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Serendipity

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Serendipity

Postby Flaminius » Sun Mar 20, 2005 10:31 am

According to www.m-w.com,
Main Entry: ser·en·dip·i·ty
Pronunciation: -'di-p&-tE
Function: noun
Etymology: from its possession by the heroes of the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip
: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for


Is Serendip etymologically relatated to Sri Lanka?
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Postby tcward » Sun Mar 20, 2005 11:00 am

Great word, Flam!

But I'm confused, how would Serendip be linked to Sri Lanka? I'm afraid my ignorance might be showing again.

-Tim
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Postby M. Henri Day » Sun Mar 20, 2005 3:47 pm

Tim, the island of Serendip/Serendib is one of the names by which the land now known as Sri Lanka (long before the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the English came, and still longer before the conflict between ethnic Sinhalese and ethnic Tamils exploded in the typical and most unserendipitous orgy of internecine violence). Here's a link you might find of interest in this connexion....

Henri

PS : I doubt any etymological relationship between the words «Serendip/Serendib» and «Sri Lanka», which later is a modern name for the island - but I'm always willing to be surprised !...
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby anders » Sun Mar 20, 2005 4:31 pm

Surpriiiise!

According to Hobson-Jobson, 'Serendîb' is the Arabic form of the name of Ceylon in the earlier Middle Ages. http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/ddsa/g ... son/IMAGE/
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Postby M. Henri Day » Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:36 pm

Fascinating reading, Anders ; thanks for the link ! But while there the Arabic «Serendib» is considered to be a modification of some variation(s) of «Sinhala» (thus «Sinhalese/Singhalese» for the ethnic majority residing on the island), nothing is said about any relation between the former and the present name of the island, «Sri Lanka». But perhaps my understanding of Tim's question was too narrow - I thought he was inquiring about a possible etymological relationship between the two words. If the question was rather how the name «Serendip/Serendib» got attached to the island, then your source (with the caveat «probably» and no closer details) does provide an explanation....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby anders » Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:59 am

The Sri is a honorific.

Lãkâ (the 2nd a with a macron did'nt work), Name of the chief town in Ceylon or of the whole island. It occurs in the Mahabharata and the Rigveda. From M. M.-Williams' Sanskrit dictionary.
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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:02 am

Besides refering to a place (places), does «Lãkâ» have any semantic signifiance ?...

Henri
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Postby anders » Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:09 pm

Meanings like 'an unchaste woman', 'a branch', 'a kind of grain' are found in in native lexicons, but have "not yet been met with in any published text."
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Postby M. Henri Day » Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:34 am

Reading Anders' reply, I was reminded of an exchange from the classic comedy The Moon is Blue, in which the heroine, asked by her landlady if she was chaste, replied something to the effect that o yes, she had been chased all over the room by her male visitor. The memory is more than half a century old, so I can't vouch for its accuracy, but the film was, as I recall it, hilarious....

Henri
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Postby Stargzer » Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:56 pm

Henri,

I ran across this post following the "Voila" link for Serendip:

M. Henri Day wrote:Reading Anders' reply, I was reminded of an exchange from the classic comedy The Moon is Blue, in which the heroine, asked by her landlady if she was chaste, replied something to the effect that o yes, she had been chased all over the room by her male visitor. The memory is more than half a century old, so I can't vouch for its accuracy, but the film was, as I recall it, hilarious....

Henri


With both William Holden and David Niven, I'll bet it was a good movie. I'll have to look for this one on Turner Classic Movies; I was a tad young when it first came out. :)

Plot Outline:
Two aging playboys are both after the same attractive young woman, but she fends them off by claiming that she plans to remain a virgin until her wedding night. Both men determine to find a way around her objections.


Memorable Quotes from The Moon Is Blue:
Patty O'Neill: I'm not being bossy. It's the mother instinct.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Patty O'Neill: I've cured more hangovers than you could shake a stick at.
David Slater: Never shake a stick at a hangover.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
David Slater: Don't you find I have a certain weird charm?


Trivia for The Moon Is Blue (1953)
First post-Hayes mainstream Hollywood film to use the word "virgin," after a battle with the official and unofficial censors. Also the first use of "seduce" and "mistress" (as a sexual partner).


Banned in Boston due to its "sexual explicitness" (and is thus the origin of the American slang phrase "banned in Boston" to refer to anything that might offend public sensibilities).
Regards//Larry

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