Category Archives: Indo-European

Stupidest Word Ever Invented in the English Language


Ridiculous or what?

In case you are wondering what it means, all of the present commenters on the site are “cis.” We had one oddbody weirdo, but thank the Lord he left and took all of his endless strands of trailing weirdness with him.

Way to go feminists. Thanks a lot, political gays. Thanks for nothing, Cultural Left Freakshow.

The Cultural Left – whittling away at the concept of normal one day at a time. Honestly, I think the Cultural Left actually hates that word and the hate the very idea and concept. I am certain that they want to eliminate that word from our discourse altogether. The Cultural Left probably considers the word “normal” to be on a par with “nigger.”

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Filed under Cultural Marxists, English language, Gender Studies, Left, Ridiculousness, Scum, Sex

The Roots of the English Language

I was finally able to get a good breakdown of English language roots with the exact percentages. In a previous post I had only guessed at the figures.

According to a 1973 analysis of the shorter (but still 80,000 words) Oxford Dictionary:

28% of English words came from Latin
28% came from French (which is largely Latin)
25% came from elsewhere in the Germanic family
5% came from Greek.

Long story short, more than half of our words (56%) come from the Romance branch and one quarter of our words are more or less from German. Romance and German account for 81% of English words. If we add in the 5% Greek, fully 86% of English words (or almost all of them) come from Romance, German and Greek. Of course the Romance words are all borrowings and only the German words are truly genetically English.


Filed under Balto-Slavic-Germanic, English language, French, German, Germanic, Greek, Hellenic, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Indo-Irano-Armeno-Hellenic, Italic, Italo-Celtic-Tocharian, Language Families, Linguistics, Romance

One Day Languages and Two Day Languages

A colleague writes:
Mutual intelligibility is difficult to measure since speakers of two different tongues could meet each other and hardly understand each other at first but after a week of close contact, they can understand each other quite well.
As far as intelligibility goes, it is usually measured blind with only one group at a time. It is uncertain where to split dialect and language, but Ethnologue (SIL) seems to generally split at 90%. Above 90% = dialect. Below 90% = dialect.

With two separate but closely related languages such as Turkish and Azeri, after 3-4 weeks of close contact, they can communicate quite nicely. I would put 3-4 weeks at the barrier of dialect and language.

At the other end, in Africa, speakers of various lects talk of one day languages and two day languages, referring to how long it takes speakers of Lect A to understand speakers of Lect B. These 1 day languages and 2 day languages are best seen as dialects of a single tongue.

Closer to home. it takes one day of close contact for other Spanish speakers who land in San Salvador by plane to completely understand Salvadoran Spanish. It takes Argentines three days to understand Chilean Spanish. So we can call Salvadoran Spanish and Chilean Spanish dialects of the Spanish language. Salvadoran Spanish could be called a 1 day language and Chilean Spanish could be called a 3 day language.

However, with Canarian Spanish and Dominican Spanish of the Dominican Republic, it takes other Spanish speakers about three weeks to catch onto it. So Canarian Spanish and Dominican Spanish are like Azeri and Turkish. I honestly think that Canarian Spanish and Dominican Spanish are separate languages on MI grounds, but it would cause a political firestorm if you tried to split them so no one will.

In Spain, there are various lects such as Asturian, Galician and Andalucian. A Spanish speaker may take two months or so of close contact to learn to understand Asturian and Galician well, and indeed, both are listed as separate languages.

Some Spanish speakers report that Andalucian sounds absolutely insane when they first listen to it and they can hardly understand one word, however, after 2-3 hours of steady close listening, they can understand it quite well. We may call Andalucian a 3 hour language and clearly Andalucian is a dialect of Spanish called Andalucian Spanish.

Once it starts to take as long as 3-4 weeks of close contact for speakers of Lect A to understand Lect B, I think we are looking at two separate languages. Anything less than that, starts to seem a lot more iffy.

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Filed under Africa, Americas, Applied, Argentina, Asturian, Central America, Chile, Dialectology, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Europe, Galician, Language Families, Language Learning, Latin America, Linguistics, Regional, Sociolinguistics, South America, Spain, Spanish, Turkish

The Craziness of English Plurals

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes; but the plural of ox became oxen not oxes. One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese, yet the plural of moose should never be meese. You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice; yet the plural of house is houses, not hice. If the plural of man is always called men, why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen? If I spoke of my foot and show you my feet, and I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet? If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth, why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those, yet hat in the plural would never be hose, and the plural of cat is cats, not cose. We speak of a brother and also of brethren, but though we say mother, we never say methren. Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him, but imagine the feminine, she, shis and shim.’


Filed under English language

Mark Twain on English Spelling Reform

Funny, never read this tidbit.

A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling

by Mark Twain

For example, in Year 1 that useless letter “c” would be dropped to be replased either by “k” or “s,” and likewise “x” would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which “c” would be retained would be the “ch” formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform “w” spelling, so that “which” and “one” would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish “y” replasing it with “i” and Iear 4 might fiks the “g/j” anomali wonse and for all.

Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez “c,” “y” and “x”–bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez–tu riplais “ch,” “sh,” and “th” rispektivli.

Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.

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Filed under English language, Humor

Differences Between Spanish and Ladino

Judaeo Spanish or Ladino is the language of the Sephardic Jews of Europe. It is dying out now, but it still has tens of thousands of speakers. It was created when Spanish Jews left Spain around the time of the Inquisition to find refuge in various areas of the Mediterranean, particularly in Turkey.

It is 1492 Spanish mixed with 4% Hebrew, about 20% Turkish and Arabic, 60% Old Spanish and Portuguese and 7% other. Spanish has 60% intelligibility of Ladino and 95% when written. This is a language frozen in time, the Spanish spoken when they were expelled from Spain in the 1400’s.


Shalom (or Bonjur ) Komo estash vozotros? Yo esto muy bien, gracias. Esto es lo ke me paso oy: Primeiro, yo me levanto i entonses desayuno. Me visto i pongo mi chapeo i salgo de la kaza. Yo vo al trabasho i kuando regreso, dayaneo. Despues ke yo me levanto miro de la bentana i veo ke mis amigos van a Bet Knesset . Esto tarde, tyengo menester de darme prisa porke tyengo la avtaha de avlar kon el rabi. Despues ya es ora de acostarme. Shalom!


¡Hola! ¿Como estais (estan)? Estoy muy bien gracias. Esto es lo que me paso hoy: Primero, me levanto y entonces desayuno. Pongo la ropa  (Me visto , only in Spain) y pongo mi sombrero y salgo de la casa. Voy al trabajo y cuando regreso, descanso. Despues que me levanto, miro de la ventana y veo que mis amigos van a la sinagoga. Estoy tarde, necesito de darme prisa proque tengo la esperanza de hablar con el rabi. Despues, ya es hora de acostarme.


Hello! How are you (all)? I am very well thanks. This is what happened to me today: First, I get up and then I eat breakfast. I get dressed and I put on my hat and I leave the house. I go to work and when I return, I rest. After I get up I look out of the window and I see that my friends are going to the synagogue. I am late, I need to hurry because I have the hope to speak with the rabbi. Afterward, it is already time to go to bed.

List of languages from which each Ladino word is:

Shalom– Hebrew (hello, goodbye)
Bonjur – French (hello)
estash – Old Spanish (you pl. are)
chapeo – Old Portuguese
vo – old form of voy in Old Spanish (I go)
trabasho – Spanish (modern= trabajo)
dayaneo – Turkish – (I rest). It is conjugated like all Spanish verbs. It is slightly adapted from Turkish so you can conjugate it like Spanish.
Bet Knesset – Hebrew – synagogue
menester – Old Spanish and Portuguese (to need)
avtaha – Turkish (hope)


Filed under Afroasiatic, Altaic, Arabic, European, Europeans, Hebrew, History, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Italic, Italo-Celtic-Tocharian, Jews, Language Families, Linguistics, Oghuz, Portuguese, Race/Ethnicity, Romance, Semitic, Spanish, Turkic, Turkish

Duplicate Letters in English

English has some letters such as c, x and q that make the same sounds as other letters. So why not just get rid of them. Why do we have them in the first place?

This is how I feel about the matter:

U kan tshange the duplikats, of korce. But then kweschuns start to arize y not tshange other duplikats as wel. Bekuz ‘oo’ and ‘u’ sownd cimilar, so y not redus al cimilar-sownding vowels to komon leters? So after a fyu frutles atempts, u wil be left with sumthing that luks liyk this. And that’s not even the end of it! Perhaps we kud remuv al unesesary duplikats altogether and remuv cilent sownds, tu?


Filed under English language, Linguistics

What Language Is This?

Yes, this is a Romance language of course. And you may never figure out the region where it is spoken. This language is closely related to a very famous Romance language with 10’s of millions of speakers. In fact, it is considered to be a dialect of this language in the country where it is spoken. However, according to Ethnologue, this is indeed a separate language with possibly 10 million speakers. Indeed, it is hardly intelligible with the language it is said to be a dialect of. The truth is that this language itself is no doubt a number of completely different languages.

‘A cucina è, comme tutte ‘e cucine reggionale, ammagliata ê prudotte e ô crima d”o luoco, e risente forte forte d”e riggine grieche d”a pupulazione, quanto ad ausanze, lengua ed -ovviamente- alementazione.

Nce songo tuttavota d”e differenze tra ‘e preparazione culinarie d”e singole pruvince. Ad esempio, ‘e legumme (ca pure songo canusciute ‘n tutt’ô territorio), n”a cucina ‘e so’ servite comme primme piatte ma pure comme cuntuorno e comme piatto unneco, pe ttramente ‘int’ô (zona cchiù attacata a tradizione marinare) fanno pparte ‘e ricette recenale comme chillo d”e fasule cu ‘e cozzeche.

Simbolo ‘e chesta cucina è senza dubbio ‘a margherita, preparata cu pummarola, ‘e vufera e vasenicola ‘n anore d” triculore e d”a riggina Margherita ‘n visita a. Faceva cocere ‘e ppizze ‘int’ê furne ‘e Capomonte, ‘e stessi ‘int’ê quali nascetteno ‘e cceramiche famuse, pe servirla ‘int’ê banchette suje. Molto spannuto è pure ‘o cunzumo d”e cazone fritto, na variante d”o tipico cazone, cu ‘mbuttitura ‘e zuco ‘e pummarola, pepe, cicule (zo’ ausate pe ‘a farenella).

N’ la cucin ci sta na frec di piatt. Si magn lu pesc, l’agnill, lu porc chiu di tutt, e po ci sta na frec di piatt di past e le pallott. Un di li piatt chiu famus so propr le pallott cac e ov c si fa ng l’ov e chiu tip di casc (lu pecorin, lu e tutt quell che si po rattà). Si fa l pallott e po si frije, quand li sa preparat tutt si fa lu sug semplice e s’ammisch tutt.

L’agnill di solit si fa arrost semplice semplice, invece lu chiu famos piatt di porc e la Purchett. E’ cuscì famos che lu Pap si le veniv a pijà in da le part d. In c sapess nzi fa tant li salum (anc se ci sta cac’cos) ma si fa na frec di savicicc nch lu porc.

Pi lu pesc si magn assai le cozz e le (vongole) (ha chiamat li della television proprio accuscì pecchè parev le quann sapriv e si chiudev), lu brudett, la cod di rosp, lu branzin, l’urat, l bobbe (mormore), li merluzzet e lu scorfn. Poi a Urton pi tropp ch mpurtant ci sta la sagr d l trije.

Si magn assai sempre le verdur n’tutt li varietà. Soprattutt li faciul nc lu famos piatt di Sagn e faciul. Na curiosità: In si fa la pulent. Di solit si fa l’invern quann fa fredd e si mischij nc lu sug, la savicicc, la pancett e lu casc, mic la farina giall è sol di lu Nord.

Pe bev ci sta na frec di vin. Prim’a’tutt lu Montepulcian, lu Trebbian e mo a riscit pure lu Pecorin e la Passerin (du vin che savevn scurdat) e pi li liquor ci sta lu liquor, la grapp, la centerb, la liquiriz e la genzian e natr poc di liquore nchi li erb.

‘A cucina tene auriggine storiche assaje antiche che s’allicordano ‘o tiempo d’ ‘e griece e d’ ‘e antiche, e s’è arriccuta c’ ‘e siecule cu l’influenza d’ ‘e culture differente ca songo venute una appriessa a ‘n ata cu ‘e varie dominazzione d’ ‘a città. Assaje ‘mpurtante è sempe stato chello ch’hanno purtato ‘a fantasia e ‘a criatività d’ e’.

Siccome ca era capitale d’ ‘o rregno, ‘a cucina ‘e ha pigliato da ‘e vvarie cucine tradizziunale ‘e tutt’ ‘a arrivanno a mettere ‘nzieme piatte ‘e terra (verdure, latticine) e piatte ‘e mare (pisce, frutte ‘e mare). Tanta ricette hanno pigliato d’ ‘a cucina d’ ‘e nobbile, come ‘e timballe e ‘o sartù ‘e riso, ca vonno ‘na priparazione elaborata, mentre ‘e cchù pupulare tenono ingrediente povere ma nutriente, come pasta e fasule o ati piatte cu’ pasta e legume.

Spisso non è facile a truvà jonte cu ‘a tradizzione d’ ‘a cucina d’ ‘o tiempo antico grieco. Ntra chelle poche tracce d’ ‘e sapure classiche, ce stanno paricchie piatte griece ca arrappresentano pisce, e mullusche, signo ca pisce e frutte ‘e mare se magnavano pure a chell’epoca. Paricchie aggrische a arrappresentano fescine ‘e frutta, fiche, granate, e dinto â villa ‘e Poppea, a Oplontis, ce sta pittato ‘nu dolce, ca pare ‘na cassata, ma ca non canuscimmo comme fuje fatto.

Facilmente, s’allicorda ‘o garum rumano ‘a culatura d’alice ca se fa a Cetara, e po’ essere nu remasuglio d’ ‘o gusto agro-ddoce, tipico d’ ‘a cucina ‘e Apicio e dell’antiche l’uso ‘e mettere dinto a diversi piatte salate l’uva passa, comme dinto â ‘e scarole, o dinto ‘e braciole a ragù. ‘O grano ca se ausa dinto ‘a pastiera, ddoce ‘e Pasca, putesse tenere ‘nu valore simbolico, ca vene da ‘e culte ‘e Artemide, Cibele e Cerere e da ‘e rituale pagane ‘e fertilità ca se facevano dint’ ‘o periodo de l’equinozio ‘e primmavera. Da o vucabbolario στρόγγυλος (stróngylos, ca significa “‘e forma tonna”), ‘nfine, veneo ‘o nomme d’ ‘e struffule ‘e Natale.

Da ‘e vvarie dominazione, specialmente chella francese e chella spagnola, se songo spartute ‘a cucina nobbile, cu pietta cchiù elabburate e ispirate a ‘e piatte ‘nternaziulale, sustanziuse, e appriparate cu ‘ngrdiente ricche e ‘a cucine de ‘e puverielle, che ausava chello ca crisceva dint’ ‘a terra (farina, legume, verdure). Appriesso a ‘e cagnamiente ca songo succiese dint’ ‘e siecule, e ‘a cuntaminazzione cu ‘a cultura d’a cucina nobbile, spisso pure ‘e piatte ca auriginariamente erano povere songo addivintate assaje sapurite.

Sicuramente uno de’ ‘e cchiù gruosse monzù d’ ‘e corte d’ ‘e nobbile fuje. ‘A varietà d’ ‘e è tale ca ce vulesse ‘nu capitulo a pparte. ‘A nun fuje ‘nventata a ma certamente ccà è stata purtata ê livelle ‘e perfezzione cchiù avete. P’ ‘a precisione, a Gragnano a pochi chilometre d’ ‘o capoluogo, s’ è truvata a manera d’ ‘a siccarla e cunzervarla, crianno accussì a produzione ‘ndustriale ‘e ll’alimento cchiù ca ce stà.

Siccomme ‘a materia primma è ‘o ggrano tuosto, assaje difficile ‘a ‘mpastà e faticà, ‘e tenono massima fiducia dint’ ‘e ‘ndustriale e nun penzano, comme succede dint’ ‘a ati rreggione, addò se penza ca a pasta cchiù bbona ha dda essere fatta a mmano. ‘Nverità ‘a è eccezziunale sia pe qualità che perfezione d’ ‘a cuttura, che ha dda essere al dente (comme se dice dint’ ‘o pecché dint’ ‘o non ce sta bisogno d’ ‘o ddicere manco), e pure d’ ‘e cundimente.

Mmiezo ê varietà cchiù ausate ce stanno, a parte ‘e classiche, pure’ ‘e pacchere, ‘e zite, ca s’hanno ‘a spezzà a mmano, e se cundiscene specialmente c’ ‘o rraù. Pe appriparà ‘a cu ‘e legume s’ausa spisso ‘a ammescata, ca ‘na vota se venneva a ‘nu prezzo cchiù vascio, da ‘e remasuglie spezzate ‘e ati fforme ‘e. Non s’hann’ ‘a scurdà ‘e appriparate cu farina e patane. Ce stanno pure forme ‘e pasta cchiù miderne, e mmò se portano assaje ‘e scialatielle.

‘A pummarola, ca vene all’America, fuje ‘mpurtata all’Europa d’ ‘e spagnuole dint’ ‘o XVI seculo, ma niscuno se ne ‘mpurtaje ‘e ll’ausà p’ ‘a cucina p’ ‘attuorno a doje secule. ‘A primma vota cha se trova annummenato fuje ‘o 1743 dint’ a ‘nu canto ‘e carnevale, ma sulamente tra ‘a fine d’ ‘o XVIII seculo e ‘o pprincipio d’ ‘o XIX seculo addevenette cumune dint’ ‘a parecchie icette e ‘a cultivazione se allargaje, nfino a addeventà una d’ ‘e cchiù mpurtante d’ ‘a.

Tra ‘e varietà cchiù famose a ce stanno ‘e pummarole ca scumparettero quasi â fine d’ ‘o XX seculo e sulamente ‘a poco tiempo se so’ turnate a semmenà. Assaje ‘mpurtante songo ‘e pummarulelle d’ò ca s’astipano pe’ paricchio tiempo arraunate dinto a ‘nu piennolo, ca s’appenne fore ‘o barcone. A è nata l’industria d’ ‘e cunzerve ‘e pummarole ca ha purtat dint’ ‘a tutt’ ‘o munno ‘e “pelate” e ‘o “ccuncentrato” ‘e pummarole. Ce stanno paricchie mmanere ‘e cunzervà ‘e pummarole dint’ ‘e bbuttglie, a pezzulle o passate, pe essere sempe pronte pe ll’ausà ‘e cchiù varie mmanere; ‘a famosa “cunzerva”, addo’ a pummarola vene stracotta e cuncentrata nfino a deventà ‘na crema scura e vellutata.

‘E piatte a bbase ‘e verdure ca venono d’ ‘e campagne d’ ‘a comma ‘a ‘e mulignane o ‘e puparuole ‘mbuttunate, ponno addeventà vere e proprie capo piatte ‘ncopp ‘a tavula. Tra ‘e verdure cchiù tradizionale ce stanno ‘e friarielle, ‘a scarola, riccia o liscia, diverse qualità ‘e vruoccole (vruoccole ‘e foglie, vruoccole ‘e rapa), ‘a verza e ‘e verdure p’a menesta mmaretata. S’ausano pure assaje fasule, cicere, e lenticchie.

‘E cucuzzielle so’ assaje ausate; ‘e cchiù gruosse se fanno fritte â scapece, cu l’aceto e ‘a menta. ‘E sciurille se priparano fritte c’ ‘a pastetta. ‘A fora ‘e puparuole russe e gialle, ca so’ gruosse, ce stanno e’ puparuole verde piccerille, ca non songo forte comma ‘e cerasielle, e ca se fanno fritte.

‘A ‘nzalata se mette vicino a tanta piatte, specialmente chille ‘e pesce. ‘A ‘ncappucciata s’ausa cchiù assaje d’ ‘a lattuca, e s’ammesca cu pastenche, fenucchie, ruteca, e, ‘na vota, pure c’ ‘a pucchiacchella, ca crisceva a pe’ essa dint’ ‘e campagne, e ‘e campagnuole ‘a vennevano p’ ‘a via c’ ‘a ruteca. ‘E rafanielle tradizionale songo chilli luonghe e piccante, ma oggie songo sempe cchiù rare, e se trovano sempe cchiù spisso sulamente chilli tunne, cchiù ddoce.

L’aulive nere ca s’ausano dint’ ‘a cucina songo l’aulive ‘e. ‘O tiempo ‘e ‘uerra dint’ ‘e famiglie cchiù puverelle se cucenavano pure ‘e parte ‘e scarto, comme ‘e scorze ‘e fave o ‘e pesielle. ‘Na presenza ‘mpurtante dint’ a cucina e d’ ‘a songo ‘e latticine. Partenno d’ ‘e cchiù frische, ‘e cchiù ‘mpurtante songo:

‘A ‘e fuscella, freasca assajue, ca se venneva ‘na vota dint’ ‘a cestine ‘e fuscelle. ‘A fresca, che se magna sia a ssola ca come cundimento, o pure ‘ncopp’ ‘p rraù. ‘A salata, più stagiunata, ca s’ausa ‘o tiempo ‘e Pasca. ‘A caciuttella fresca d’ ‘a penisula ca tene ‘nu sapore assaje delicato. ‘A ‘e vufera, fresca, a pasta filata, ca se fa specialmente â zona d’Aversa e â zona d’a piana d’o Sele.

‘O scior’ ‘e latte, fatto c’ ‘o llatte ‘e vacca, ‘o cchiù meglio se fa â zona d’Agerola. ‘A provola affumicata, ‘nu scior’ ‘e latte ‘nprufumato d’o fummo ‘e quercia, culurato a fore ‘nu marrò chiaro, e a dinto verso ‘o ggiallo, ca tene ‘nu sapore chino. ‘E burrielli d’ ‘ cardinare, piccerelle mise cu’ ‘o llatte o ‘a panna dint’a mmummere ‘e terraglia. ‘E scamorze, janche o affumicate. ‘E burrine ‘e piccerille ca tenono ‘o cire ‘e burro. ‘E ‘e casocavalle, ‘e varia stagiunatura.

Tutto ‘o pesce d’ ‘o s’appripara assaje spisso dint’ ‘a cucina. Assaje apprezzate songo pure e pisce poco peggiate, specialmente alice, ma pure ‘o pesce ‘e zuppa, comm’a scuorfane, tracine cuocce, e pure pisce cchiù gruosse, come spigule, aurate, ca mo’ se vennono specialmente d’allevaminto, dentice, sarache, marmule e pezzogne. Pure ‘e pisce piccerille s’ausano:

E cicenielle, pisce azzurro piccerille e trasparente, ca se fanno o scaurate c’ ‘o limone, o frijute c’ ‘a pastetta. E fravaglie luonge pochi centimetre, specialmente ‘e treglia o ‘e retunne, ca se fanno fritte. ‘A cucina ausa purpe, secce, e pure jammare, astice e ‘raoste. ‘O bbaccalà, ca vene d’ ‘e mare d’ ‘o nord Europa, se fa specialmente frijuto, o pure cu ‘e patane e ‘a pummarola.

‘E frutt’ ‘e mare (cozzeche, cannulicche, taratufe, fasulare, tunninole, scunciglie e maruzzielle) se maggano pure a oggie crure, ma cchiù raramente ‘e ‘na vota. ‘Na nota particulare s’hadda dà â vongola verace (Venerupis decussata), ca non s’hadda maje scagnà p’ ‘a vongola d’ ‘e Filippine (Venerupis philippinarum), ca ô nord ‘a chiammano verace, e d’ ‘e lupine (Dosinia exoleta), ca ‘o nord pure chiammano vongole, ma vongole non songo.

Non s’avessero maje magnà ‘e dattere ‘e mare (Lithophaga lithophaga), ca pe’ furtuna mò songo vietate pe’ legge. Pe piscarle, se ‘nguajano seriamente ‘e coste petrose, specialmente d’a custiera ‘e.

‘A carne non s’ausa spisso dint’ ‘a cucina pecché era ‘na pietanza carsa, e scarziava dint’ ‘e case d’ ‘e cciù povere. Non se trovanao dint’ ‘a tradiziona filiette, custate o tagliate ‘e carne. ‘E tipe ‘e carne ca se trovano cchiù spisso songo:

Sasicce e cervellatine, cu’ carne tagliata a ponta ‘e curtiello. Fecatielle ‘e puorco, arravugliate din’t ‘a rezza cu’ ‘na foglia ‘e lauro. ‘A carnacotta e ati frattaglie, comme a ‘o pere e ‘o musso, e ‘a zuppa ‘e suffritto. Braciole ‘e puorco, ca s’arravogliano cu a dint’ passule, pignuole e ati addore, nzerrate cu ‘e stecchine, cucuite dint’ô rraù. Crapetto e ‘o pecuriello, cucenati cu’ patane e pesielle a furno, specie ‘o tiempo ‘e Pasca. Pullo e cuniglio, specie cucenate ‘a cacciatora, arruscate c’ ‘a pummarola.

‘O ppane cchiù sapurito è ‘o ppane cafone, ‘mpastato cu ‘o crissceto, cuciuto dint’ ‘o furno a legna, c’ ‘a scorza abbruscata, cu ruossi purtuse. Se cunzumano pure ‘e sfilatine, ca parono ‘nu poco ‘e baguette francese, ma so’ cchiù curte e ‘nu poco cchiù chiatte, e ‘e rusette, panine tunne.

D’ ‘a classuca pummarola ô semprice aglio e uoglio ‘nfino a tutta ‘a sparata ‘e sarze, accumpagnata a verdure o frutte ‘e mare, e ‘a specialità d’ ‘p rraù, l’arta dà ccà ‘o mmeglio suojo. ‘A Cucina cchiù povera mette assieme spisso ‘a cu ‘e legume. Apprezzate songo: pasta e fasule, specie c’ ‘e cotiche, pasta e cicere, pasta e lenticchie’ e pesielle. Oggie è difficile ca s’ausano pure ‘e cicerchie. S’appriparano â stessa manera d’ ‘e legume pure e patane, pasta e caulisciore, pasta e cucozza.

‘A manera ‘e cocere cchù pupulare è ‘e cocere prima ‘e cundimente (ca po’ essere frijere l’agili dint’all’uoglio, po’ aunì ‘e fasule scaurate, o po’ essere frijere ‘a cepolla e alaccia, po’ nce mettere ‘e patane tagliate a pezzule), po’ s’allonga cull’acqua, ca se fa vollere, s’acconcia ‘e sale, e se votta a pasta crura a dinto. ‘A pasta se coce assieme ê cundimente, e mantene a posema, ca ‘nvece se perde si ‘a pasta se coce a parte e se scola.

‘E sta manera ‘e cocere ‘o zuco vene cchiù cremuso e azzeccato, e è ‘na manera differente d’a tradizione cchiù nobbele, ca vò appriparà ‘e stesse piatte cchiù bruruse, ammiscanno ‘a pasta sculata a parte a ‘e cundimente all’urdemo mumento.

Pe’ fà ‘nu primmo piatto puveriello, ma cchiù sustanziuso, ‘a se ammesca cu ova sbattute e furmaggio (caso e ova). ‘E cundite c’ ‘a salza ‘e pummarola, aulive ‘e e chiappere, pigliano nomme ‘e â puttanesca. Fantasiosa è pure ‘a ricetta criata p’ ‘e tavule cchiù puverelle, addò mancavano è frutte ‘e mare, assaje care: se mette ‘ncopp’ ‘e ‘na salza ‘e pummarulelle cu’ aglio, uiglio e petrusino, c’addeventeno accusì â vongole fujute.

‘A s’appripara pure cu l’avanze ‘e pasta, o ‘n bianco o c’ ‘a pummarola. S’ammesca ‘a scaurata cu l’ova sbattute e furmaggio. Se po’ fa’ cchiù sfiziosa mettennece ati cundimente. ‘A s’ha da cocere ‘a tutte e dduje ‘e late, e si è fatta bbona, se mantene tutto ‘nu piezzo, se po’ taglià a felle, e se po’ magnà pure fore casa. ‘A cucina aristucratica ausa ‘a pa priparazione cchiù ‘mpicciose, comm’ ‘e timballe, ca mo’ s’appriparano raramente dint’ ‘a cucina ‘e tutte ‘e juorne.

Mmiezo ‘e piatte ca sonogo cciù ricche d’ ‘a cu fasule o cicere, de la quale avimmo scritto cciù ‘ncopp, ce sta ‘a co diverse specie ‘e salze comme a:

‘A sumigliante ‘nu poco ô rraù ‘e appriparato cu cepolla pastenaca a pezzulle, carne macenata e pummarola. ‘A ca nun tene niente a che spartere cu e s’appripara cu ‘na salza ‘e carne chiena ‘e cepolla suffritta eti addore. C’ o rraù s’ausano specialmente ‘e zite luonghe e scavate mmiezo, ca se spezzano a mano primma d’ ‘e cocere. ‘O rraù s’ausa, assimee ‘o sciore ‘e pe cuncià ‘e ‘a surrentina, ca se fernescene ‘e cocere a furno dinto a ‘nu pignatiello.

Paccare s’abbinano assaje bbuono cu frutte ‘e mare e pesce. Accussì se priparano ‘e piatte cchiù ‘mpurtante, specialmente p’ ‘e matrimonie. ‘E cchiù ausate songo:

‘E â vongole o ê frutte (cu’ vongole, cozzeche, fasulare, taratufe)). ‘E paccare c’ ‘a zuppa ‘e pesce, cu scuorfane cuocce, tracene e ati pisce â zuppa. ‘A cu ‘e cuciute cu ‘na sprizzata ‘e vino janco. Esistono pure tanti variante, comme ‘e c’ ‘o zuco d’ ‘o merluzzo frisco janco (senza pummarola, sulo cu aglio, uoglio e petrusino). ‘E piatte d’ ‘a cucina povera cu ‘e legume se ponno abbinà c’ ‘e frutte ‘e mare; accusì se po’ appriparà e fasule c’ ‘e cozzeche, o variante cchiù muderne, comme cu cucuzzielle e vongole, ma accussì facenno se perde tutta a tradizione, e non se tratta cchiù ‘e piatte tipicamente.

‘O ‘e riso è comm’a ‘nu timballo ‘e riso ‘mbuttunato ‘e fecatielle ‘e pullo, sacicce, purpettelle ‘e carne, schiore ‘e latte o provola, pesielle, funge, e cundito c’ ‘o rraù, o pure dint’ ‘a verzione janca c’ ‘a besciamella. Dint’ ‘a cucina povera s’appriparano virze e riso, ‘nzapurute cu scurzette ‘e tagliate a pezzulle, ca se squagliano quanno se cociono.

A base ‘e pesce è ‘o â piscatora, ca se pripara cu purpetielle, secce, vongole, lupine, jammere e e cu ‘nu broro fatto vullenno ‘e scorze ‘e tutt’ ‘e frutte ‘e mare. A s’ausono pure ‘e palle ‘e riso, ‘mbuttunate e fritte.

‘A è forse ‘a criazione cchiù famosa ‘e tutta ‘a cucina. Ll’origgene soje songo assaje antiche, sicuramente ‘o periodo, quanno ce stevano fucacce ‘e rano, pure citata dint’ ‘e. Ma ‘a verace, c’ ‘a pummarona ‘ncoppa, ha poco ‘e cchià ‘e duicient’anne. Addivintaje ampressa famosa mmiezo o popolo, ma pure add’ ‘e barune e principe, e nce steva pure a bizzeffe add’ ‘e festine d’ ‘e rre Burbone, ca ce piaceva assaje.

Ma pure ‘e rrè piemuntise se lasciajene cunquistà a chisto mmangià: fuje p’ ‘a riggina Margherita ‘e Savoja ca dint’ ‘o 1889 ‘o ‘nventaje ‘a tricuolre, addò ‘o janco, ‘o rrusso e ‘o vverde erano fatte d’ ‘a ‘a pummarola e a vasenicola; e chesta se chiammaje d’allora “Margherita”. ‘A cuttura d’ ‘a vera have bisogno d’ ‘o furno a llegna cha riesce a tenere ‘na temperatura ‘e 450 – 485°C. Per chesta raggione, sia ‘a fatta â casa ca chella appriparata dint’ ‘t lucale cha ausano ‘e furne eliettriece non arrivano a apparà l’unico sapore d’ ‘a vera.

‘E purpe â luciana songo nfra ‘e cchiù ‘mpurtante piatte ‘e pesce. Se chiammano accussì add’ ‘o rione ‘e Santa Lucia, addo’ nascetterro. ‘O purpo se mette senz’acqua c’ ‘a pummarola e ‘o cerasiello. ‘O purpo se coce pure scaurato, a ‘nzalata, cu uoglio, zuco ‘e limone, petrosino e aulive verde. Pe ‘na ‘nzalata ‘e mare cchiù ricca ce vonno pure secce, e jammere.

‘O pesce ‘e media grandezza se cucina bbuone all’acqua pazza, ca fosse c’ ‘a pummarulella e ‘o petrosino; ‘e pisce cchiù grusse ‘a morte lloro ‘e arrustute ‘ncoppa a brace, accumpagnate, p’ ‘e pranze cchiù ‘mpurtante, ‘a jammarune e mazzauncuoglie. ‘E cozzeche se cocene ‘e varie mmanere: ‘a cchiù semprice è â mpepata, cotte ampressa dint’ ‘a ‘na caccavella c’ ‘o cummuoglio, c’ ‘o pepe acoppa e ‘na goccia ‘e limone; o se fanno pure a grattè. Vongole e ati frutte ‘e mare se cocene a soté, suffritte dint’a ‘na tiana cu uoglio, aglio, e spase dint’ ‘o piatto ‘ncppp ‘e crustine.

Pure ‘o pesce meno priggiato vene sapurito si cucenato bbuono:

L’alice ‘ndurate e fritte, spinate e passate primm dint’ ‘a farina, appriesso dint’all’ova, e po’ fritte. L’alicw marinate, o c’o zuco ‘e limone, o dint’all’acito. L’alice arreganate, spinate e passate ampressa dint’a ‘na turriera cu’ aglio, uoglio, arecheta e zuco ‘e limone o acito. ‘E cicenielle, ca songo pisce piccerille, se appriparano scaurate o frijute din’t a na leggera pastetta, accussì comme se fa cull’alghe ‘e mare.

‘A frittura ‘e paranza è spisso fatta cu’ merluzzielle, treglie, fricassuare, ma ‘nce ponno sta pure ati specie ‘e pisce piccerille, comme a alice o mazzune. S’hadda magnà assaje cavera, o, comme se dice, frijenno magnanno. ‘E jammere piccerille ‘e nassa, ca se venneno ancora vive, e ca sumpetteano, se frijono ampressa ampressa, senza ‘e passà dint’ ‘a farina, comme ‘nvece se fa c’ ‘a paranza.


Filed under Language Families, Linguistics, Romance, Spot the Language

Round Heels

What does the phrase “round heels” mean? Here is an example of a sentence using the phrase.

You know what they say about models – a lot of women who do modeling have round heels.

State what the phrase means and the genesis or etiology of the phrase.


Filed under English language, Linguistics

How To Show Two Languages Are Related

Interesting little graph here from an unpublished paper by Stefan Georg. Now according to linguistic consensus, Eskimo-Aleut and Uralic are simply not related. They have never been proven to have been related. Uralic is a group consisting of Finnic (Finnish and related tongues), Ugric (Hungarian and related languages) and Samoyedic (a variety of different languages stretching from the Urals far into Siberia. Uralo-Eskimo does not exist. It is the author’s name for a hypothetical language family intended to show the probable genetic relationship going on here.

Below is the paradigm for personal possessive suffixes in both groups. Look how well they line up. This is the sort of thing we look for when we try to see if two languages are related. For one, personal pronouns and their derivatives are rarely borrowed between languages. For another thing, entire sets such as listed below, which are called paradigms, are almost never or never borrowed. Morphology is also not borrowed much. Entire paradigm sets of suffixal morphology in personal pronouns is typically considered prima facie evidence of a genetic relationship between tongues. Here we have an entire paradigm of pronoun morphology between two supposedly unrelated language families lining up almost perfectly. The skeptical argument is that this paradigm could have been borrowed. You know what? That didn’t happen. Getting down to brass tacks, there is no way to explain charts like below other than genetically.

      Uralo-Eskimo         Samoyedic         Eskimo-Aleut
     Singular Plural    Singular Plural    Singular Plural
1sg  -m       -t-m      -mǝ      -t-mǝ     -m-(ka) -t-m-(ka)
2sg  -t       -t-t      -tǝ      -t-tǝ     -n/t    -tǝ-n/t
3sg  -sa      -i-sa     -sa      -i-sa     -sa     -i-sa
1pl  -mǝ-t    -n/t-mǝ-t -ma-t    -t/n-ma-t -mǝ-t   -mǝ-t
2pl  -tǝ-t    -t-mǝ-t   -ta-t    -t-ta-t   -tǝ-t   -tǝ-t
3pl  -sa-t    -i-sa-t   -i-to-n  -to-n     -sa-t   -i-sa-t

The problem with historical linguistics is that it has gotten away from its roots. Typically languages were determined to be related through simple observation. Later on, efforts at reconstructing the ancient proto-language with possible sound laws and regular sound correspondences can be done. This is what Sir William Jones did when he announced the discovery of the Indo-European language family at a speech to an academic society in India in the late 1700’s. No one had done any reconstruction at that time and to this day, there are many problems with the reconstruction of Proto Indo European to say nothing of lesser known large families.

What happened was the reconstruction crowd took over the field and historical linguistics became much more conservative. First you had to do reconstruction and find cognates and regular sound correspondences, and then and only then could two languages be shown to be related. This was not so much true with obviously closely related languages but surely it was the case with the larger macrofamilies. This became known as “the comparative method” and to this day, it remains supreme in our silly field of linguistics.

This is how it works.

  1. Determine that the languages are related. First via observation, you look at a group of languages and determine them to be related by finding such dead giveaways as the paradigm above.
  2. Reconstruct. Later, often much later, you reconstruct the proto-language that they descended from and try to find cognates and regular sound correspondences.

The new Comparative Method Conservatives do it like this:

  1. Reconstruct. First you reconstruct the proto-language that a number of possibly related languages descended from, hopefully with regular sound correspondences.
  2. Determine that the languages are related. Then and only then can a group of languages be said to be related.

The new way is ass-backwards, and in recent years, we have not been discovering many new language families due to the conservatism of this silly approach.


Georg, Stephan. 2001. Cross-Bering Comparisons. Unpublished paper. (presented at Leiden University).

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Filed under Comparitive, Eskimo-Aleut, Finnic, Finno-Ugric Languages, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Language Classification, Language Families, Linguistics, Ugric