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Re: Re: What Perlish name to assign to my baby girl?

by mdillon (Priest)
on Jun 14, 2001 at 20:15 UTC ( #88476=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: What Perlish name to assign to my baby girl?
in thread What Perlish name to assign to my baby girl?

these days, the word "margarita" is the Spanish name for the flower called a daisy in English.

the customary modern Spanish word for "pearl" is "perla". in French it is "perle". in Italian it is "perla".

update: my Italian dictionary does list "margherita" as having "pearl" as a secondary definition, as does one Spanish dictionary (though two others, which i consider better dictionaries, don't).

also, in Latin, it turns out that "margarita" has "pearl" as a primary meaning, not "daisy" (which is not listed in my lexicon as a meaning of Latin "margarita" at all). it comes from the Greek, "margar/ites", which my Greek lexicon also lists as only meaning "pearl" (it is noted as having Persian etymology).

"Prov.: ne mittatis margaritas vestras ante porcos" — Vulg. Matt. 7, 6.


Comment on Re: Re: What Perlish name to assign to my baby girl?
Re: Re: Re: What Perlish name to assign to my baby girl?
by frag (Hermit) on Jun 14, 2001 at 20:43 UTC

    Well, http://www.diccionarios.com/'s thesaurus reports the following when I type in "perla":

    1. f. margarita, aljˇfar. La perla peque˝a y de figura irregular se llama aljˇfar.
    If I'm interpreting Babelfish correctly, margarita = small pearl. "Pearls before swine" comes from the bible, (Matt 7:6, apparently: "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces" -- thank you, Google), where I presume the original text used the word "pearls" and not "daisies". If that's true, then the etymology may be reversed, and the Spanish word for the flower was taken from the name of the jewel.

    -- Frag.

      actually, that is saying that "aljˇfar" is a small, irregularly shaped pearl. "margarita" just means "pearl", although it is not used in that sense in modern usage, AFAICT.

      the name of the flower and the use in the Biblical proverb are all that are left for modern "margarita" in the romance languages, "perla" and its descendants having ascended to prominence before the 13th century.

      i have no idea when Europeans first encountered daisies and started calling them pearls.

        Mystery solved?:

        From http://www.daisyparadise.fsnet.co.uk/articles/prettyaprildaisy.htm:

        The Marguerite Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) or herb Margaret is the floral emblem of St. Margaret, whose feast is celebrated July 20th. Herb Margaret is most likely attributed to Margaret of Anjou who was no saint. She was the ruthless and extremely ambitious wife of Henry VI who, in 1422, succeeded to the thrones of both England and France. She had daisies embroidered on her personal banner.

        -- Frag
        who's beginning to fear the Reaper, if this thread goes on much longer...

        Update: (because I can't help myself)
        From http://www.clicksparkle.com/brthstn.html:
        ...The word {pearl} is probably an adaption of (Old)French perle, meaning a pearl or a berry, and medieval Latin perla. According to Barnhart and Partridge, both of the words come from vulgar Latin pernula, which is the diminutive form of Latin perna meaning ham, ham-shaped or mollusc...

        So, to finally tie this back into baby names, "Shelly" or "Virginia" (ham, geddit?) would also work. Maybe.

      Heh. Casting your Bible before Babelfish is always fun. I once tried it with Revelation 6, and found that 'I looked, and behold..' came back from Spanish as 'The mountain range, and behold..'. Despite French having a perfectly good word 'voilà', 'behold' became 'le behold' and thus 'the behold' when back in English.

      People put far too much faith in computers when it comes to human languages. Someone wrote to a national newspaper's computer help column recently wanting a program that would render his English into good Russian to send to a Ukrainian pen-pal, and vice versa. The responses were, thankfully, polite but accurate.

      And as for naming the baby girl? How about Penelope Eleanor Rebecca Lester? (Quinn is a boy's name, isn't it? Short for Quintus, as in Q. Horatius Flaccus eq Horace?)

      Enough wittering from me,

      Tiefling

      -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.1 GAT d++ s:- a-- C++ UL P++ L++(+) E? W+(++) N+ o? K w+(--) !O M- V? PS+ PE- Y PGP- t+ 5 X+ R+++ tv- b+++ DI++++ D+ G+ e++ h!(-) y +? ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------

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