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mascara

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mascara

Postby sugarmelter » Wed Jan 25, 2006 11:52 am

i think about this word every morning when i do my eyes. mascara. obviously it sounds like mask but I did a little online research and found this:

"Actually, mascara `eyelash darkener,' which entered English in around 1890 in the form mascaro, comes from Spanish mascara `soot, stain, mask,' from the same source as Italian maschera `mask.' English mask comes from maschera, as well. The source of the Italian form is, ultimately, Arabic maskhara `buffoon,' from sakhira `to ridicule.'"

what intrigued me was the relation to the arabic maskhara, meaning buffoon. That seems odd, what's up with that?

- christine
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Postby Apoclima » Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:46 pm

A buffoon can be a type of clown and most clowns (or jesters) use some kind of make-up (or mask). I think that is probably the connection.

Semantic drift

Apo
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
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Postby sugarmelter » Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:40 pm

hrm. that could work. interesting evolution, none the less.
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