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135831Hyperborean (was: A book report...)

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  • R A Brown
    Jan 2, 2006
      Andreas Johansson wrote:
      > Quoting Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>:
      >>On Sun, 01 Jan 2006 05:00:30 -0500, Jefferson Wilson
      >><jeffwilson63@...> wrote:
      >>> PM Hyperborean, Indian, and artificial languages
      >>That's a word with which I ought to be familiar, but I'm not. My brain
      >>keeps insisting it means either "having many trees" or "above the trees",
      >>neither of which make much sense. In typing this, though, it has become
      >>apparent that it might mean "from beyond the north".
      >>Am I even remotely in the right territory?
      > The Hyperboreans, according to ancient geographers, were a people living in the
      > far north, so your last interpretation is probably correct.

      Certainly correct.

      Hyperboreoi (m. pl.) "a people supposed to live in the extreme north".
      The noun is found in the works of Homer and of other ancient Greek
      writers. It is derived thus:
      hyper "above, beyond" + bore- (north, north wind)* + -oi (MASC.PL)

      *the noun for 'north' and 'north wind' was _boreas_ (masc.)

      In modern times the adjective 'Hyperborean' has been applied to a group
      of languages spoken in northeastern Siberia.

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