[TUHS] Boats (was: Slashes)

Johnny Billquist bqt at update.uu.se
Mon Jul 11 19:34:39 AEST 2016

On 2016-07-11 04:00, John Cowan <cowan at mercury.ccil.org> wrote:
 > Johnny Billquist scripsit:
>> > 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.
> Absolutely.
>> > What makes you say then that all the others borrowed it from
>> > English?
> Because when words change, they change according to common patterns
> specific to the language.  For example, a change between Old English (OE)
> and Modern English (ModE) is that long-a has become long-o.  Consequently,
> the descendants of OE bát, tá, ác are ModE boat, toe, oak.  In Scots,
> which is also descended from OE, this change did not operate, and long-a
> changed in the Great Vowel Shift along with long-a from other sources,
> giving the Older Scots words bait, tae, eik.  However, current Scots
> does not use bait, but rather boat, and we can see that because this
> breaks the pattern it must be a borrowing from English.

So the obvious question then becomes: Are you saying that Old English 
also borrowed the word from English?
(See http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=boat)

>> > (I assume you know why Port and Starboard are named that way...)
> OE steor 'steering oar, rudder' + bord 'side of a ship'.  Parallel
> formations gave us common Scandinavian styrbord from ON stjórnborði,
> similarly Dutch stuurbord, German Steuerbord.  Larboard, the other side,
> began life as Middle English ladde 'load' + bord, because it was the side
> you loaded a ship from, and was altered under the influence of starboard.
> Because the two were easily confused, port officially replaced it in the
> 19C, though it had been used in this meaning since the 16C.

Well, in Scandinavian the port side is called "babord", which comes from 
bare board, since that was the "clean" side, which you could dock on. No 
rudder to break... And it's from way before medieval times... But I'm 
pretty sure the term is from even before the Vikings were around.


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