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gnat (29)

gnat
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Journal of gnat (29)

Monday February 11, 2002
12:58 PM

sburke

[ #2779 ]
What a lucky man. To be interested in words and language, and live in a town that has quite possibly the freakiest spelling there is. A-l-b-u-q-u-e-r-q-u-e. I went through my cognates looking for a possible etymology and could only come up with "albumin what what?". Surely that's not right--a town of egg whites discovered by the British?

--Nat

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  • I'd bet for "White City", "White Church" (which is more or less the same) or something along those lines.

    Album, albumine (your eggs), albatros (I think) all have the common ancestor which is the latin word for white. -querque reminds me irresistably of -kerk(e), -kirk, -kirsh and their ilk, ie city/church.

    Now, of course, all of this is just (somewhat) educated guessing =)

    --

    -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

  • According to this [google.com]. And follow-up [google.com].

    My own followup on the Arabic theory - Most Arabic words have a triliteral root. Some forms have those words double up a consonant, but they would be adjacent. (So BQQR, or BRRQ might make sense.) I can't find any quad-literals roots centered around BQRQ, so it doesn't make too terrible of sense from an Arabic perspective. (With either qaaf or kaaf.) If the latter 'que' was perhaps added by the Spanish, that would leave the triliteral root BQR or BKR. BQR is a bovine-

    • Yes, Albuquerque (NM) is named after AlbuRquerque in Spain. That much is clear.

      Then it gets hazy. "Alburquerque" is supposedly from "Albus Quercus" ("White Oak") or something like "Arbor.* Quercus" ("Tree-Oak").
      I think that's fishy, tho. If the place in Spain were named in Roman times, its name should have changed along with the rest of the language, ending up as something like "Avocuere".

      Arabic is a more likely source. I'm told that "al-burquq" means/meant "plum" in Arabic.

      But in any case, in New

      • barquuq (with a fatha, actually) does mean plum.

        It's listed rootless, so I missed it while checking out BRQ and BRK. That also means that Arabic probably got it from somewhere else.
        • If that word is the one I have in mind, it's the ancestor of our word "apricot", earlier "abrecock" (though I had remembered it as "al-birquq", the words may be the same and I might have mis-remembered). Compare Italian albicocche(sp?), which is closer to the Arabic word.

          Apparently, the word is from the Latin praecox, possibly via Greek. See, for example, http://www.westegg.com/etymology/ [westegg.com] or http://www.bartleby.com/61/59/A0385900.html [bartleby.com].
          --

          -- 
          Esli epei eto cumprenan, shris soa Sfaha.
          Aettot ibrec epesecoth, spakhea scrifeteis.

          • I forget the correct term for it, but 'baa', like some other Arabic letters, affects the pronunciation of the definite prefix 'al'. So 'albarquuq' would be pronounced like 'ab-barquuq'. Whether it's spelled 'al-' or 'ab-' usually depends on the writer.
            • You sure? *checks*

              Hm, my Teach Yourself Arabic says that assimilation occurs after "a dental, sibilant, r, l, or n" and gives the full list (in Arabic letters) as "t *th* d *dh* r z s *sh* S D T Z l n". No "b".

              And there are even two examples. "albaytu" vs "a*sh**sh*amsu".
              --

              -- 
              Esli epei eto cumprenan, shris soa Sfaha.
              Aettot ibrec epesecoth, spakhea scrifeteis.

              • Of course I'm not sure. If I were, I'd be much cooler and Torgo-ish than dorky and Whammo-ish. (I'd probably also still be a linguist, and not so much a computer geek, so I'll be happy to admit being wrong. :-)

                Sure enough, most of my MSA references don't show assimilation with 'baa'. Although I may have picked this us from a dialect, more than likely I'm just wrong.

  • I can't help you; I can, however, offer you this.

    Imagine Michael Palin saying, in outrage: "...a town of egg whites discovered by the British!?"

    Well, it made me chuckle...

    --

    ------------------------------
    You are what you think.