hum (noun)
Posted: 24 March 2013 07:40 AM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  1452
Joined  2007-01-29

The sense I’m interested in is in OED hum n.4. 

Etymology:  Croatian, = hill.

Physical Geogr.

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A small, usually conical, hill characteristic of karst topography.

1921 Geogr. Rev. 11 602 (caption) General view of a polje strewn with hums.

OED gives no indication how or when the Croation word first appeared in English.  Can anyone help?  There are Hum- names for streams and small geographical areas in the north east of England, which made me wonder if these two senses of hum- are related or from different sources? The English names predate 1921, possibly by centuries.

Posted: 24 March 2013 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Joined  2007-01-03

Different words.

The English river name is indeed centuries old. Bede records it in his Historia Ecclesiastica, which may be the earliest citation of the name, although I’m not certain of that. Mills’s Dictionary of English Place Names says, “an ancient pre-English river-name of uncertain origin and meaning which occurs elsewhere in England” [i.e., outside of Humberside]. Not satisfying, but it is what it is.

The Croatian word appears to be have been imported into the language by geologists studying the topography of Croatia and Slovenia, and then applied to similar topography elsewhere.

Posted: 24 March 2013 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  237
Joined  2007-02-23

For “hummock” EOL says of obscure origin. Hum to hummock is too obvious, isn’t it?

Posted: 24 March 2013 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Total Posts:  650
Joined  2011-04-10

The following may be of interest.

From English Etymology, by George William Lemon, 1783, (unknown page number):





[ Edited: 24 March 2013 12:03 PM by sobiest ]
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