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
>>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. ;)