[TUHS] Boats (was: Slashes)

Johnny Billquist bqt at update.uu.se
Sun Jul 10 22:04:38 AEST 2016

On 2016-07-10 02:52, John Cowan <cowan at mercury.ccil.org> wrote:
>  Steffen Nurpmeso scripsit:
>> > "Die Segel streichen" (Taking in the sails),
> "Striking the sails" in technical English.  All the nations around the
> North and Baltic Seas exchanged their vocabularies like diseases, and if
> we didn't have records of their earlier histories, we would know they
> were related but we'd never figure out exactly how.  For example, it
> can be shown that French bateau, German Boot, common Scandinavian båt,
> Irish bád, Scottish Gaelic bàta, Scots boat, and the equivalents in
> the various Frisian languages are none of them original native words:
> they all were borrowed from English boat.

Uh. I'm no language expert, but that seems rather stretched. English 
comes from Old English, which have a lot more in common with 
Scandinavian languages, and they are all Germanic languages. Which means 
they all share a common root.

What makes you say then that all the others borrowed it from English? I 
would guess/suspect that the term is older than English itself, and the 
similarity of the word in the different languages comes from the fact 
that it's old enough to have been around when all these languages were 
closer to the roots and each other. Boats have been around for much 
longer than the English language so I would suspect some term for them 
have been around for a long time too...

If you ask me, you all got most terms from the Vikings anyway, who were 
the first good seafarers... :-)
(I assume you know why Port and Starboard are named that way...)


Johnny Billquist                  || "I'm on a bus
                                   ||  on a psychedelic trip
email: bqt at softjar.se             ||  Reading murder books
pdp is alive!                     ||  tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

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