Wednesday, 4 September 2013

queer and truss

Proto-Indo-European *terkʷ- "to twist" had a possible metathesized form twerk-, which became Proto-Germanic *þwerh-, becoming German quer (from earlier dwer) "transverse, oblique, crosswise, at right angles, obstructive, (of things) going wrong, (of a person) peculiar" etc. This was possibly borrowed as queer.

*þwerh- became Old Norse þvert "across", borrowed as thwart.

The form *torkʷ- became Latin torqueō "to twist", the stem being tors-/tort-. This possibly developed in Old French trusser "to trusse, tucke, packe up, to bind or gird up or in" (Cotgrave), borrowed into English as truss.

There was another PIE root *twerḱ- "to cut", which became Greek σάρξ sarks "flesh" and σαρκάζω sarkazō "to tear flesh like dogs", as in sarcasm. Etymologically, sarcophagus means "flesh-eater".

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