Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ    Attic   

Re: colorless green ideas

From:Garth Wallace <gwalla@...>
Date:Friday, April 9, 2004, 19:07
Andreas Johansson wrote:
> Quoting Joe <joe@...>: > >>Philippe Caquant wrote: >> >>>(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'. > > No doubt also to Swedish _mara_, a female demon which tortures sleepers by > sitting on their chests. While you're unlikely to run across the word on its > own these days outside books on folkloristics, it's the first part in > _mardröm_, lit "_mara_ dream", the normal word for "nightmare". > > As an aside, I might mention that in Games Workshop's Warhammer fantasy > universe, an undead horse is called a 'Nightmare'. I've always thought that > pretty neat.
They took that from Casper the Friendly Ghost. ;)