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Picture of shufitz
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A certain country is called Deutschland by its inhabitants, is called L'Allemagne in the country immediately west, and is called Germany in the country next-further west.

The three names look entirely different. How did such different names arise?
 
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Different peoples met the Germans at different points in history and adopted different names (usually from tribal names) for them. Some names are descriptive. Some of the names and their corresponding languages are:

Deutschland  Deutsch   in which country
Germania      tedesco    Italy
Allemagne     allemand  France
Germany       German    UK/USA
Tyskland       tysk      Denmark
Germanija      nemetskij Russia (means mute)
Alemania       alemán    Spain
德国 (dégúo)  --       China (PRC)

France got its name from a German tribe, too: the Franks. Same with the Lombards in Italy: Langobardi (the long beards).


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Another relatively unknown country in Europe is named after a German tribe, the Angles.
 
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Within the UK, besides England (from the Angles), one also notes (East) Anglia, Wessex (West Saxons), Sussex (South Saxons), and Essex (East Saxons); in Denmark, Jylland (Jutland, Jutes); in Sweden, Göteborg (Gothenburg, Geats/Goths) in Västergötland; and in Spain, Andalucia (Andalusia, Vandals).


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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I thought "Germany" was from a Greek word for them. Zmj, explicate, bitte!
 
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Re: "German"
I solve German crossword puzzles for fun and, as in English, certain otherwise obscure words crop up so frequently that us cruciverbalists know them as "crossword-puzzle words".

In German puzzles, one of the commonest such words is Ger, which was a kind of primitive spear used by some ancient western European tribes. A Ger-Manne was thus descriptive of those Ger-Manic people.

For those who might be interested in the xword aspect, most such words belong to a "family" of words all having the same number of letters and varying one from the other by a single letter, thus giving the constructor a multiplicity of choices when having trouble with crossing words.

Fröschlein
 
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Froeschlein says, "us cruciverbalists know them" and continues, "thus giving the constructor a multiplicity of choices".

I think 'cruciverbalist' can mean either a solver of crosswords or a constructor of crosswords. (That's without troubling to look it up, however.) Of course, it must be avoided in the second-quoted phrase, to avoid ambiguity.
 
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What Froeschli said. The ger-root also appears in English garlic, literally 'spear-onion', with -lic related to leek.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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It does rather beg the question of what we should call places- by our name or it's inhabitants? The recent substition of Mumbai for Bombay by the BBC and in the past of Peking by Bejing rather suggest at an attempt at the latter.
Why though? We don't call Munich, Munchen here, nor Turin, Torino, etc. Nor do we use the Libyan name for Libya- I do remember it being a bit of a mouthful, or call Hungary, Magyar...
probably for the simple reason that we would have little hope of being able to pronounce them! Mind you, that situation exists here in Britain, especially in Scotland and Wales but even in England where some of the pronunciations as opposed to the spelling are bizarre in the least!
 
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Originally posted by wordnerd:
Froeschlein says, "us cruciverbalists know them" and continues, "thus giving the constructor a multiplicity of choices".

I think 'cruciverbalist' can mean either a solver of crosswords or a constructor of crosswords. (That's without troubling to look it up, however.) Of course, it must be avoided in the second-quoted phrase, to avoid ambiguity.


wn, you're right that cruciverbalist embraces both concepts, but you misunderstood my intent when I used constructor: I meant that the constructor, not the solver, has more escape routes when said person has painted said self into a corner. I know this from my own attempts at constructing xwords, because I always start off with a determination to avoid the cliche words as much as possible, yet I wind up reluctantly resorting to them to resolve recalcitrant regions.

Phroggye
 
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quote:
Originally posted by zmjezhd:
The ger-root also appears in English garlic, literally 'spear-onion', with -lic related to leek.


Thanx, zm, for garlic; I hadn't known that one, and it's a delicious concept, spear-onion!

I hope you'll forgive my checking up on the above in my ODEE, edited by -- wait for it -- C.T. Onions.

I just found a more obvious one in the Oxford etc. : garfish -- but garden is not, sadly, a room in which to store spears. Big Grin

Ph
 
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Torino

There were stories during the last Olympics of how Turin wanted to be called by their Italian name. Interestingly enough, Turin is closer to the actual pronunciation in the local dialect /turiN/ with the final n a velar nasal.

C.T. Onions

He was one of the first editors of the OED, hired by J A Murray, he edited the original supplement in '33, and he lived into the '60s.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Quinion has a nice discussion of cruciverbalist.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Why don't we call this country Vinland, as the Vikings did? And what did the other pre-Columbians call it? Or did they need to call it anything?
 
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In the travel industry, the use of local spellings for towns and cities is obligatory for rail bookings - although not for air where English spellings are always used.

So an air ticket would be written as London/Florence and a rail ticket London/Firenze. Of course, the French often ignore international conventions and so air tickets reading Paris/Londres are not uncommon.

Of course, as the paper ticket is rapidly disappearing these kinds of eccentricities will (maybe sadly) disappear quite soon and the computer generated reservations printouts - unalterable by the travel booker - will become the standard.


Richard English
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Froeschlein:

In German puzzles, one of the commonest such words is Ger, which was a kind of primitive spear used by some ancient western European tribes. A Ger-Manne was thus descriptive of those Ger-Manic people.


I am very sceptical. The origin of Latin Germānus is unknown.
 
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OT, but I'm puzzled: Why did Clemens Winkler, discoverer of the element Germanium, name it "...for his country when he was from Deutschland?

Regarding goofy's post: I thought the Greek Γερμανοί (Germanoi) predated the rest.
 
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Germanium


He named it after the Latin name for his country, Germānia.

The OED says nothing about any Greek origin.
 
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Although the OED does mention Hellenistic Greek Γερμανικὸς Ὠκεανός "German ocean" i.e. the North Sea, but no word on how it is related to the Latin.
 
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