Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Attercop

As I was researching my refutation of some dastardly folk etymologies (see post blow) I came accross one of the obsolete meanings of the noun "cop." One of the entries for "cop" in OED is devoted to spiders--a related word that is still used is "cobweb." The etymology shows that the Old English word for spider was "attercop."

Now, does that word ring any bells? A prize to the one who answers correctly...

Hint: they hate it when you call them that.

11 comments:

Boromir said...

Hmm, that's a tough one for a mortal man. But being Boromor Son of Denthor II I know that Bilbo shouted that at the giant spiders of Mirkwood in the "Flies and Spiders" chapter of The Hobbit.

Boromir said...

I learned something interesting that you, being the All-Knowing Chaka, probably already knew. The most ancient elvish language Quenya was inspired by Tolkien's study of Finnish and Sindarin was inspired by Welsh. Could you tell me how these elvish languages are related to languages they were inspired by?

Pirate Jimmy said...

You're such a nerd...

Special K said...

What kind of prize are we talking? Is it worth me spending my time looking it up? I almost did anyway out of sheer curiosity, but then I fought hard and suppressed that urge, knowing that you'll eventually tell us anyway. Unless, of course, the prize is really that great.

Chaka said...

Boromir! I dared to hope that my question would draw you into the discussion.

I have not made a thorough study of Finnish, Quenya, Welsh, or Sindarin; but based on what I've read about Tolkien's language play, he probably invented new words that used the same sounds as those natural languages and roughly followed their grammar.

Chaka said...

For example, if I were to make up a language, let's call it Chakkadian, inspired by my study of Hebrew, I might make up words like:

yazor = wolf
geleh = mother
taka = eat
sa = your

"Taka yazor galsa" = "A wolf ate your mother.

Chaka said...

In Hebrew, that sentence would sound something like:

"Akhal zeov emkha"
Ate wolf mom.your

Chaka said...

A prize, right, I promised a prize. Umm....how 'bout I pronounce a blessing on your firstborn?

Special K said...

ooh, as honored as I would be to have you bless my child, I think I'll pass and wait for it. Thanks anyway, though!

Boromir said...

I would love a blessing on my eldest child whom sham be named...Boromir!!!

Pirate Jimmy said...

You're such a nerd...