Thursday, 29 November 2007

pork, porcelain, porcupine, porpoise, aardvark

The Proto-Indo-European root *porḱo- "young pig" (IEW porḱo- 841) became Latin porcus, Old French porc, then English pork.

The root also became Proto-Germanic *farhaz. This became Afrikaans vark "pig", which combined with aarde "earth" (cognate with English earth) to form aardvark.

From the same Proto-Indo-European root we also get:
porcelain from Old French porcelaine "cowry shell", from Old Italian porcellana, which is from Latin porcus. The connection being, apparently, that a cowry shell resembles a pig's back.
porcupine from Middle English porke despine, from Old French porc espin "spiny pig".
porpoise from Old French porpeis, formed from porc and peis "fish".

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