Saturday, 17 November 2007

caramel and calamari

caramel has a few suggested etymologies: it's from Latin canna "cane" + mellis "honey", or it's from Arabic. The American Heritage Dictionary says it's from the Proto-Indo-European root *ḱolh₂-mo- "grass, reed" (IEW ḱoləmo-s 612). The zero-grade form *ḱlh₂-mo- became Greek κάλαμος "reed", which was borrowed into Latin as calamus "reed, cane". The diminutive form of this, calamellus, became Portuguese caramel, Old Spanish caramel, caramelo, and Old French caramel. Some dissimilation going on there. Latin calamārius "relating to a reed pen" is also from calamus. This became Italian calamaro, plural calamari "squid", perhaps by associating pen ink with squid ink.

1 comment :

Mariya said...

Hello,

I find your blog very interesting. It's great that you and your readers
are aware of proper grammar and spelling. I have an offer for you
concerning the review of our spell check widget
http://www.spellchecker.net/widget. I'd love to hear your opinion on this
widget. Any comments (good or bad) are highly appreciated. Please feel
free to contact me if there are any question,
Best regards,

Mary.