Re: Intergermansk - mushrooms
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Monday, January 31, 2005, 18:55|
On Sunday, January 30, 2005, at 11:04 , # 1 wrote:
> caeruleancentaur wrote:
>> >"Mushroom" is the general term, just like e.g. "tree" is general.
>> >"Champignon" is a specific type of mushroom, just like an "oak" is a
>> >specific type of tree.
>> If "champignon" is the name of a specific species of mushroom, what
>> is the generic French word for "mushroom"? If there isn't one then
>> one must know the species of mushroom before one can talk about it or
>> order it, which strikes me as rather cumbersome.
> No, "champignon" is really the generic term for mushrooms in French
> I didn't know champignon was a specie in English...
Nor did I. But I've only been speaking it for 60+ years ;)
On Sunday, January 30, 2005, at 10:51 , Doug Dee wrote:
> In a message dated 1/30/2005 5:23:29 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> ataltanie@OCEANFREE.NET writes:
>>> "Mushroom" is the general term, just like e.g. "tree" is general.
>>> "Champignon" is a specific type of mushroom, just like an "oak" is a
>>> specific type of tree.
>> Is this English we're talking about here...? If so, it's not right;
>> "champignon" is not an English word.
> According to The American Heritage Dictionary, "champignon" _is_ an
> word, meaning "An edible mushroom, especially the much cultivated species
> _Agaricus Bisporus_"
But Chamber's English Dictionary says:
"A mushroom or other edible fungus, esp. the fair-ring champignon
It seems even the lexicographers are not certain to which species it might
be applied in particular.
> Obviously, it's a borrowing from French,
Just like _mushroom_ itself from Old French: mousseron :)
> but that doesn't stop it from being an English word.
Indeed not, but that it is still pronounced in (more or less) the French
manner shows that it is a comparatively recent borrowing. Also quite a lot
of English speakers IME do not readily understand what a champignon is.
But the term clearly does not uniquely refer a specific type of mushroom.
Nor, as Charlie recently pointed out, is _mushroom_ generic in the way
_tree_ is. The generic word is _fungus_.
Generally in this neck of the woods: mushroom = edible fungus; toadstool =
inedible fungus. But I have come across the use of _mushroom_ to mean any
fungus of umbrella shape, whether edible or not. IME an inedible fungus
not shaped like an umbrella would not be called a mushroom.
But I have not the slightest doubt that usage differs across the vastness
of the anglophone world :)
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]