Viewing the local antiquities

The roots of carnival 

I've always loved my Indo-European roots, and it's a nice little plum that "screw" and "carnival" come from the same place in the deep structure of our language. Some etymological true facts from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English language:

ENTRY: sker-1 DEFINITION: Also ker-. To cut. Derivatives include shears, scabbard, skirmish, carnage, sharp, scrape, and screw. I. Basic form *sker-, *ker-. 1a. shear, from Old English scieran, sceran, to cut; b. sheer1, from Low German scheren, to move to and fro, and Dutch scheren, to withdraw, depart. Both a and b from Germanic *skeran. 2a. share2, from Old English scar, plowshare; b. share1, from Old English scearu, scaru, portion, division (but recorded only in the sense of “fork of the body,” “tonsure”). Both a and b from Germanic *skeraz. 3a. shear, from Old English scar, scissors, from Germanic *skr- and *sker-ez-; b. compound *skr-berg-, “sword protector,” scabbard (*berg-, protector; see bhergh-1). scabbard, from Old French escauberc, scabbard, possibly from a Germanic source akin to Old High German scarberc, scabbard. Both a and b from Germanic *skr-. 4. score, from Old Norse skor, notch, tally, twenty, from Germanic *skur-. 5. scar2, skerry, from Old Norse sker, low reef (< “something cut off”), from Germanic suffixed form *skar-jam. 6. Suffixed o-grade extended form *skorp-o-. scarf2, from Old Norse skarfr, diagonally-cut end of a board, from Germanic *skarfaz. 7. Suffixed o-grade extended form *skord-o-. shard, from Old English sceard, a cut, notch, from Germanic *skardaz. 8. Extended form *skerd- in suffixed zero-grade form *skd-o-. a. short, from Old English scort, sceort, “cut,” short; b. shirt, from Old English scyrte, skirt (< “cut piece”); c. skirt, from Old Norse skyrta, shirt. a–c all from Germanic *skurtaz. 9a. scaramouch, scrimmage, skirmish, from Old French eskermir, to fight with a sword, fence, and Old Italian scaramuccia, skirmish, from a source akin to Old High German skirmen, to protect; b. screen, from Middle Dutch scherm, shield. Both a and b from Germanic extended form *skerm-. 10. Variant form *kar-. carnage, carnal, carnassial, carnation, carnival, carrion, caruncle, charnel, crone; carnivorous, charcuterie, incarnate, from Latin car (stem carn-), flesh. 11. Suffixed o-grade form *kor-yo-. coriaceous, corium, cuirass, currier; excoriate, from Latin corium, leather (originally “piece of hide”). 12. Suffixed zero-grade form *k-to-. curt, curtal, kirtle, from Latin curtus, short. 13. Suffixed o-grade form *kor-mo-. corm, from Greek kormos, a trimmed tree trunk. 14. Suffixed o-grade form *kor-i-. coreopsis, from Greek koris, bedbug (< “cutter”). 15. Suffixed zero-grade form *sk--. shore1, from Old English scora, shore, from Germanic *skur-.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that Heroine Girl has organized a carnival, and we're pleased to be part of her krewe. Next week, the carnival will have moved on to A New York Escorts Confessions. The dogs bark...


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I like "carnal...carnival...crone". Yesss.

DTG xxoo

By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 01, 2005 4:36 AM  

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