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A smoking gun

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  • Martin Votruba
    ... Tuxedos were worn by the wealthy all over Europe, Caye. The rich in Slovakia were no exception. The word _smoking_ is common in many European languages.
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 3, 2005
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      > pretty funny that there would even be a word
      > for tuxedo in the Slovak language, and it's also
      > interesting that "smoking" would be the substitute

      Tuxedos were worn by the wealthy all over Europe, Caye. The rich in
      Slovakia were no exception. The word _smoking_ is common in many
      European languages. It spread from French, which borrowed the word
      from English, but gave it this meaning.

      The word must have come up because of an error in the dictionary,
      Helen, _smoking_ has nothing to do with -mok-/-moc~- ("wet").


      I had a funny moment with something similar not too long ago. A
      student's assignment (a brief synopsis of a movie of his choice) used
      the word _s~kridla_ for a character, clearly a girl.

      Weird, weird, I thought, because it means a "(roof) shingle," but
      since he'd spent some time in Slovakia, I began to wonder whether
      he'd picked up the latest lingo, and e-mailed whatever Slovak "cool
      kids" I knew to find out. Everyone denied any knowledge of it.

      We had a good laugh in class as I was returning the assignments. It
      turned out that a widely used English-Slovak dictionary on a CD
      mistranslates the English _princess_ (a character in the movie he
      described; princezna in Slovak) with the Slovak word _s~kridla_.


      > The literal translation of "throw the rifle into the wheat"
      > doesn't make too much sense to me, but it may be a folksy
      > reference to something that I don't recognize.

      The image is, B.J., of a soldier throwing his rifle in a field of rye
      (where it disappears from sight) to demonstrate that he's had enough,
      is not going to retrieve it, and wants to go home.


      Martin

      votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
    • Helen Fedor
      Martin, I know that -mok-/-moc~ has nothing to do with smoking . I guess I didn t make myself clear. I was referring to all the earlier words we d talked
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 3, 2005
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        Martin,
        I know that -mok-/-moc~ has nothing to do with 'smoking'. I guess I
        didn't make myself clear. I was referring to all the earlier words we'd
        talked about: mac~anka, zmoc~eny, etc.

        Helen



        >>> votrubam@... 1/3/2005 1:55:25 PM >>>
        > pretty funny that there would even be a word
        > for tuxedo in the Slovak language, and it's also
        > interesting that "smoking" would be the substitute

        Tuxedos were worn by the wealthy all over Europe, Caye. The rich in
        Slovakia were no exception. The word _smoking_ is common in many
        European languages. It spread from French, which borrowed the word
        from English, but gave it this meaning.

        The word must have come up because of an error in the dictionary,
        Helen, _smoking_ has nothing to do with -mok-/-moc~- ("wet").


        I had a funny moment with something similar not too long ago. A
        student's assignment (a brief synopsis of a movie of his choice) used
        the word _s~kridla_ for a character, clearly a girl.

        Weird, weird, I thought, because it means a "(roof) shingle," but
        since he'd spent some time in Slovakia, I began to wonder whether
        he'd picked up the latest lingo, and e-mailed whatever Slovak "cool
        kids" I knew to find out. Everyone denied any knowledge of it.

        We had a good laugh in class as I was returning the assignments. It
        turned out that a widely used English-Slovak dictionary on a CD
        mistranslates the English _princess_ (a character in the movie he
        described; princezna in Slovak) with the Slovak word _s~kridla_.


        > The literal translation of "throw the rifle into the wheat"
        > doesn't make too much sense to me, but it may be a folksy
        > reference to something that I don't recognize.

        The image is, B.J., of a soldier throwing his rifle in a field of rye
        (where it disappears from sight) to demonstrate that he's had enough,
        is not going to retrieve it, and wants to go home.


        Martin

        votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu


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      • Martin Votruba
        ... Clearly, I ve lost track of the thread, Helen. I thought you and RU explained the other words: as you said, the root in them is -mok-/-moc~-, which
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 3, 2005
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          > I was referring to all the earlier words we'd
          > talked about: mac~anka, zmoc~eny, etc.

          Clearly, I've lost track of the thread, Helen. I thought you and RU
          explained the other words: as you said, the root in them is
          -mok-/-moc~-, which relates to "wet." The origin of macanka, as you
          said, is a "dip," a thickish liquid you eat by dipping the bread in,
          "making it wet with the sauce." The contemporary Slovak word for
          sauce, _oma'c~ka_, has the same origin.

          Hrutka/hrudka came from _hruda_, "lump (of earth)."

          Anthropologists say that thickish liquids, from porridge-like to all
          kinds of stews, eaten with baked dough (a wide variety of breads)
          have historically been the most frequently eaten dishes in Europe for
          at least much of the past millennium.

          As Ron said, we sometimes look for traditions, but so much of what we
          think of as ancient is barely a century old. To bring it back to
          Christmas -- gift giving is a very new thing. In some villages in
          Slovakia, people didn't begin to give each other presents until the
          second half of the twentieth century. A lot of what we see as old
          traditions -- from folk costumes and dishes through things like
          Christmas trees and presents -- has trickled down from fanciful
          innovations in noblemen's courts, to towns, to villages.
          "McDonaldization" is nothing new as a trend. People always strove to
          imitate the wealthy and powerful, even without the power of
          advertising.


          Martin

          votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
        • Vlad Nad
          fMartin, I disagree with you also. Since 1906 when my grandparents arrived here, they had the same Christmas eve meal. My mother and father continued it, un
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 3, 2005
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            fMartin,

            I disagree with you also. Since 1906 when my grandparents arrived here, they had the same Christmas eve meal. My mother and father continued it, un changed their entire life, and we, continue it as well, not changed from nearly a century ago. When I visited my relatives in Slovkia a couple of years ago, it was confirmed that this was indeed the family Christmas eve meal and has continued there also all these years. So I ask you, please dont try to Mc Donaldize my family, its roots, and traditions as so many others have. For us, it is important to keep the traditions alive, and we take offense at such a generic term as McDonalds, especially since the McDonalds of today, bears no resemblance to the McDonald brothers who started the fast food idea.

            Vlad

            Martin Votruba <votrubam@...> wrote:
            > I was referring to all the earlier words we'd
            > talked about: mac~anka, zmoc~eny, etc.

            Clearly, I've lost track of the thread, Helen. I thought you and RU
            explained the other words: as you said, the root in them is
            -mok-/-moc~-, which relates to "wet." The origin of macanka, as you
            said, is a "dip," a thickish liquid you eat by dipping the bread in,
            "making it wet with the sauce." The contemporary Slovak word for
            sauce, _oma'c~ka_, has the same origin.

            Hrutka/hrudka came from _hruda_, "lump (of earth)."

            Anthropologists say that thickish liquids, from porridge-like to all
            kinds of stews, eaten with baked dough (a wide variety of breads)
            have historically been the most frequently eaten dishes in Europe for
            at least much of the past millennium.

            As Ron said, we sometimes look for traditions, but so much of what we
            think of as ancient is barely a century old. To bring it back to
            Christmas -- gift giving is a very new thing. In some villages in
            Slovakia, people didn't begin to give each other presents until the
            second half of the twentieth century. A lot of what we see as old
            traditions -- from folk costumes and dishes through things like
            Christmas trees and presents -- has trickled down from fanciful
            innovations in noblemen's courts, to towns, to villages.
            "McDonaldization" is nothing new as a trend. People always strove to
            imitate the wealthy and powerful, even without the power of
            advertising.


            Martin

            votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu



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