kos: and words for food in other languages
Posted: 16 July 2013 09:47 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I mentioned this in the “Hist” thread but thought it would sit better on its own.  “Food” is derived from Old Saxon fôdean as are the Dutch and Afrikaans words voedsel meaning food type in Afrikaans.  As mentioned in the earlier thread, there is a more common Afrikaans word for food, “kos”.  Does anyone know what its origin is?  Is it related to “cheese” via Latin caesus? And how did it make its journey to Afrikaans? Does “Kos” have Dutch cognates?

Apart from English dialect words, are there words in other languages for the word “food” that appear unrelated to anything else?

[ Edited: 16 July 2013 09:52 PM by ElizaD ]
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Posted: 17 July 2013 03:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I don’t know about Dutch, but kos certainly has a cognate in German: kost means ‘food’ in the sense ‘diet, nutrition, what one normally has to eat’. There’s a song in the German operetta ‘Der Vogelhandler’ that begins:

Ich bin die Christel von der Post;
Klein das Salar und schmal die Kost!

“I’m Christel from the Post Office: / the pay’s low and the rations small”

(Schmal in German means ‘slim’, both literally and in the sense ‘slim chance, slim pickings’ )

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Posted: 17 July 2013 04:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Kost has the same meaning in Dutch, at least according to the online dictionary I looked at.

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Posted: 17 July 2013 05:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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German, Dutch Kost is related to German kiesen, English choose (Old English ceōsan) < PIE *g’eus- ‘to choose’.

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Posted: 17 July 2013 06:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Where are you getting that?  My sources (Mackensen’s German etymological dictionary, the OED, the AHD) say Germanic kost (originally ‘expenditure’) is from Latin constāre ‘to stand together, stand firm, abide, be settled or fixed, stand at a price, cost.’

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Posted: 17 July 2013 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Where are you getting that?

I got it from Kluge (12/1959)."Im Nord. hat das Lehnwort kostr ‘Aufwand, Lebensmittel’ mit dem Erbwort kostr ‘Wahl, Lage, Umstände’ gemischt, das dem got. kustus ‘Prüfung, Beweis’ und gakusts ‘Probe’ zunächst steht: postverbal zu kiesen, s.d., und kosten.” It’s an older edition, but I didn’t think it was controversial. There’s also a rare adjective in Old English cīs ‘choice, nice in eating [fastidiosus in edendo]’ which could be related.

[Corrected typo.]

[ Edited: 17 July 2013 12:23 PM by jheem ]
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Posted: 17 July 2013 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Not all of us speak German.

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Posted: 17 July 2013 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Sorry.

In Nordic, the loanword kostr ‘expenses, food’ has been confused with the inherited word kostr ‘choice, terms’, which exists alongside Gothic kustus ‘examination, evidence’ and gakusts ‘test’; a deverbal noun from kiesen ‘to choose’ and kosten ‘to taste of’.”

[Edited typo on my part.]

[ Edited: 18 July 2013 06:19 AM by jheem ]
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Posted: 17 July 2013 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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My copy of Zoega’s Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic has both meanings for kostr, “choice, alternative” and “food, sustenance.” From my, admittedly limited, reading of Old Norse, the sense of “choice” is by far more common. But apparently both senses have been around for pretty much as long as the language has been written. If the “food” sense is borrowed, it was borrowed long ago.

The word has no cognate in Old English from what I can tell.

Correction on that last: cost- forms the root for a number of OE words with meanings relating to try, test, tempt. It’s probably cognate to the other words meaning choice. But there’s no sense meaning food in OE.

[ Edited: 18 July 2013 04:11 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 18 July 2013 05:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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In Nordic, the loanword kostr ‘expenses, food’ has been confused with the inherited word kostr ‘choice, terms’

So in Nordic, two words got confused.  That doesn’t on the face of it seem to have anything to do with what you wrote:

German, Dutch Kost is related to German kiesen, English choose (Old English ceōsan) < PIE *g’eus- ‘to choose’.

(Emphasis added.)

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Posted: 18 July 2013 06:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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That doesn’t on the face of it seem to have anything to do with what you wrote:

“postverbal zu kiesen, s.d., und kosten.”

“a deverbal noun from kiesen ‘to choose’ and kosten ‘to taste of’.”

I believe Kluge here is comparing the situation in Nordic as well as Gothic to what he sees as the connection between kiesen and kosten. I guess you disagree. I will remove the etymology from consideration.

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Posted: 18 July 2013 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Just to confirm what the Dutch Van Dale says on ‘kost’.

In modern Dutch, this word means ‘cost’, ‘food’ and ‘means of living’. Iets doen voor de kost means ‘to do something for a living’. A bit similar to ‘bread’ meaning food and also the means of providing for oneself.

As LH intimated, the origin is ‘constare’.

Interestingly, ‘costume’ (or kostuum in Dutch with a slightly different meaning) is from L. consuetudine, or ‘getting used to’. For some reason, I always figured it came from the same root as ‘cost’.

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Posted: 18 July 2013 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Today I drove by a Kos restaurant here in Toronto. Don’t know if its related. Probably not.

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Posted: 18 July 2013 05:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Dave Wilton - 18 July 2013 04:48 PM

Today I drove by a Kos restaurant here in Toronto. Don’t know if its related. Probably not.

And Markos Moulitsas has a web site called The Daily Kos and there is a Christian prayer that mentions ‘our daily bread’. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Moulitsas had this in mind when he named the site? Probably not.

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Posted: 19 July 2013 03:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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The Daily Kos is taken from the last three letters of Markos.

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