audio word-a-day

A discussion of word histories and origins.
podictionary
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audio word-a-day

Postby podictionary » Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:56 am

For some months now I have been producing an audio word a day. While it's popularity is growing, I find that many people aren't equipped to get each episode by podcast or RSS.

That's why I have begun an email notification list.

People who don't know or care what podcasting or RSS are, can download and listen to each 2 or 3 minute episode.
Charles Hodgson

anders
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Re: audio word-a-day

Postby anders » Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:42 pm

podictionary wrote:Today's word is "ciao", brought to English by Ernest Hemmingway from Italian where it originally meant "slave."

I never thought of it, but it's no surprise if it's true. A very common greeting in Germany-Austria-Hungary is Servus/Szervusz, and it's of course 'slave' (or maybe 'servant'). A Swedish corresponding salutation is Tjänare, 'servant', nowadays abbreviated into incomprehensibility: Tja.
Irren ist männlich

Huia Iesou
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Postby Huia Iesou » Sun Mar 12, 2006 2:25 pm

I know that servus is the Latin word for servant, but could it be a bastardized form of the verb servare, to save or guard? Perhaps in that instance it once meant something like 'May God keep you'.

anders
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Postby anders » Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:34 am

I don't believe in the guard theory. In Latin as well as in Swedish, there are more complete phrases, like (in old Swedish) "(I am) your most humble servant".
Irren ist männlich

Huia Iesou
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Postby Huia Iesou » Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:40 pm

That works better. Sorry- it was a crackpot spur-of-the-moment theory here.

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tcward
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Re: audio word-a-day

Postby tcward » Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:45 pm

anders wrote:A Swedish corresponding salutation is Tjänare, 'servant', nowadays abbreviated into incomprehensibility: Tja.


...and, unfortunately, not related to English "ta ta". It would have made a great story, but apparently English has been using "ta" for quite some time!

ta
1772, "natural infantile sound of gratitude" [Weekley].


-Tim

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Stargzer
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Re: audio word-a-day

Postby Stargzer » Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:39 pm

podictionary wrote: . . .
Today's word is "ciao", brought to English by Ernest Hemmingway from Italian where it originally meant "slave." For more information please visit www.podictionary.com


The modern word for "slave" in Italian is schiavo, pronounced skee-ah-voh as near as I can make out.

Where are the native Italian speakers when you need them? :)
Regards//Larry

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Brazilian dude
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Postby Brazilian dude » Mon Mar 13, 2006 9:20 pm

If I'm not mistaken, ciao is Venetian.

Brazilian dude
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