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

by frag (Hermit)
on Jun 13, 2001 at 22:47 UTC ( #88156=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to What Perlish name to assign to my baby girl?

In the romance languages (Spanish, French, Italian), margarita means pearl.
Thus, Margaret. ("Margarita" would doom her to a life of having to hear crappy Jimmy Buffett puns.) You get Simpsons references as a bonus. (Not to mention Love & Rockets -- the comic, not the band.)

-- Frag.

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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

    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.

      Well,'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.

        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,


        -----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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