Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

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
Yep. [snip]
> 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 > English > 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 (Marasmius oreades)" 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 :) Ray =============================================== =============================================== 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" ]