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Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:50 am
by kate
Hello it is Kate here!

I have decided to join this forum as I found it interesting as I began to read it after stumbling across it when looking for something else,I hope you don't mind! :)

The English language and etymology have always been of great interest to myself for as long as I can remember infact so long that,I can remember being very very young,sitting alone on top of my bed and wondering why 'The sharp white things in my mouth were called teeth'! :oops:

I would be grateful if somebody could in someway give me an explanation of some sort as I have scoured most related books and tryed the net but to no avail! :?

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:25 am
by Brazilian dude
Why it's tooth, teeth and not tooth, tooths is explained by the Umlaut rule, according to which a vowel changes in some situations, as here (singular - plural) and in verb tenses, as in swim, swam, swum. Why it's called tooth and not crubelang is explained etymologically, I think it goes back to some kind of PIE root that I'm sure somebody else will be able to explain much better than I. I can only point out that cognate words exist in all (?) Indo-European languages, cf. Latin dens, dentis, Portuguese/Italian dente, Spanish diente, French/Catalan dent, Romanian dinte, German Zahn, Dutch/Swedish tand, Modern Greek δόντι (transliterated donti, but pronounced thondi, voiced th), Russian зуб (transliterated zub, but pronounced zup), Polish ząb, Czech zub and Macedonian zab.

Brazilian dude

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:49 pm
by Grogie
Welcome Kate. Hopefully you,ll be with us for a long time.

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:55 am
by Apoclima
Hey, Kate! Spell it out for us when you can!



Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:14 am
by Stargzer
Welcome, Kate! We don't mind your joining us at all; we're always looking for more AlphaAgorans. We come from all over. Some of us are hopeless monolinguals, others are bi-, tri-, and other forms of polylingual (I'll bet Henri probably could speak to a parrot and have it understand him. . . )

A quick look at the etymology for tooth in the Online Etymology Dictionary shows roots going back to PIE (Proto-Indo-European) roots, but also shows an Old Frisian word:

O.E. toð (plural teð), from P.Gmc. *tanth, *tunth (cf. O.S., Dan., Swed., Du. tand, O.N. tönn, O.Fris. toth, O.H.G. zand, Ger. Zahn, Goth. tunþus), from PIE *dont-/*dent- "tooth" (cf. Skt. danta, Gk. odontos, L. dens, Lith. dantis, O.Ir. det, Welsh dent). Application to tooth-like parts of other objects (saws, combs, etc.) first recorded 1523. Toothache is attested from 1377. Toothbrush is first recorded 1651; toothpaste first attested 1832; toothpick is from 1488. Toothsome "pleasant to the taste" is c.1565; the fig. sense of "attractive" (1551) is a bit older.

I'm not exactly sure how toth comes down from the PIE *dont-/*dent. I'm sure the professionals have an explanation somewhere. :wink:

According to this Wikipedia article, Frisian is one of the closest relatives to English, and Old Frisian was very close to Old English. My guess is that that's probably when tooth entered our vocabulary.

Also notice the Old English spelling: toð (plural teð). The character ð, eth, is pronounced like the "th" in "them," that is, it is voiced, unlike the character þ, thorn, which can be either unvoiced as in "thick" or voiced as in "the."

Stick around, Kate; I think you'll like it here.

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:43 am
by kate
Cheers for the warm welcome although I must warn you all that I am in no way intellectual :oops: but I am very interested!!! :)

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:21 pm
by Grogie
Don,t worry Kate. I,m not intellectual in the least either but, like you, very interested in the English language.

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:21 pm
by Brazilian dude
I don't know if this helps, but there you go.

Etymology: From the past participle ("edentatus") Latin edentare "to knock out the teeth." Latin dens, dentis "tooth" is akin to Sanskrit "dantas," Greek "odous," Gothic "tunthus," German "Zahn," and English "tooth," which seems to have lost the "n" somewhere along the way. The original PIE word was the present participle of *ed- "eat, bite": *ed-ent = "biting, biter." For a bigger slice of PIE, read "How is a Hippo like a Feather?" in our library. (Our thanks to Albert Schofield for putting a little bite in the Word of the Day with this toothy word meaning "toothless.")

Brazilian dude

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 5:57 pm
by kate
Thanks for the reply.

When you mentioned Hippos it brought to mind something which I had read recently, The word is 'hippophobia' which apparently is a fear of horses,intriguing or what????? :? :)

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:28 pm
by Stargzer
kate wrote:Thanks for the reply.

When you mentioned Hippos it brought to mind something which I had read recently, The word is 'hippophobia' which apparently is a fear of horses,intriguing or what????? :? :)

Read How is a Hippo like a Feather? to see why . . . and then prowl some of the other articles in Dr. Goodword's reference shelf! There's more to this site than meets the eye . . . :wink:

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:19 am
by kate
After reading that well what can i say but exellent,absolutely fantastic,cracking website and I'm so glad that I stumbled across it and decided to join.

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:36 pm
by LukeJavan8
'05-'06 apocalypse.
I guess we need some new topics so these disappear
onto the next page.