Suck it.

So one of the Hebrew terms for “blowjob” is “מְצִיצָה” (mtziytzå), from the root verb “לִמְצֹץ” (limtzotz, “to suck”). The root past form (which is to say, the third person singular masculine past… Continue reading

(S)he

Due to my meager Persian abilities, I had never heard the word “وی” (vey/vay) before. I encountered it recently while reading a grammar book, in use for the third person singular, for which… Continue reading

Brief thoughts on tomatoes and potatoes

Tomato is a fruit (I know anyone who read that just groaned) from the American continent, but one which is widely popular in the old world. It goes by a wide variety of… Continue reading

Silk!

The Georgian word for “silk” is “აბრეშუმი” (abrešumi), which the Georgians acknowledge is from the Persian “ابریشم”. The Georgian pronunciation implies that in Persian it used to be “abrêshum”, which would mean it… Continue reading

o/u

In Kurdish dictionaries, the Arabic loanword قربان (qurbaan, from Aramaic) is spelt “qurban”, just as in Turkish (technically “kurban” in Turkey and “gurban” in Turkmenistan, although “qurban” in Azerbaijan). In Tehrani Persian, all… Continue reading

Gazelles and cookies

A name one often sees on restaurants in Turkey is “hazal”. The word doesn’t appear in all Turkish dictionaries, and that is because the word is in no real sense Turkish. It comes… Continue reading

Absentee Bird Propheteering

I am reading a most curious Kazakh etymological dictionary of late, “Қазақ Тілінің Қысқаша Этимологиялық Сөздігі” by “А. Ысқақов, Р. Сыздықова, Ш. Сарыбаея”. I was struck by the loneliness of the only entry… Continue reading

(Y)ün

I was talking with 俊呈 and he was explaining the character “韻” and mentioned its similarity to the Turkic “ün”. The character is pronounced “yùn” in Mandarin and “ūn” in Hokkien (俊呈 speaks… Continue reading

Ancient Fuckin’

Praise is due to Dr. Kuzban Gunz for discovering this in Starostin’s database. Despite the many jokes one can make about Starostin’s penchant for quirky etymology, it’s hard to believe it’s a coincidence… Continue reading

Old habits die hard

I am reading Keith W. Slater’s “A Grammar of Mangghuer” (which is worth reading just for the overview it provides of the linguistic culture of Qinghai, indisputably the best province of China, Gansu… Continue reading