Gerbils (and etymology) will bring us all together

Gerbils for peace!

Mashed Radish

For this post, I thought about writing on the etymology of demagogue or bigotry, which have been much in the ether lately, thanks especially to Donald Trump. But I thought twice, important as these words are right now.

I thought twice because I wanted to write on something a bit more positive and, well, fun than many of my previous posts. I thought twice, too, because I wanted to highlight a surprising point of connection between the West and Middle East: gerbils. Yes, gerbils.

Gerbil

See, the name of this common critter, twitching their little noses across so many children’s bedrooms or elementary classrooms, actually derives from Arabic.

Attested by the Oxford English Dictionaryin an 1849 text on mammals, English borrowed gerbil from the French gerbille. The French, in turn, adopted it from the New Latin gerbillus, formed as a scientific usage. (Many gerbils fall under the genus Gerbillus). This gerbillus is…

View original post 282 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s