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Q-tip

A discussion of word histories and origins.

Q-tip

Postby Brazilian dude » Sat Dec 31, 2005 12:07 am

Does anybody know why a Q-tip (also known as cotton bud/cotton swab) is called Q-tip?

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Postby KatyBr » Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:11 am

why not call it a q-tip? \
The real reason?
It looks like a Q. the top part anyway.

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Postby Brazilian dude » Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:25 am

I don't see it.

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Postby KatyBr » Sat Dec 31, 2005 11:46 am

Brazilian dude wrote:I don't see it.

Brazilian dude

OK

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Postby anders » Sun Jan 01, 2006 5:55 pm

Could be because the tips look like cute catkins.

The Q might also be short for 'cotton' in Arabic: quTn قُطْن
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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:27 pm

According to the Wikipedia entry,

The "Q" in the name stands for quality.


Now they tell us !...

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Postby Stargzer » Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:29 pm

And furthermore, thanks to the link in the Wikipedia article from Henri . . .
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Postby gailr » Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:28 pm

2003 Q-tips Cotton Swabs remains the market leader and continually searches for new and improved opportunities to serve consumers. The company launched the first official Web site www.qtips.com.
I, for one, will be sleeping better tonight! Thanks, Larry.
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Postby Stargzer » Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:57 am

Thank Henri. The link was on the Wikipedia page he posted.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:40 am

Thank you, guys.

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Postby Flaminius » Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:56 am

anders wrote:Could be because the tips look like cute catkins.

The Q might also be short for 'cotton' in Arabic: quTn قُطْن


I am just wondering if Hebrew qaTan (small) is merely a coincidence? Cotton in that language, by the way, is named periphrastically; tsemer gefen (vine wool).
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Postby anders » Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:21 pm

The qTn roots seem to be mutually exclusive in meaning. Ugaritic qTn is only 'small', Arabic qTn has a root meaning like 'to live, dwell, reside', but most derivatives mean cotton or other plants; none like 'small'.
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Postby tcward » Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:06 pm

anders wrote:The qTn roots seem to be mutually exclusive in meaning. Ugaritic qTn is only 'small', Arabic qTn has a root meaning like 'to live, dwell, reside', but most derivatives mean cotton or other plants; none like 'small'.


So would Arabic refer to Mistletoe as qTn, as well?

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Postby anders » Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:41 pm

No. qTn plants include quTniiya 'pulse, legumes', quTaaniiya 'maize', yaqTiin 'a variety of squash'.
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Postby Flaminius » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:32 pm

I couldn't drop the idea and checked [url=http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/cotton[/url](2000).

qTn
To be(come) thin, fine, small.
COTTON, from Arabic quTn, quTun, cotton, perhaps akin to Akkadian qataanu, to be(come) thin, fine (of textiles), or perhaps borrowed from an unknown source.


Heritage is sounding unusually diffident here. Now I really drop the idea.

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