever, fashion fitted clothing from their weaving, but wore it draped, or wrapped.. but it was UN-Sewn- (like mexican serape-)
their garments, were decorated with porqipine quills,(and painted, and trimmed with feathers, that were 'woven' into leather based nets)
many of the decorations were quite elaberate, and the collections of dye colors was extensive.

the barbed end of the quill would pierce leather, and the other end was held in place with leather strips.. (sample of such garments can be found in the Smithonian American Indian museum)

leather garments were laced together, and sometimes even layered.. (primitive quilting- pockets were added, and these stuffed with dried grass, for insulation) but again, the pockets were laced on to leather garments; they did not sew and quilt cloth(before the europeans)

the indians prized steel needles, and glass beeds-- and the ease that these technical innovations added.. (which makes the idea of 'selling manhattan for glass beeds' more understandable- glass beeds were new technology to the indians, and superior to the mean they had for decorating themselves and their clothing)

i don't know for certain or not if the had 'eyed' needles before europeans--but i have no knowledge they did. they did have awls, and used them to peirce leather, and then wove the leather together with sinew. but for certain, eyed needles are a late technical invention. (and retro fitting awls, with eyes, once you have steel bits, or other sharp tools is pretty easy-- and there is no doubt they had awl like needles (eyeless)

steel needles were so expensive as late as colonial times (US) that women often had one needle --that they kept in a needle case, and resharpend-- and pre civil war stories of 'frontier settlers' sometimes focus on the plight of a woman who has lost her needle.

pins where cheaper, but -- still were the original object in the superstition chant of "find a penny (used to be pin), pick it up, all the day, have good luck!

these 'simple' bits of technology-really didn't become simple till the industrial revolution.- one early machine copied some technology from a 'nail' factory, and made pins

straight pins and clasp (safety type pins) used to be expensive. they are really very labor intensive,and require a high level of technology to produce!

even the greeks and romans of classical times wore "un-sewn" garments, cloths that they draped around their bodies..many times they had woven in designs or colors..but not sewn and fitted.-cutting and sewing cloth, using needles, is late technology.


#102727 - 05/07/03 10:14 PM Re: window  
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Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
In Christ's time it was against the laws of the Sabbath for a tailor to show his needle on a garment on the Sabbath. That would put needles of some sort back 2000 years.


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