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Words from Indian

A discussion of the peculiarities of languages and the differences between them.

Words from Indian

Postby Slava » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:08 am

Courtesy of the Beeb:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18796493

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Postby bnjtokyo » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:39 am

In contrast to the article, the etymological dictionary linked to this site states that root of the word "chili" is the Nahuatl word "xilli" and that the plant is "not named for the South American country"

According to Wikipedia, the country takes its name from Quechua "chin" meaning "cold" and "tchili" meaning "snow." So Chile is chilly (the English word is unrelated of course). In Chile, the plant is known as "aji," from Taino, the people who inhabited the Caribbean when Columbus arrived.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:06 am

Remember that Hindi and the older Sanskrit are PIE languages. Gymkhana, discussed in the BBC article referenced by Slava, is said not to be PIE. Strange coincidence that gymnasium, a PIE word through Greek, is also associated with athletics. Maybe there is a relationship of which the writers are unaware.

One of my favorite words of Indian origin is teapoy. Since it is frequently a table from which tea is served, one might think the first syllable refers to the beverage. Not so. It comes totally from PIE and means three feet, or a table with three legs.
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