Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891

Lettres

Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

Every Good Boy Deserves Laudanum

Penned upon the 6th of October, 2009

Fellow logophiles will no doubt be cognisant of the fascinating blend of Romance and Germanic language inherent in modern English. We’ll freely use words from both to describe the same thing – a large, behorned animal may be a Latin beef or a German cow, for instance! Even our system of time has a little bit of everywhere in it. Many of our days are Norse gods, for instance – Tyr’s Day, Woden’s Day, Thor’s Day. Likewise, some of our months are Roman deities – Janus, Mars, Juno.

By the same taken, the later months of the year are taken from the Egyptian pantheon. September, for instance, comes from the trinitarian Egyptian god of the seasons – a Middle Kingdom period amalgamation of Sep, god of harvest; Tem, god of building and prayer; and Ber, god of planting. As you may know, most Egyptian script did not include vowels; transliterations, therefore, typically insert vowels according to the destination language’s own structure. In French, Sep-Tem-Ber becomes “Septembre,” pronounced “Sop-tom-brie” – you know, like the cheese.

An important proviso: unlike recent, completely true posts such as the account of Spring-Heeled Jack, this post is about 50% lies.


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