Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:59 pm
A character Viet Thanh Nguyen's novel THE SYMPATHIZER is called "the Crapulent Major". The dictionaries I've consulted trace this rather ugly word to a Latin word for drunkenness. What is its lineage beyond this? How is it distinguishable from the Latin word linked to inebriation??
Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:55 pm
Dr Goodword has used "crapulence" as a Word of the Day three times now. Here's a link:
Here's the word history:
This funny word comes from Late Latin crapulentus "drunk", an adjective built up from the noun crapula "intoxication". The root of crapula is the same as that of Greek kraipale "hangover". It is totally unrelated to crap, which comes from the losing throw in the dice game called craps. This word was donated to English by the French speakers of Louisiana. The 'Cajun' French word was borrowed from English crabs, the original name of the dice game. Crab is related to crawl, an activity often accompanying crapulence from drinking. The nausea following immoderate indulgence in shooting craps comes from poverty and is also unrelated to crapulence.
"inebriate" has also been a Word of the Day. The link
Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:51 pm
Thanks for this very helpful reply. There is some evidence, however, that "crap" is an eponym referring to Thomas Crapper, who headed a plumbing firm in England and whose name was printed on flush toilets before the first world war. The story goes that American soldiers in England at that time saw the name and took to calling toilets "crappers" and brought the word back to the US. Any opinion on this? Also I'm still not clear on the origin of the Greek word for hangover. Is it possible to trace it to other languages and ultimately to PIE?
Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:17 am
The Etymonline etymological dictionary linked to the alphaDictionary rejects the Thomas Crapper story as a folk etymology. Here's a link
And Dr Goodword doesn't include it in his list of eponyms.
http://www.alphadictionary.com/articles ... ist_c.html
But then Dr Goodword doesn't much like to spend his time on such (well I am tempted, but I won't).