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[tied] beam, as in weavers beam

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  • Max Dashu
    I m wondering about the etymology of the word beam in the phrase weaver s beam. There are beams in looms, but they are big heavy logs. As per the
    Message 1 of 155 , Feb 4, 2013
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      I'm wondering about the etymology of the word "beam" in the phrase "weaver's beam." 

      There are beams in looms, but they are big heavy logs. As per the etymological dictionary online: "Old English beam originally "living tree," but by late 10c. also "rafter, post, ship's timber," from West Germanic *baumaz (cf. Old Frisian bam "tree, gallows, beam," Middle Dutch boom, Old High German boum, German Baum "tree"), perhaps from PIE verb root *bheue- "to grow" (see be)."

      In Irish and Mexican studies, there are reference to the weaver's beam being held ceremonially (Fedelm in the Táin, while prophesying) and indications in Zapotec burials, Aztec codexes, of it being a ritual tool of sorts. These clearly aren't beams as in logs, but apparently weavers' tools assigned spiritual potency and significance. 

      Any linguistic insights?

      Max Dashu

       
    • Tavi
      ... Portuguese equivalent to DRAE and do they have a website with all the vocabulary of Portuguese? ... Sometime ago, I found a comprehensive etymological
      Message 155 of 155 , Feb 14, 2013
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        --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, Rick McCallister wrote:
        >
        > In Spanish, it also has that meaning, see DRAEBTW --how good is the
        Portuguese equivalent to DRAE and do they have a website with all the
        vocabulary of Portuguese?
        >
        Sometime ago, I found a comprehensive etymological dictionary of
        Portuguse at a second-hand bookstore (although I didn't buy it) where it
        gives silva 'bramble' from Latin silva 'forest'. Good Gracious!

        > DRAE is great for what it is: a list of second hand etymologies culled
        from the ruminations of established old farts in the field.
        >
        That is, García de Diego (who was a member of RAE) and Coromines. As
        their respective views are most often (if not always) contradictory,
        this is reflected in inconsistencies through the dictionary.
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