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Mushroom
Posted: 02 August 2012 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]
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does anyone know the origin of the word mushroom.
I have heard 3 theories 1. Mush is a slang word for umbrella and some mushrooms have an umbrella shape. 2. Moss. some mushrooms grow near moss ( Moss Raum from German ) 3. Mousseron a type of mushroom with a fench name.
Can anyone help ?

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Posted: 02 August 2012 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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attested 1327 as a surname, John Mussheron

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Posted: 02 August 2012 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Here’s the OED entry:

< Anglo-Norman muserun, muscheroun, musheroun, musherum, musscherom, musseron, mussherum, mosheron, Middle French mouceron (c1190 in Old French in form mosseron , compare also musserun (13th cent.), earlier in Franco-Occitan in form moisserun (c1180 in Girart de Roussillon; compare Old French moisseron (c1225)); Middle French, French mousseron (1532 in Middle French; compare mousseron n.)) < an unattested post-classical Latin *mussarion- , *mussario (compare musarion- , musario and mussirion- , mussirio (both 6th cent., although perhaps later: the MSS in which the forms are attested are 11th cent.)), of unknown origin. The Franco-Occitan and Middle French palatalized forms in moiss- (which in turn give rise to forms in /ʃ/ : compare Anglo-Norman forms cited above, and also Occitan mocharnon , Catalan moixernó (1762)) have not been satisfactorily explained (see Französisches Etymol. Wörterbuch at *mussario; and for an alternative theory see J. Coromines Diccionari Etimològic i Complementari de la Llengua Catalana (1985) at moixernó). Compare also Old Occitan molsairó (14th cent.), apparently showing the influence of Old Occitan molsa moss n.

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Posted: 02 August 2012 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The OED is of course the gold standard, but most people don’t have access to it, so for future reference the Online Etymology Dictionary is a very reliable source.  Here’s what they have to say about ”mushroom”:

mid-15c., muscheron, musseroun (attested 1327 as a surname, John Mussheron), from Anglo-Fr. musherun, O.Fr. meisseron (11c., Mod.Fr. mousseron), perhaps from L.L. mussirionem (nom. mussirio), though this might as well be borrowed from French. Barnhart says “of uncertain origin.” Klein calls it “a word of pre-Latin origin, used in the North of France;” OED says it usually is held to be a derivative of Fr. mousse “moss” (from Germanic), and Weekley agrees, saying it is properly “applied to variety which grows in moss,” but Klein says they have “nothing in common.” For the final -m Weekley refers to grogram, vellum, venom. Modern spelling is from 1560s.

Used figuratively for something or someone that makes a sudden appearance in full form from 1590s. In reference to the shape of clouds after explosions, etc., it is attested from 1916, though the actual phrase mushroom cloud does not appear until 1955.

(Their reference to the OED is to an earlier edition.) As you can see, your #3 is basically correct.

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Posted: 02 August 2012 11:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I’m tempted to say “languagehat, languagehat, languagehat”.

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Posted: 03 August 2012 12:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Some (I hope not all) posters will doubtless be familiar with the story of the cherished little daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frog, who went into the forest to gather mushrooms. When she did not return after a considerable interval, the worried parents went in search of her --- and eventually found her in a quiet glade, happily absorbed in examining a toadstool.

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Posted: 03 August 2012 01:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Interesting that the name “mushroom” should be so shrouded in uncertainty. The Spanish word seta, applicable to any fungus (edible or not) with stem and cap, is also—according to the RAE—of uncertain etymology.

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Posted: 03 August 2012 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’m tempted to say “languagehat, languagehat, languagehat”.

If you mean I was ignoring droogie’s link, I wasn’t; I didn’t think it was very helpful to provide a random fact from the entry while linking to it, since there was a good chance dean wouldn’t bother to click through, so I thought I’d be more explicit (and, I hope, helpful).

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Posted: 04 August 2012 02:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Some (I hope not all) posters will doubtless be familiar with the story of the cherished little daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frog, who went into the forest to gather mushrooms. When she did not return after a considerable interval, the worried parents went in search of her --- and eventually found her in a quiet glade, happily absorbed in examining a toadstool.
---

I don’t get it

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Posted: 04 August 2012 02:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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You never know what you will find. This is the first English citation for mushroom in the OED. (There’s an earlier Anglo-Norman one.):

1440 Promp. Parv. (Harl. 221) 349 Muscheron, toodys hatte, boletus, fungus.

Toad’s hat. That’s interesting. I can’t find any reference to that term elsewhere. Somewhere along the line the metaphor flipped from hat to stool.

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Posted: 04 August 2012 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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It was stool before it was hat, unless the two co-existed in dialect form.  As you say, though, there’s no earlier reference to hat:
OED:

1398 J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomew de Glanville De Proprietatibus Rerum xvi. xxxi. (Tollem. MS.) , It setteþ drye tadstoles a fyre.

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Posted: 05 August 2012 02:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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OP Tipping - 04 August 2012 02:41 AM

Some (I hope not all) posters will doubtless be familiar with the story of the cherished little daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frog, who went into the forest to gather mushrooms. When she did not return after a considerable interval, the worried parents went in search of her --- and eventually found her in a quiet glade, happily absorbed in examining a toadstool.
---

I don’t get it

OP - it was less a toadstool she was examining, more a Phallus impudicus. Although in the version I heard, she wasn’t examining it, but sitting on it.

[ Edited: 05 August 2012 02:02 AM by Zythophile ]
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Posted: 05 August 2012 06:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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she wasn’t examining it, but sitting on it.

one thing at a time, Zythophile. You and I simply hit different moments in the time sequence.

...."it shall follow as the night the day”.....

;-)

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Posted: 05 August 2012 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Speculation: would the joke be as funny if two women had been discussing it?

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Posted: 05 August 2012 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Is tool used as a slang term for the penis in Australia, OP?

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Posted: 07 August 2012 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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FMRACMRA ... pardon me, I should have got that.

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