|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.
#171444 - 11/18/07 10:26 AM und vut ist wrongk mit schmetterling? [Re: BranShea]
Some connect German Schmetterling with Czech smetana 'cream'. For a version of the famous joke alluded to in the subject, see this site and search on Schmetterling._________________________
Ceci n'est pas un seing.
#171445 - 11/18/07 11:06 AM Re: und vut ist wrongk mit schmetterling? [Re: zmjezhd]
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
(btw. How to pronounce the Icelandic for butterfly:fifrildislirfa?)
Forum Stats 8940 Members
Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members poeticalPolitics, SAISPURTHY19, poster, hunsister, tjh
8940 Registered Users
Who's Online 0 registered (), 27 Guests and 4 Spiders online. Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
endymion6 102 LukeJavan8 86 wofahulicodoc 75 May 58 AkivaLane 2 poster 1
wwh 13858 Faldage 13803 Jackie 11613 tsuwm 10538 LukeJavan8 8376 Buffalo Shrdlu 7210 wofahulicodoc 6723 AnnaStrophic 6511 Wordwind 6296 of troy 5400
Board Rules · Mark all read Contact Us · Wordsmith.org · Top
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.
Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat
© 1994-2016 Wordsmith