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Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:36 pm
by Dr. Goodword

• homage •

Pronunciation: (h)ah-mij, ah-mahzh Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. Formal acknowledgement of a vassal's allegiance to his feudal lord. 2. Special honor expressed publicly, something created in honor or celebration of someone.

Notes: Here is another word, like honor, honest, and the American pronunciation of herb (but not Herb), that begins with a silent H. Only one derivation has survived the ages, homager "a vassal; a worshiper, someone who is respectful".

In Play: We normally pay homage to men and women of importance: "Willy was quickly corrected when he bowed in homage to the president." However, we should withhold our homages except for men and women of significant accomplishment: "When Mike Angelo was caught painting graffiti on school walls, he declared he did it as an homage to Pablo Picasso."

Word History: Today's Good Word entered Middle English, apparently from Old French omne or homme "man". This word dribbled down from Latin homo, homin- "human being, man". Now, the Proto-Indo-European word dhghem-/dhghom- "person" emerged in Latin as both homo and humanus "human", borrowed by English (via French) as both human and humane. Homo is preserved today in French homme, Italian uomo, Portuguese homem, and Spanish hombre. English inherited the PIE word via its Germanic ancestors as guma "man". This word was influenced by groom "stable boy" between Old and Modern English. In Old English it was brydguma, but today we say bridegroom. (Let's just say "thank you" to our old friend Sue Gold of Westtown School in homage to her many, many Good Word suggestions like today's.)

Re: Homage

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:37 am
by David Myer
Really! A silent h! Well maybe in America but in England and Australia, the h is always pronounced and the emphasis is on the first syllable. The French word has been fully absorbed and anglicised. Even when Orwell wrote his Homage to Catalonia in what, the 30s? The American pronunciation is heard occasionally and dismissed as pretentiousness. Not quite the same with hermitage in the grape variety sense which is used either way here in Australia, but certainly the place where hermits live is a hermitage and not an hermitage (ermitaj). How goes hermitage in America?

Re: Homage

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:38 am
by call_copse
I raised an eyebrow at the erb pronunciation too. We always say the h in that in Blighty. :D

I might miss the off of Hermitage if in France attending such a place. In English speaking territory the H is always there.

Re: Homage

Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:29 pm
by LukeJavan8
Alway hear the 'h' in this neck of the woods.

Re: Homage

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:45 am
by bnjtokyo
Today, enophiles are well aware of the fact that "Hermitage" is not a grape variety but a wine producing region in the Rhone Valley. According to "Wines and Vineyards of France" (Larousse), the red wines of Hermitage are made entirely from the Syrah grape variety while white wines are made from the Roussanne and Marianne varieties.

Sometime about 1989, the Australians agreed to stop using French place names on their wines in exchange for access to the European market, and the use of "hermitage" as a synonym or alternate name for the Syrah grape variety should have ceased on wine labels and begun to fade out in vernacular conversations.

I suspect that most enophiles, being pretentious snobs, tend to omit the [h] when referring to the Hermitage appellation.

Re: Homage

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:51 pm
by David Myer
Thanks bnjtokyo. Of course. I hadn't thought it through properly. It's just that in my experience Hermitage wine is synonymous with Shiraz - which I think is the same thing as Syrah. It is easy to forget that it's really a place when it is used in that way. Just as we often forget that Sherry is a place too. Well, Jerez is. Sherry is just the anglicisation of it.

Talking about my experience with wine, I assure you that although my experience through consumption is pretty extensive, my experience thinking about it is limited.