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Re: Spinning and purring

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Sunday, August 28, 2005, 11:36
Quoting caeruleancentaur <caeruleancentaur@...>:

> --- In, "Julia \"Schnecki\" Simon" > <helicula@G...> wrote: > > >... in colloquial German, the word _spinnen_ ("to spin [wool]") is > >also used for "to be crazy". As a matter of fact, the question > >_Spinnst du?_ usually means "are you out of your mind?" and not "do > >you manufacture your own woollen yarn?".) > > If memory serves (it still does sometimes!), "spinnen" also means "to > purr," unless contemporary German uses another word. My German is > dated to the mid-60s when I lived there, courtesy of the U.S. Army. > What might be the connection between "to spin" and "to purr." Perhaps > the sound of a spinning wheel? Do any other natlangs use "to spin" > for "to purr" as well? I know that Spanish has the verb "ronronear." > How have you expressed "to purr" in your conlangs?
Swedish _spinna_, an obvious cognate of the German, means both "purr" and "spin". I've always assumed it's due to the supposed similarity in sound. Andreas