My brother my pal
Posted: 08 September 2016 12:28 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Pal has an interesting origin.
Originally meaning “accomplice” rather than “friend”, it was borrowed from the Angloromani phal in the 18th century.  This in turn comes from Romani phral, from the Sanksrit bhrātṛ meaning “brother”. bhrātṛ and brother derive from the same PIE root so it is interesting that its descendants made their way into English via such different routes.

(While learning this I also found out that Polly is a pet form of Molly, which in turn is a pet form of Mary, and that moll meaning prostitute has the same origin. Also, OED marks this sense of moll as rare which seems a bold claim.  Gotta love wandering around the OED.)

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Posted: 08 September 2016 12:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Similarly, Peggy is a pet form of Margaret. How an initial M comes out as P has always been a mystery to me. (As much a mystery as how Spanish boys baptised Francisco get called Paco or Pancho.)

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Posted: 08 September 2016 01:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Or Chuck from Charles. Okay, the initial Ch-, but still.

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Posted: 08 September 2016 02:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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M and P are both bilabials.  Dobbin from Robert is a little more obscure.

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Posted: 08 September 2016 05:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Dobbin from Robert is a little more obscure.

His cousin is Dick Richard.

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