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Re: colorless green ideas

From:Joe <joe@...>
Date:Friday, April 9, 2004, 14:24
Philippe Caquant wrote:

>By the way, I would very much like to know the origin >of the english word: "a nightmare". I find it very >strange and evocative. > >(Well, I thought so because I was thinking of the >female of a horse, but I just found in my etymological >dictionnary that the part "mar" in the french word >"cauchemar" comes from a germanic word meaning "night >ghost" or something like that, so it's probably the >same. Actually, I preferred the horse, much more >mysterious). > >
My dictionary agrees. According to it, it comes from the Old English 'mare' [mare], which described a ghost that opressed sleeping people. It's unrelated to a female horse, which came from 'm(i)ere'. Apparently it's cognate to german 'Mahre'.


Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>