August 11, 2007

Etymology as poetry

Before the cold-soup season is over, you should swing by Language Hat's place to check out (or contribute to) the most interesting blog topic of the week: research into the origin of the word gazpacho. "The etymology", as Hat quotes Holt and Barbara explaining, "is wonderful".

In particular, I hope that you're as happy as I am to learn that the two leading scholarly candidates for the source are Spanish caspicias "remainders, worthless things" (suggested by the American Heritage Dictionary), and Greek γαζοφυλάκιον (gaza-phulakion) "treasure-guarder, treasure house" (suggested by the Real Academia Española's Diccionario de la lengua española), and that telling philological objections have been registered against both proposals.

Posted by Mark Liberman at August 11, 2007 08:30 AM