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Posted: 11 December 2007 11:31 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Some early morning googling led me to an interesting wikilink on the hypotheses on connections of Basque with other languages.

And this, from another site:

Early Basque-language publications were scarce.  The first-known complete work in Euskara was a book of poetry produced by a Behe Naforroan cleric, Bernat D’Etchepare.  His 1545 publication was printed and distributed in Bordeaux.

Which Basque words, if any, have found their way into English?

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Posted: 12 December 2007 05:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Bizarre, I believe.

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Posted: 12 December 2007 05:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Which Basque words, if any, have found their way into English?

There aren’t many as might be expected.  This site suggests four but is wrong on two AFAICT and seems to be right on these two:

bizarre

Pipped by Syntinen.  INteresting that bizarre originates with the Basque for beard.

Jai Alai

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Posted: 12 December 2007 05:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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A quick search in OED throws up bizarre, chaconne (the old dance), jingo (as in by jingo!) and haberdine (the fish).

On edit, yes, I see that oeco is right to be wary of jingo. OED says of the conjecture ‘as yet unsupported by evidence’.

[ Edited: 12 December 2007 05:19 AM by aldiboronti ]
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Posted: 12 December 2007 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Be wary of quick searches of OED etymologies. You actually have to read the etymologies in question. Otherwise along with the true hits you ensnare debunkings like this one:

Littré suggests that the Spanish word is an adaptation of Basque bizarra beard, in the same manner as hombre de bigote moustached man, is used in Sp. for a ‘man of spirit’; but the history of the sense has not been satisfactorily made out.

The contention that bizarre comes from Basque has little supporting evidence. It’s not impossible, just very, very uncertain.

(It’s also in the Big List, btw.)

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Posted: 12 December 2007 07:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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What about anchovy?  I had discounted that at first but etymonline includes it, presumably from the OED, but offers “either” Latin “or” Basque.  But etymonline also includes bizarre as being of Basque origin as per contra Dave’s debunking observation above and in the Big List.

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Posted: 12 December 2007 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The late professor Larry Trask opines on English words of Basque origin in his Basque language FAQ (see Q21). He adds silhouette.

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Posted: 12 December 2007 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Dave Wilton - 12 December 2007 07:03 AM

Be wary of quick searches of OED etymologies. You actually have to read the etymologies in question. Otherwise along with the true hits you ensnare debunkings like this one:

Littré suggests that the Spanish word is an adaptation of Basque bizarra beard, in the same manner as hombre de bigote moustached man, is used in Sp. for a ‘man of spirit’; but the history of the sense has not been satisfactorily made out.

The contention that bizarre comes from Basque has little supporting evidence. It’s not impossible, just very, very uncertain.

(It’s also in the Big List, btw.)

Just my luck! Bizarre was the one entry I didn’t read through, then or on edit, on the grounds that I knew that one was from Basque, having seen it thus sourced in so many different places before. Sod’s law.

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Posted: 12 December 2007 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Including silhouette is something of a stretch. It’s an eponym from Etienne Silhouette, who has a surname of Basque origin, but he was most definitely French.

Trask also derives chaparral from Basque via Spanish. The Spanish connection is indisputable. I don’t know his evidence for the Basque connection though.

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Posted: 12 December 2007 11:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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FWIW: Under ‘bizar’ Van Dale still (1997) mentions Basque as the origin of the word but EWN (2006) deems that ‘unlikely’.

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Posted: 12 December 2007 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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The new Duden’s etymology of German (2001) just says that the German word bizarr derives from French and Italian (possibly actually loaned from Italian) and that the origin of the Italian word is “dunkel” (Literally “dark” but more like “enigmatic").  No mention of Basque at all.

edit: more like “obscure.”

[ Edited: 12 December 2007 12:48 PM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 12 December 2007 12:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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“dunkel” (Literally “dark” but more like “enigmatic")

“Obscure” might be a felicitous rendering.

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Posted: 12 December 2007 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I see the site ElizaD points to includes among its Basque words and phrases

Eup! The colloquial way of greeting someone on the street

How tempting to propose on the basis of Eup! a 16,000-year Oppenheimerian link between the Basque language and the North of England. Ayup!

(Incidentally, to experience Oppenheimer’s claimed genetic links between the Basques and the British Isles given a good kicking, see here (works now)

The OED, I note, says “basque”, “a dish of minced mutton, mixed with bread-crumbs, eggs, anchovies, wine, lemon-peel, etc” and “basque” the item of ladies’ clothing “may have some connexion with Basque dress and habits, but may also be of distinct origin”. Why not just say: “We dunno.”

Edited to correct link

[ Edited: 12 December 2007 04:37 PM by Zythophile ]
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Posted: 12 December 2007 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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What about “jai-alai”? One might argue that it’s not an English word. One might argue the same about “lacrosse”. Or “croquet”. What’s the English word for “jai-alai”? “Pelota”?

;-)

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Posted: 12 December 2007 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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What about “jai-alai”?

What about it?  Oecolampadius mentioned it in his first post (3rd in the thread).

(Incidentally, to experience Oppenheimer’s claimed genetic links between the Basques and the British Isles given a good kicking, see here)

Link doesn’t work.

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Posted: 12 December 2007 04:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Dr. Techie - 12 December 2007 02:01 PM

Link doesn’t work.

Sorry about that - it should do now ...

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