Friday, 10 February 2012

fir and cork

The Proto-Indo-European root *perkʷu- "oak" in the zero-grade form *pr̥kʷ- became Proto-Germanic *furh-jōn- then English fir (either directly or borrowed from the Old Norse fyri-).

The form *kʷerkʷu- arose by assimilating the first consonant to the second. This became Latin quercus "oak", which was probably borrowed into Arabic as القورق al-qūrq, then borrowed into Spanish as alcorque "cork shoe", then into Dutch or Low German as kork, then into English as cork.

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