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...


Växter/PlantsPosted by Gunvor 2013-05-29 14:04:50

Basilika, Ocimum basilicum, is ‘basil’. Latin basilicum comes from greek basilikon ‘regal’ from basileus ‘king’, of unknown origin, possibly from a language of Asia Minor. So called, probably, because it was believed to have been used in making royal perfumes. (Online Etymology Dictionary). Of course basilica, 'church', has the same Greek origin .

Latin Ocimum comes from Greek okimon, an aromatic herb, probably basil (Jen Corneliusson, Växternas namn).

It will soon be time to make pesto now, before they start flowering.


Växter/PlantsPosted by Gunvor 2013-05-21 14:24:52

Jordärtskocka, Heliantus tuberosus, is ‘Jerusalem artichoke’. The etymology is a mess.

As one can feel a similarity in structure and taste of the tuber and the artichoke bud, the plant has got part of its name from the artichoke. Artichoke comes from an arabic word, al-hursufa via Spanish and Italian. The word has been twisted and turned in many folk etymologies; in Swedish it is kronärtskocka, krona – ‘crown’ probably because of the stately flower, and ärt – ‘pea’, from the taste, the rest is unintelligible.

Swedish jordärtskocka, becomes ‘earth artichoke’ – that’s simple, much simpler than the English term: Jerusalem in this case has nothing to do with the town, instead it comes from Italian girasole ‘sunflower’.

Yes, the jordärtskocka is closely related to the sunflower, Helianthus annuus; a difference here up north is that the warm season is not long enough for them to flower, instead they proliferate by the tubers (that’s why the Latin species name is tuberosus). The plant originates from North America, where it was cultivated before the Europeans arrived.

We dug these up yesterday, very late in Spring, they have already started to grow; they are not very big, should have been better fertilised. This year we will plant a few in another place, but however careful you are when digging up the tubers, you always miss some, and in autum there will be tubers to dig up together with the potatoes we have planted there now.


AbstrakterPosted by Gunvor 2013-05-17 16:45:46

Trio is ‘trio’, from Italian trio, from tri- patterned on duo. and means:

1 a: a musical composition for three voice parts of three instruments b: the secondary or episodic division of a minuet or scherzo (as in a sonata or symphony) or of a march or of various dance forms, usu. contrasted in key and in a quieter style than the primary division c: a performance of such a composition d: a dance by three people.

2: a group or set of three as a: the performers of a musical or dance trio b: three playing cards of the same rank c: a male and two female domestic animals (as poultry) froming a breeding or exhibition group”


Växter/PlantsPosted by Gunvor 2013-05-02 22:36:49

Hästhov, Tussilago farfara, is ‘coltsfoot’. Both the Swedish and the English words relate to the green leaves of the plant, as they look a bit like a horse’s hoof. Those will show up later, long after the flowers have disappeared.

However, the Latin name, tussilago, is now used more often in Sweden than the old Swedish one. It is said to be created from tussis, ‘cough’ because it should have been used as a medicine against that, which is not verified. The species name farfara is of unknown origin.

(This picture was taken on April 18; the world is a little greener now)

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