Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Topic Options
#172322 - 12/28/07 08:51 AM acorn-eekhoorn
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5295
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Some may get a headache from my comparative posts, but as running threads are sparse I post this one anyway.

From a friend:"Here are a few shots of the Acorn".(her six weeks old baby boy; the mother is from American and Dutch parenthood.) She added:

"Isn't it funny that Acorn in Dutch means squirrel, and in English squirrels EAT acorns!"

(actually acorn(eikel)does not mean squirrel but in Dutch eekhoorn(squirrel) is pronounced: acorn
The pronounciation is alike, yet the etymologies have nothing in common.

acornO.E. ęcern "nut," common Gmc. (cf. O.N. akarn, Du. aker, Low Ger. ecker
"acorn," Goth. akran "fruit"), originally the mast of any forest tree, and ultimately related to (via notion of "fruit of the open or unenclosed land") to O.E. ęcer "open land," Goth.
akrs "field," O.Fr. aigrun "fruits and vegetables" (from a Gmc. source). The sense gradually restricted in Low Ger., Scand. and Eng. to the most important of the forest produce for feeding swine, the mast of the oak tree. Spelling changed by folk etymology from oak (O.E. ac) + corn.

1327, from Anglo-Fr. esquirel, O.Fr. escurel (Fr. écureuil), from V.L. *scuriolus, dim. of *scurius "squirrel," variant of L. sciurus, from Gk. skiouros "a squirrel," lit. "shadow-tailed," from skia "shadow" + oura "tail." Perhaps the original notion is "that which makes a shade with its
tail." The verb meaning "to hoard up, store away" (as a aquirrel does nuts) is first recorded 1939; squirrely is from 1925. The O.E. word was acweorna, which survived into M.E. as aquerne.

#172324 - 12/28/07 11:45 AM Re: acorn-eekhoorn [Re: BranShea]
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
and this sentence segment jumped out at me--originally the mast of any forest tree--
i am reading 1491--about life in the americas before the european's arrived, and came across the term mast (defined in 1491 as "beechnuts, acorns and other fruit and edible nuts at part of the 'litter' on a forest floor)"--and this meaning of mast one totally new to me!
my other obsession

#172325 - 12/28/07 12:32 PM Re: acorn-eekhoorn [Re: BranShea]
Mr.Customer Offline

Registered: 12/27/07
Posts: 1
Loc: Southern California
Interesting. seeing the latin root, one wonders if the word squirrel and scurry are related...
- Mr. C

#172326 - 12/28/07 12:40 PM Re: acorn-eekhoorn [Re: BranShea]
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
And of course, I can only relate all this to eggcorn

#172327 - 12/28/07 02:10 PM Re: acorn-eekhoorn [Re: Mr.Customer]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5295
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
scurry (v.)
1810, perhaps from hurry-scurry (1732), a reduplication of hurry.
scuttle (v.1)
"scamper, scurry," c.1450, probably related to scud (q.v.).
hurry (v.)
1590, first recorded in Shakespeare, who used it often, perhaps a W.Midlands sense of M.E. hurren "to vibrate rapidly, buzz," from P.Gmc. *khurza "to move with haste" (cf. M.H.G. hurren "to whir, move fast," O.Swed. hurra "to whirl round"), which also perhaps is the root of hurl. The noun is 1600, from the verb. Reduplicated form hurry-scurry is from 1732.

AnnaStrophic: And of course, I can only relate all this to eggcorn.:

You mean to eggcornize the acorn?( sponsored by Tomahawks Squirrel Traps ? ) It's a very good one btw , the closest to eggcorn eggcorn you can get (sorry, I was slow to see this)

of Troy : I looked up in Van Dale, the Dutch holy language scripture and found the word 'mast' still alive in the same meaning as the English word 'mast'(same pron.): "swine food". Maybe only hunters and foresters still know the word.

#172359 - 12/31/07 12:59 PM Re: acorn-eekhoorn [Re: BranShea]
Zed Offline

Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 2154
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
I have heard of beechmast (beech mast?) but didn't clue in that it might mean other trees might have mast as well.

ha, I've mastered another word!


Moderator:  Jackie 
Forum Stats
8968 Members
16 Forums
13870 Topics
222532 Posts

Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members
Tatanka17, Marci, dorrick, thedesertsimmom, LostAuthor
8968 Registered Users
Who's Online
0 registered (), 27 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
wofahulicodoc 57
LukeJavan8 41
may2point0 37
delirium 4
DavidLaurence 1
Curtis 1
A C Bowden 1
Top Posters
wwh 13858
Faldage 13803
Jackie 11613
tsuwm 10538
LukeJavan8 8541
Buffalo Shrdlu 7210
wofahulicodoc 6943
AnnaStrophic 6511
Wordwind 6296
of troy 5400

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