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Dandruff

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Dandruff

Postby David Myer » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:02 pm

I can't find a plausible etymology for this one and it's such a lovely word. Can anyone throw any light on it?

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Re: Dandruff

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:41 pm

I too found the etymology pretty flaky. The last part traces to some form of scruffy or a similar word, and no one has a clue about the first. On a whim, I checked a couple other words: dandy and dandelion. The first seems somehow derived from Andrew ? And the second comes from Fr tooth of a lion. A wild guess might be that someone thought the flakes reminded them of teeth, thus scruffy teeth? I doubt it.
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Re: Dandruff

Postby David Myer » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:51 pm

Well, nice try! Another possibility is dend- as prefix meaning trees. But that perhaps is even more far-fetched. I wonder when it was first used?
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Re: Dandruff

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:39 am

From Etymonline:

dandruff (n.)
1540s, first element obscure, second element is Northumbrian or E. Anglian dialectal huff, hurf "scab," from O.N. hrufa, from P.Gmc. *hreufaz, source of O.E. hreofla "leper."

I am not sure what they mean by "first element". Perhaps it means the first syllable since "ruff" is what is being discussed.
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Re: Dandruff

Postby Slava » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:43 am

From what I've found, first use appears to be 1545.

The dand part is the "first element" and the unexplained one in most etymologies, so I'll go out on a limb and make up my own.

Words given as related include dandle, in a very old usage and related to German dändeln, which can mean "trifle." So I propose trifling scruff as a basic understanding of Dandruff. It's scruff, but not something you really need to worry about.
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Re: Dandruff

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:05 pm

Slava, that's highly contrary to all the ads I remember about forever losing any attraction to the opposite sex if you allowed the white stuff to pile in drifts on your shoulders! Far, far from trivial. Unless, of course, you buy the removal product. (I'm pret sure it's only dry skin flaking off.)
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Re: Dandruff

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:48 am

Some animals have dander and people are allergic to them. I do not need dander to make me allergic to pets as I loathe all cats and dogs. I think symbiotic relationships between mankind and animals is unnatural. I am sure I am in the minority among Americans, but worldwide, many people eat cats and dogs instead of petting them.

I don't want anyone to get her/his dander up because of my low regards for cats and dogs. They are the only domestic animals that I do not like. I had rather kiss a pig (one with lipstick on, of course).
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Re: Dandruff

Postby Slava » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:59 pm

Philip Hudson wrote:I think symbiotic relationships between mankind and animals is unnatural.
What is your understanding of "symbiotic"? I've always been told it meant two organisms living off each other, where neither can live without the other. It's also extremely natural, as it is found in nature. Animals and humans do not have such a relationship. Both can live without the other quite well.

Here is our Good Doctor's treatment of Symbiosis for reference.
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Re: Dandruff

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:14 am

The word symbiotic as I used it is too strong a relationship. I am at a loss to define the relationship of a person with an animal that is of no earthly use to her/him but as a "pet".
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Re: Dandruff

Postby David Myer » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:03 am

Mutually beneficial, perhaps? Not one word though and there probably is one.
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Re: Dandruff

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:48 am

Obviously this word is being re-done.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Dandruff

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:40 pm

Humans ar infinitely complicated, so it is difficult to pronounce why various folk become attached to pets. I know many men keep hunting dogs for their utility in finding game. (I also know they often spend more time hunting the dogs than the game!) Over time they become attached to the animals, often to one especially. Others simply enjoy their presence and affection, often treating them as children that don't grow up. They ascribe human-like understanding to them, talk to them, and feel they respond. Children especially seem to bond with their pets. Some pet lovers on the board may want to contribute.
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Re: Dandruff

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:50 pm

Well, dandruff aside, I have a small 20 lb mix: Cavalier King
Charles/ Chihuahua. I have her for companionship since
I live alone. I've always had dogs, and aside from the initial
training, really enjoy them. Especially after being away for
awhile, they treat you as if you've been gone months and may
only be a couple of hours. I love the loyalty and affection.
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