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Dandruff

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:02 pm
by David Myer
I can't find a plausible etymology for this one and it's such a lovely word. Can anyone throw any light on it?

david

Re: Dandruff

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:41 pm
by Perry Lassiter
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.

Re: Dandruff

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:51 pm
by David Myer
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?

Re: Dandruff

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:39 am
by Philip Hudson
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.

Re: Dandruff

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:43 am
by Slava
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.

Re: Dandruff

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:05 pm
by Perry Lassiter
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.)

Re: Dandruff

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:48 am
by Philip Hudson
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).

Re: Dandruff

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:59 pm
by Slava
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.

Re: Dandruff

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:14 am
by Philip Hudson
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".

Re: Dandruff

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:03 am
by David Myer
Mutually beneficial, perhaps? Not one word though and there probably is one.

Re: Dandruff

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:48 am
by LukeJavan8
Obviously this word is being re-done.

Re: Dandruff

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:40 pm
by Perry Lassiter
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.

Re: Dandruff

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:50 pm
by LukeJavan8
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.