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VACCINATE

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VACCINATE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Feb 24, 2005 12:22 am

• vaccinate •

Pronunciation: vak-sê-neyt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Transitive verb

Meaning: To inject an antigen, such as a dead bacteria or a mild virus, into someone to create antibodies that will protect the vacinee from disease caused by the antigen. The antigen, together with its liquid medium, is called a vaccine.

Notes: This word is interesting on two accounts: its etymology (see below) and the fact that it contains two back-to-back Cs pronounced differently, one hard, one soft. (Occipital and accident are two others.) The verb comes from the noun vaccine and it is the progenitor of a large family itself: vaccinator "someone who vaccinates", vaccinee "someone who is vaccinated", vaccinatory "related to vaccination", and vaccinable "susceptible to vaccination", as a vaccinable disease.

In Play: Today's Good Word is a delayed reaction to the flu vaccine shortage in the US this year: "I stood in line a half hour to get vaccinated for the flu only to discover the line was for Botox treatments." However, since vaccination is a kind of protection against unpleasantness, we find plenty of room for metaphoric leaps: "I wish I could get vaccinated against Phil Anders's sexist remarks; they still rankle me."

Word History: Today's verb is derived from vaccine, which comes from Latin vaccinus "of cows" from vacca "cow" (vache today in French). Apparently, Latin developed its own word for "cow' from vagire "to bellow". Virtually all other Indo-European languages used the original root *gau-, such as Hindi gAya, Serbian krava, German Kuh, English cow. But why cows and vaccination? The word was coined by Edward Jenner, when he discovered that anyone injected with the virus of the mild disease, cowpox (Latin vaccinia), obtained from cows, developed an immunity against the much more virulent smallpox. As vaccinations for more and more diseases were discovered, the application of Jenner's term was simply expanded.
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Postby anders » Sun Feb 27, 2005 7:15 am

But why berries and Vaccinium?

Vaccinium members include blueberry/bilberry, cranberry, huckleberry ... Already Vergil used the word.
S. P. Vander Kloet, "On the Etymology of Vaccinium L.," Rhodora 94 (1992) 371-3.
Vander Kloet argues against the derivation of vaccinium (Ecl. 2.18.50; 10.39) from vacinthus and supports baccinium ("berry").


http://www.bartleby.com/61/69/C0706900.html discusses what is lingon in Swedish, and agrees that the baccinium theory is a possibility.
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Re: VACCINATE

Postby Stargzer » Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:43 am

Dr. Goodword wrote:• vaccinate •
. . .
Word History: Today's verb is derived from vaccine, which comes from Latin vaccinus "of cows" from vacca "cow" (vache today in French). . . .


In Spanish, the cow is la vaca, which turns up in Cuernavaca, the capital and the largest city of the state of Morelos in Mexico:
The original Indian name for the city was Cuauhnáhuac, which means "at the edge of the forest", and the city's symbol today is an Indian pictogram of a tree talking. When the conquistadores arrived from Spain, they had trouble pronouncing the word Cuauhnáhuac and changed it to Cuernavaca, meaning "cow's horn".


Sic semper conquistadores! :wink:

There are many Spanish Immersion schools in Cuernavaca, and students can make arrangements to live in a home with a Mexican family for a true immersion experience. When my daughter went, she said all the students wanted to speak Spanish to improve their grasp of the language, but all the families they stayed with wanted to speak English to improve their understanding or our language.
Regards//Larry

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Postby Stargzer » Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:52 am

anders wrote:But why berries and Vaccinium?

Vaccinium members include blueberry/bilberry, cranberry, huckleberry ... . . .

http://www.bartleby.com/61/69/C0706900.html discusses what is lingon in Swedish, and agrees that the baccinium theory is a possibility.


I've had the lingonberries at the cafeteria at IKEA and liked them. During WWII, in England, pilots were served bilberry jam with their toast to help improve their night vision. And as for blueberry pancakes . . . well, if you don't like blueberry pancakes, there is no hope for you! :D
Regards//Larry

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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:07 pm

Lest we forget that Portuguese has also vaca, Romanian vacă and Italian vacca (alongside mucca).

Brazilian bovine
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