OK everybody tells me how difficult German is (I wouldn't know, it's my mother tongue LOL) But the more I look into English, the more I am surprised how easy I thought it is when I started learning it in school.
Here are a few fun Heteronyms (words that are spelled the same but are pronounced differently)
Excuse; Please excuse me while I think of an excuse. Polish; Tell the Polish cleaners to polish the floor. Minute; The button was so minute that it was a minute before I found it. Wind; Hopefully the wind will be strong enough to wind the windmill. Record; It's the referee's job to record the new world record.
Is it my imagination, or do Brits (and perhaps other English speakers) use the word "whilst" a good bit? Americans use the word "while," and would never think of saying whilst. Is this a more formal way of speaking, or is it commonly used?
as for the first link - the thing about pea and cherry originally having ended in -s ... i think the opposite happened with the german word "keks" (meaning cookie or biscuit) - afaik it comes from english "cake", but it seems it was the plural form "cakes" which then in german got turned into a singular word "keks", the plural of which now is "kekse".
A historian/linguist found it pertinent to explain the origin of the world "isolation" today on television.
Obviously, islands are at the heart of this. Latin insula (island) and then insulatus (made into an island) before developing the Italian isolato followed by the French isolé. The English language used the French word until about 1750 before developing isolate/isolated.
And of course this goes back to the times when ships would arrive in port from a long voyage with most or all of the sailors sick (the ones who had not already died of course). They would be put on a nearby island to determine if they lived or died after 40 days ("quarantine" -- French word still in use in English but missing an A - quarantaine).
I don't think there is an English word for it, but these 14-day coronovirus isolation periods have resurrected a disused French word -- quatorzaine. I suppose that in English you have to say "fourteen day quarantine," which is linguistically atrocious.
The Romans considered one week to be one fourth of a month, so a week could actually be 7, 8 or 9 days.
I am glad to know this, as I always assumed it was because Mexicans (& the French) compulsively included the day from which they were counting, i.e., next Thursday, which to me counts as a week/7 days away, in Mexico today is included as well, so 8 days.
this goes back to the times when ships would arrive in port from a long voyage with most or all of the sailors sick (the ones who had not already died of course). They would be put on a nearby island to determine if they lived or died after 40 days ("quarantine"
Long ago, in this thread about Lent, another 40-day period we're in right now, I included this nugget about the Spanish word for Lent: From the Latin “quadragésimo” to Spanish, as in "el cuadragésimo día antes de la pascua” -- the 40th day before Easter, or Lent in English.
And to get back to English ~
“Lent” comes to us from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “springtime” (lencten) and both are related to the German word “lenz” meaning “spring.” The root word for lenz is the same as that for the word “long” (lang). Etymologists feel there is a link between this word and the fact that springtime is when the days grow longer in the Northern Hemisphere. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) notes that, by the 11th century, the word “Lent” “had taken on the Christian usage it has today” and its use as a generic term for “spring” was disappearing. The dictionary adds that “Lenten” is “the earliest English word currently recorded in the OED for the season between winter and summer.”source