Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: [conculture] Re: Greetings!

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 31, 1999, 20:19
FFlores wrote:
> does that > mean most English words beginning with sk- are Scandinavian > borrowings?
Right. Almost all sk- words are Scandinavian, and a number of sc-.=20 That's why there's so many sh-/sk-, sc- pairs like skirt/shirt and scatter/shatter. An interesting set of cognates is skill and shield, scale, shell. They come from Proto-Germanic *skel-, *skal-, meaning "divide, separate, split". Skill comes from the idea of "being able to make distinctions, wise", which came to mean the ability to do a certain task. Shield etymologically denotes "a flat piece of wood produced by splitting a log or board". Shell comes from the idea of "a covering that splits off or is peeled off". It's immediate Germanic ancestor was *skalj=F4. The word "scale" in the sense of a balance, comes from Old Norse sk=E1l, "bowl, drinking cup". Scale in the sense of what's on a fish comes from Old French escale, which came from proto-Germanic *skal=F4, derived from *skel-, *skal-. Scale in the sense of "gradations= " comes from Latin scala, ladder, and is completely unrelated. Other relatives of this productive base include "scalp", "school" (in the sense of school of fish), shale, shelter, and shoal. As for "shirt/skirt", both come from proto-Germanic *skurt, meaning "short" (ancestor of "short"), the idea being a "short" garment, one that stops at or just below the waist. Thus, the Anglo-Saxon is closest to the original meaning. --=20 "It's bad manners to talk about ropes in the house of a man whose father was hanged." - Irish proverb ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-name: NikTailor