Etymology gleanings for August 2016

There was a desperate attempt to find a valid Greek cognate for cloth, but such a word did not turn up. One way out of the difficulty was to discover a Greek noun or verb beginning with sk- and
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A few comments on cloth, in connection with the post “Sartor Resartus“ There was a desperate attempt to find a valid Greek cognate for cloth, but such a word did not turn up. One way out of the difficulty was to discover a Greek noun or verb beginning with sk– and refer its s to what is known as s-mobile (“movable s”). Movable s is all over the place. For instance, the English cognate of German kratzen is scratch (the same meaning). Similarly, for a long time people wondered what the origin of the word slang is, and one of the suggestions was that slang contains the root of language, with movable s attached. Some scholars denied the existence of this enigmatic s, and indeed, its function and origin have never been ascertained to everybody’s satisfaction. Yet it apparently exists, together with many other irritating things in our life. Is pea jacket related to the Greek word baítē? No, it is not. Our correspondent wrote that a quick search referred him to Finnish. I. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

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