Gerbils for peace!
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.
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