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Re: CHAT of vests & tortoises (was: Spelling pronunciations)

From:Philippe Caquant <herodote92@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 9, 2004, 13:30
 --- Ray Brown <ray.brown@...> skrev:
> > > >> The French for _tortoise_ is in fact _tortue_ <-- > late Latin _tortu:ca_ > > > > This "tortuca" itself has an interesting > etymology; it's from _tartarucha_ > > Hence Italian _tartaruga_ :) > > > 'of Tartarus (fem.)' < Greek, distorted (:-) by > _tortus_ 'twisted', > > referring to the animal's feet. > > I see the Spanish _tortuga_ is also from _tortu:ca_. >
I think it's "tartaruga" in Portuguese too. It made me wonder a lot when I discovered, a few miles from my home, a street called "Rue de la Raie tortue". I couldn't make anything out of that name ("une raie" is a ray-fish, and "tortue" is usually "tortoise", so it looked very much like a story from Lewis Carroll), until I discovered it actually meant, in an older state of French, "rue du sillon tordu", which means, if I can believe Google Translator, "Twisted Furrow Street" (if "furrow" really means the trace left by the plough in a field). Now we have completely lost this word, "tortu", we use "tordu" or "courbe" instead. And, oh well, we don't know any more what a plough is, neither. So, no ray-fish and no tortoise around, and nothing to do with Lewis Carroll. ===== Philippe Caquant Ceterum censeo *vi* esse oblitterandum (Me).