How about some cider? Be careful, though. If the cider doesn’t make your head spin, the origin of its name might. English got it from French sidre, which came from Latin sicera, which came from Greek ??????, which came from Hebrew shekar, «strong drink.» It’s not clear exactly how the k/c became d, but perhaps by way of z. And perhaps by way of quite a few glasses of strong drink.
What do you do at your jubileee while you’re noshing and drinking? You probably schmooze. » It doesn’t have any Germanic relatives – Yiddish got it from Hebrew shemu’oth, «rumor.»
When you go to a jubilee to nosh and schmooze, you may put on a jacket. You are probably not aware of the debt your outerwear owes to Hebrew. The garment got its name from French jacquet, which came from the name Jacques – because a jacket was clothing for an ordinary Jack, not a rich Louis. Jacques is the French version of Jacob, which comes – via Latin and Greek – from Hebrew Ya’akov. Through a very interesting etymological trail winding through Italy and Spain, the same name also managed to become James. (James is one of a few names that English renders differently depending on whether it’s referring to an Old Testament or New Testament person. (más…)