Svengelska bloggen

Svengelska bloggen

Om bloggen/About the Blog

I aim to use this blog to keep up my English and maybe give others some insights in Swedish language. It's not a diary - well not quite...


Husgeråd/Household utensilsPosted by Gunvor 2013-04-22 18:06:43

Korg is ‘basket’, Old Swedish korgher. Probably via Danish (Modern Danish kurv) via Low German korf (Modern German Korb) from Latin corbis with the same meaning. Also, from the Late Latin diminutive corbicula comes French corbeille.

Didn't find any info about English basket.

The squirrel found it today… He is happily munching sunflower seeds. More about him here.


Däggdjur/MammalsPosted by Gunvor 2013-04-15 17:41:41

Hälgångare is ’plantigrade’. Literally it is ‘heel walker’ Häl and heel both come from Germanic *hanhilon, a diminutive of *hanhaz, ‘heel’ from Indoeuropean *kenk- ‘heel, bend of the knee’.

A related word is English hock ‘joint in the hind leg of a horse,’ earlier hockshin from Old English hohsinu ‘Achilles' tendon’, literally ‘heel sinew’, from Old English hoh ‘heel’ which goes back to Germanic *hanhaz.

Plantigrade comes from French plantigrade ‘walking on the sole of the foot’ from Latin planta ‘sole of the foot’ and gradus ‘step’. Didn’t know that before.

The plantigrade who made this track is of course a badger, grävling in Swedish (more here). Just before the new snow four days ago we also saw some marks from his snout in the lawn, so he must have woken up from his hibernation sleep recently.

As far as I know there are only these two plantigrade species hereabouts. Haven’t seen a hedgehog here for many years, and, fortunately, no bears either.)

The new snow has rained away now, but there is still a lot of the old snow left in shadowed areas.


Husgeråd/Household utensilsPosted by Gunvor 2013-04-06 18:23:11

Gardin and English curtain come via German and French respectively from vernacular Italian and back to Late Latin cortina with the same meaing. But before that there is confusion: In classical Latin cortina means 'round vessel, cauldron', from Latin cohortem 'enclosure, courtyard'. Evidently, according to Online Etymology Dictionary , the sense ‘curtain’ came because of a loan translation from Greek aulaia ("curtain") because the Greek word was connected to aule ‘court’.

When I was a child we had the same arrangement at the kitchen windows: a lace gardinkappa on top and plain white curtains below. Nowadays it out of fashion.

(So now I had to look up gardinkappa in my English dictionary. It translates as 'pelmet' or '(curtain) valance'.


NaturföreteelserPosted by Gunvor 2013-04-02 15:17:50

Gulockra is 'yellow ochre'. Gul and yellow are related, from an Indoeuropean root *ghel-, ‘to shine’, from which also comes Greek khloros ‘greenish-yellow’.

Ockra and ochre, ‘a grayish yellow clay’ come from Greek ochra, from ochros "pale yellow," of unknown origin.

Everything that is not white is yellow ochre around here now.

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