pożyczki pod zastaw piotrkow abis slask pozyczki udziele pożyczki prywatnie warszawa kredyt mieszkaniowy jaki wkład własny pożyczki żnin kara za niezgłoszenie pożyczki pozyczki z funduszu dla zadluzonych wycena pożyczki w walucie obcej na dzień bilansowy kredyt mieszkaniowy dochód umowa pożyczki pieniędzy doc pozyczka na umowe cywilno prawna czestochowa pro domo pożyczki kołobrzeg kredyt bankowy konto kredyty chwilowki kepno gredan pożyczki kody do orange kredyt pożyczki w domu klienta bytom szybkie kredyty gotówkowe pozabankowe umowa pożyczki z przewłaszczeniem nieruchomości kredyty bez bik krd pożyczki pozabankowe dla kogo alex pożyczki kredyt konsolidacyjny w parabankach pozyczka dla bezrobotnego ze splata tygodniowa kredyt bank w przeworsku kredyty konsolidacyjne ze złą historią kredytową bank santander kredyt na komornika bocian pożyczki giżycko banki dające wszystkim kredyt samochodowy kredyt konsolidacyjny credit kasa pożyczki adam nowakowski pożyczki pozyczki bez biku online kredyt studencki jakie warunki bank bph kredyt konsolidacyjny opinie alior bank kredyty studenckie kredyt pozabankowy na zakup mieszkania pożyczki dla małych przedsiębiorstw kredyt bez bik optima umowa pożyczki od obcokrajowca kredyt eurobank online kredyt bank tygrysy europy kredyt bank parkiet forum abis pozyczka głogów numer telefonu polecane pożyczki kredyt mieszkaniowy z wkładem własnym optima pożyczki praca kredyt w raiffeisen bank forum kredyt w eurobank opinie pożyczki chwilówki kalkulator pożyczki alior kredyt samochodowy mbank regulamin pożyczki ekspresowe na dowód skarabeusz pożyczki praca pożyczki chwilówki poznań ul 23 lutego kredyt konsolidacyjny umowa na zastępstwo kredyt w getin banku opinie pożyczki pod zastaw zielona góra kredyt bank ełk ul słowackiego pozyczki bez bik forum kasa branickiego pożyczki kredyt bankowy z bik kredyt bank przelewy wychodzące godziny historia umowy pożyczki kredyt bank garwolin godziny otwarcia pożyczki gotówkowe bez bik i zaświadczeń kredyt bank sokółka telefon ubezpieczenie kredytu w aig bank jak obliczyć odsetki od umowy pożyczki emilion pożyczki kredyt bez biku dla zadłuzonych pożyczki pelikan kredyt bank sa kod swift kredyt bank blonie kredyt bank rozwiązanie umowy pożyczki długoterminowe definicja kredyt bankowy dla małych i średnich przedsiębiorstw zabezpieczenie pożyczki proz wzór umowy pożyczki kwoty pieniężnej kredyt bank oddziały warszawa udzielać pożyczki proz pożyczki kapitał ludzki kredyty bez bik w uk kredyty chwilówki warszawa zwrot pożyczki urząd skarbowy kwota pożyczki zwolniona od podatku kredyt gotówkowy kalkulator porównanie kredyt gotówkowy bez zaświadczeń online korzystne pożyczki gotówkowe kredyt pozabankowy gdynia pożyczki chwilówki w ciechanowie pożyczki na dowód bez zaświadczeń i bik czy sygma bank udziela pozyczek pożyczki bez bik łódz kredyt na samochód bez bik pożyczki fasadowe kredyt konsolidacyjny eurobank kredyty chwilowki srem vivus przedłużenie pożyczki udzielenie nieoprocentowanej pożyczki spółce auto kredyt bez bik witam kredyt bez bik i krd kredyt bank kapitał kredyt konsolidacyjny przy najniższej krajowej kredyt bez biku opinie pożyczki dla zadłużonych online kredyt bank oddział marki godziny otwarcia kredyt mieszkaniowy dla singli 2012 kredyt bank wypowiedzenie rachunku kredyty preferencyjne banki potwierdzenie spłaty pożyczki wzór kredyt bank 24 kursy walut pozyczki z obsługą domową warszawa tylko dobre kredyty bez biku kredyt konsolidacyjny w alior banku pożyczki socjalne w pracy kredyt bank w wieliczce w jakim banku najlepiej brać kredyt mieszkaniowy gdzie wziac kredyt kielce kredyt bank rzgowska pożyczki bez bik nowy sącz lloyds kredyt pod zastaw mieszkania w polsce kredyty bez bik dabrowa gornicza aureus pozyczki kalkulator kredytowy gotówkowy alior bank kredyt bank kondratowicza 35 jaki jest kod na kredyt z orange kredyt bank kurs chf pożyczki chwilówki jak założyć pożyczki darowizny kredyt samochodowy idea bank kredyt mieszkaniowy ltv kredyt bank mickiewicz białystok pozyczka gratka opinie kredyty mieszkaniowe pozabankowe kasa jowisz pożyczki kredyt bez bik bez poreczycieli pożyczki chwilówki sokołów podlaski kredyt bank departamenty kredyt konsolidacyjny oblicz raty potrącenia pożyczki z wynagrodzenia skarabeusz pożyczki chrzanów pożyczki prywatne biała podlaska kredyt bank godziny otwarcia zamość 18lat na dowod kredyty olsztyn pożyczki na rozwój działalności gospodarczej prywatna umowa pożyczki pieniędzy wzór pożyczki panda opole kredyt bank turek pożyczki ratunkowe poznań kredyt mieszkaniowy bez zdolności kredytowej prywatne pozyczki na weksel kredyt w orange jaki kod kredyt konsolidacyjny dla firm najtańsze pożyczki online kredyt bank rakowicka godziny otwarcia kredyt bank ukraine kredyt bank legnica godz otwarcia kredyt bank filia poraj pożyczki pod zastaw jawor kredyt studencki pko kiedy firma kredyty chwilówki opinie kredyt bez bik dębica pożyczki od osób prywatnych warszawa bocian pożyczki nowogard pożyczki bez bik świecie umowa pożyczki a koszty uzyskania przychodu bocian pożyczki nakło nad notecią opty pożyczki koszalin pożyczki udziałowców kredyt w anglii forum pożyczki multika mikropożyczki opole polisa pożyczki kredyt konsolidacyjny w meritum bank kredyt samochodowy bank bph kredyty chwilówki na raty kredyty bez bik i krd lublin kredyt mieszkaniowy dla młodych małżeństw pko kredyty mieszkaniowe alior bank pożyczki do domu optima pożyczki od 20 lat kredyt mieszkaniowy plus gotówka skarabeusz pożyczki głogów pożyczki bolesławiec pożyczki bez oprocentowania kredyt mieszkaniowy rodzina na swoim 2013 pożyczki dla zadłużonych z komornikiem online kredyt samochodowy mbank dokumenty pożyczki gotówkowe jelenia góra pożyczki z obsługą w domu klienta kredyty dla zadłużonych siedlce adresy nr tel oprocentowanie pożyczki mieszkaniowej z zfśs praca w kredyt banku 2012 kredyt samochodowy ranking 2014 pożyczka od 18 lat na dowód pożyczki pozabankowe bez bik online pożyczki prywatne mazowieckie wziecie pozyczki od mafi pożyczki społecznościowe sekrata kredyt bank w skoczowie współpraca pożyczki bez bik skok wisła pożyczki pożyczki pozabankowe białystok pożyczki wierzyciel kredyty mieszkaniowe dla osob pracujacych za granica kredyt konsolidacyjny gotowkowy pożyczki na dowód uk kredyty chwilowki legnica opinie pożyczki gotówkowe długoterminowe gros pożyczki opinie podatek od pożyczki w banku pożyczki katowice 3 maja pożyczki bez bik cały kraj kredyty bez bik sandomierz kredyt bank lublin windykacja kontakt kredyt bez bik do 50 tys poznań kredyt bank wola warszawa kredyt bank tarnów lwowska telefon kredyt konsolidacyjny kalkulator wbk wzór weksla pożyczki kredyty mieszkaniowe tanie kredyty chwilówki łuków duże pożyczki profinet pożyczki opinie spłata pożyczki z funduszu socjalnego kredyty chwilowki nowa sol pożyczki 1000 zł kredyt w jakim banku 2013 kredyt bank warszawa ul fieldorfa prywatne pożyczki gotówkowe prymus pożyczki kredyty bez bik i krd olsztyn pożyczki 10000zł pożyczki takie jak provident kredyty mieszkaniowe w 2012 roku kredyt w banku forum potwierdzenie zapłaty pożyczki warunki uzyskania kredytu w getin banku kredyt w banku bz wbk kredyt bank łochów pożyczki na dowód bez bik krd kredyt samochodowy invest bank umowa pożyczki pomiędzy wspólnikiem a spółką pożyczki na dowód słupsk pożyczki dla ludzi bez pracy pożyczki bocian września nowakka pożyczki online kredyt bank w legionowie kredyt samochodowy bez bik na firme cechy pożyczki jako czynności prawnej skarabeusz pożyczki oświęcim pożyczki w domu klienta wałbrzych umorzenie odsetek od pożyczki przychód pożyczki głogów kredyt mieszkaniowy a małżeństwo pozyczki dla zadluzonych i w bazach kredyty mieszkaniowe rodzina na swoim 2012 pożyczki przez internet bez wychodzenia z domu pożyczki pozabankowe kołobrzeg pożyczki bocian płock kredyt samochodowy na oświadczenie bez bik kredyt studencki pko procent kredyt pozabankowy przez internet forum pilne pożyczki gotówkowe kredyt konsolidacyjny kb umowa pożyczki ważność kredyt konsolidacyjny bez ograniczeń wiekowych pcc od pożyczki udziałowca 2013 pożyczki od ręki wrocław pożyczki chwilówki w lesznie kredyt bank biłgoraj umowa pożyczki na cele mieszkaniowe z zfśs wzór kredyt konsolidacyjny w citibanku kredyty chwilówki strzegom pożyczki chwilówki na dowód katowice pożyczki bez zaświadczeń szczecin kredyt bank otwock kredyt bank busko szybkie pożyczki piła kredyt bank sa bielsk podlaski pożyczki online w 15 minut pożyczki w poznaniu kredyt konsolidacyjny dla jst kredyt bank karty kredytowe infolinia kredyt dla zadłużonych opole brzeg korona pozyczki konin kredyt bez bik erif bocian pożyczki wzór umowy korzystne pożyczki bankowe prawo podatkowe pożyczki kredyt bez bik big bocian pożyczki ostróda kredyt w uk lloyds kredyt idea bank opinie pożyczki pod zastaw gruntu gdzie szybki kredyt bez bik kredyt mieszkaniowy kalkulator rat wbk punkt pozyczek bocian w swiebodzinie kredyty bez bik glogow pożyczki od osób prywatnych radom kredyty bez komornika biku wroclaw pożyczki bankowe ranking pożyczki chwilówki bez opłat kredyt konsolidacyjny dla rencisty kredyt bank w legionowie bocian pożyczki opinia bank pko kredyt rodzina na swoim kredyt w banku slaskim pożyczki kielce kredyt w uk dla polakow getink bank krasnik kredyt dla firm kredyty chwilówki w kielcach pożyczki prywatne racibórz kredyt mieszkaniowy dla singli rodzina na swoim kredyt mieszkaniowy eurobank pożyczki pod zastaw nieruchomości gdynia wrocław pożyczki prywatne kredyty bankowe wzory kredyt bank konto osobiste opinie kredyt bankowy aktywo czy pasywo pożyczka 20000 w lesznie bez bik kredyt studencki pekao dokumenty kredyt w banku polskim udzielenie pożyczki innej firmie księgowanie 24 pożyczki proximus pożyczki prywatne radomsko kredyt bank lubin jana pawła kredyty konsolidacyjne z zajęciem komorniczym opłata za przelew zagraniczny kredyt bank kredyt bank chrobrego wrocław godziny otwarcia sygma bank kredyt online umowa pożyczki podatek od czynności cywilnoprawnych kredyt bez bankowego rejestru szukam pożyczki katowice kredyt na dowód lukas bank prywatne pożyczki inwestycyjne kredyt bank janów lubelski kredyt pod zastaw domu bez bik kredyt bank starogard gdański tel umowa pożyczki jeremie pożyczki do domu optima wysoki kredyt bez bik pożyczki dla msp pożyczki prywatne nowa sól pożyczki bez bik gniezno opodatkowanie odsetek pożyczki kredyt bez bik katowice kredyt bank białystok zwycięstwa 8 c pożyczki bytom szybkie pożyczki chwilówki kredyt bank radomsko kontakt getin bank warunki ubezpieczenia kredytu pożyczki w planie kont kredyt studencki w ktorym banku kredyt konsolidacyjny a krd kredyty w szkocji kredyt bank w biłgoraju kredyty mieszkaniowe sierpień 2012 provident odmowa pożyczki kredyt bank wypowiada umowy na życie bocian pożyczki gotówkowe umowa poręczenia pożyczki kredyt bank bankomaty wbk udzielenie pożyczki spółce przez spółkę pożyczki pozabankowe środa wlkp kredyt bez bik i krd dla firm kredyt dla firm bez zaświadczeń bez bik optima pożyczki oferty pracy kredyt bank szczecin matejki telefon kredyt mieszkaniowy z umową na czas określony umowa pożyczki referat bocian pożyczki bik kredyt bank oddział w białymstoku kredyt bank kasprzaka pożyczki kraków rynek podgórski kredyty bez bik w olsztynie kredyt bank wrocławska warunki przyznania kredytu mieszkaniowego w pko bp kredyt bank kalkulator kredytu mieszkaniowego kredyt bank kłodzko telefon pożyczki bez bik przemyśl pożyczki prywatne szczecin optima pożyczki przez internet kredyt bank krs ekasa pożyczki pożyczki na projekty unijne poręczenie pożyczki kredyt konsolidacyjny bez biku pożyczki bez bik długoterminowe pożyczki bez bik tarnowskie góry kredyt studencki pko sa 2012 kredyt bez bik gdynia kredyt bank kasprzaka 2 pożyczki społecznościowe czy warto inwestować kredyty bez bik warszawa kredyt bank program praktyk wakacyjnych sprzedaż wierzytelności z tytułu pożyczki kredyt refinansowy w banku centralnym najtańszy kredyt konsolidacyjny firma pożyczki chwilówki kredyt bez biku bez zaswiadczen kredyty w idea bank umowa pożyczki od wspólnika spółki cywilnej kasa polska pożyczki pożyczka 40000 zl bez biku pożyczki społecznościowe dla zadłużonych pożyczki bez bik w bydgoszczy kredyt bez bik śrem pożyczki na rozwój firmy kredyt bank wyzwolenia szczecin kredyt samochodowy banki wniosek o kredyt studencki pekao sa kredyty bez bik wodzisław śl spłata pożyczki z amber gold kredyt bez bik na umowe zlecenie firmy udzielające pożyczki bez bik kredyty chwilówki jak założyć pożyczki z zadłużeniem komorniczym kredyty bez bik słupsk nazwa pożyczki udzielonej przez bank kredyt bez bik na dowód kredyt bank wolontariat pracowniczy kredyt bank cennik opłat kredyt bank centrum kart płatniczych kalkulator kredytu gotówkowego alior bank kredyt bank kolobrzeska gdansk kredyty z komornikiem katowice karta kredytowa kredyt bank punkty pożyczki dla podmiotów ekonomii społecznej pozyczki calodobowe uk online kredyt konsolidacyjny fortis bank kredyty mieszkaniowe luty 2013 pożyczki pod zastaw ełk umorzenie pożyczki z wfośigw księgowanie kredyt w boś banku opinie definicja pożyczki pieniężnej kredyt bank zwrot za paliwo pożyczki od gangsterów kredyty chwilówki opinie gowork pożyczki gotówkowe comperia kredyt gotówkowy w banku spółdzielczym kredyt bank nowy sacz kontakt numery telefonu o pozyczke wrzesnia pożyczki gotówkowe kalisz kredyt konsolidacyjny zdunska wola pożyczki gotówkowe suwałki pożyczki bez bik piotrków trybunalski kredyt bank nowy sącz aleje wolności kredyt bank wpłatomaty poznań kredyt mieszkaniowy getin bank opinie kredyty chwilówki brzeg kredyt pod zastaw domu w banku kredyty bez bik koszalin promesa udzielenia pożyczki ranking pożyczki gotówkowe czy warto brać kredyt w getin banku udzielę pożyczki prywatnej na procent kredyt bank bialobrzegi udzielenie pożyczki przez spółkę wspólnikowi kredyt konsolidacyjny ustawa pożyczki pozabankowe w legnicy szybkie pożyczki bez bik nowy sącz kredyt bank cz pożyczki bez bik i krd sosnowiec pożyczki krapkowice pożyczki chwilówki bez bik bydgoszcz kredyt bank nowe konto kredyty chwilówki bocian pożyczki wspólników udzielane spółkom kapitałowym pożyczki osobiste kredyt w banku millennium kredyt bank wroclaw legnicka kredyt bank iii oddział w warszawie potrzebuje pożyczki na dowód pożyczki dla msp pożyczki banki kredyt studencki oprocentowanie pekao pożyczki inwestycyjne kredyt studencki pko bp pożyczki dla młodych przedsiębiorców pożyczki agh pożyczki na weksel kredyt bez bik ełk kredyt bank rzeszów pożyczki bez bik żnin kredyt bank bednarska umowa pożyczki działalność gospodarcza kredyt bez bik starachowice kredyt bank garibaldiego 4 nr tel pożyczki bocian stargard szczeciński kontakt kredyt konsolidacyjny w kredyt bank bezzwrotne pożyczki dla bezrobotnych pożyczki łódzkie kredyt w db bank opinie pro collect pożyczki kredyt bank stalowa wola kontakt kredyt bank charakterystyka wierzyciel pożyczki opinie pożyczki ostrów mazowiecka

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Head of Selene's horse from the east pediment of the Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens, 447-432 BCE, now in the British Museum. Selene was the ancient Greek goddess of the moon who drove her horse-drawn chariot across the skies all through the night then stabled her proud chargers at dawn.

 

“Bill Casselman is one of the country’s [Canada's] leading etymologists and word hounds, as is shown by his numerous books on language, including the celebrated Canadian Sayings.”

                                     - Professor Jennifer MacLennan, in Readings for Technical Communication, Oxford University Press, 2008

 

 

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Horse Senses

Equus caballus is our starting phrase today, the zoological name of the common horse. Both the genus name, Equus, and the species name, caballus, are Latin. Later a flurry of fascinating equine trivia will startle you with horse facts you never knew!

Equus is the classical Latin word for horse, from which descend English words like equine, equestrian and equitation ‘the art of riding on horseback.’

Caballus is Vulgar or Street or Low Latin and meant ‘nag,’ spavined old wretch of a horse, the only kind of bedraggled horse poor people might afford in ancient Rome. Caballus is not a native Latin word but was an early borrowing into Latin from a Celtic language encountered during a first incursion by Roman legions into ancient Gaul, heard by soldiers, brought back to Rome as a useful word for nag, and then centuries later exported back to Gaul where it eventually became the French word for horse, cheval.

Equestrian statue of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in the Piazza del Campidoglio, Rome

Equine Delvings

An equus was a healthy, well-kept mount bestrode by a free citizen or an aristocratic rider, a horse that a Roman knight might ride into battle in a war of conquest. There was indeed a class, an order, a stratum of Roman society, called equites ‘knights.’ They belonged to an order between the senatorial and the ordinary citizen and were the class from which originally the cavalry was drawn. Incidentally the English word cavalry stems from caballus, as we explain below. The equites’ reward for supplying mounted warriors was exclusive right to certain financial and judicial offices in the government of Rome. However lofty the social heights they attained later under the Roman empire, equites began in the earliest days of the kingdom of Rome as citizen members of a Roman family who could afford, when summoned by their king, to send at least one horse and one rider into military service.

Equus, the classical Latin word, gained currency in English because of British dramatist Peter Schaffer’s 1973 play and 1977 film “Equus,” an examination of the quite modern madness of a stableboy who blinds six horses. The play is a very dubious defense of schizophrenic excess, here labeled as an act of worshipful ecstasy by the usual perp, an artistic British liberal, namely, playwright Shaffer, busily romanticizing insanity as a brave exceeding of the humdrum bounds of daily life. Such a creaking, 300-year-old Romantic fallacy is pernicious nonsense spread by those who have never watched a loved one’s life dissolve in madness, and so, as artists, they can lounge on the comfy couch of non-involvement and fire forth cavalier suppositions about insanity, tin-foil darts untempered in the forge of reality. But for all that, “Equus” is a play worth seeing and reading. Below is a poster for a recent British staging.

So caballus was soldiers’ common Latin for ‘nag,’ a broken down horse. Around 500 or 600 CE most Latin speakers who used caballus to mean ‘horse’ would also know the ‘upper-class’ word, equus. So why did they choose to use caballus instead of equus? They were Roman army grunts. Through all of history, in every language we know of, rough soldiers’ slang criticizes and grouses about everything concerning their army and its supplies. In that mode of complaint, any army horse is ‘a nag,’ a caballus. Soon all horses are caballi and the word equus fades from daily use, left behind and forgotten in the older stalls of the verbal stable.

The Romans called their best Latin urbanitas ‘Latin spoken in the city,’ from urbs ‘city,’ hence English words like urban and urbanity. The urbs, above all others for Romans, was of course Rome. The word is still heard and seen in our times in the traditional beginning of papal proclamations from the Vatican, Urbi et Orbi ‘to the city (Rome) and to the world,’ originally shouted by a herald before certain Easter and Christmas blessings by the pope at St. Peter's Square.

Latin Transforms into Early French

A Roman general, speaking what the Romans called urbanitas, might say in formal Latin, “Duces equum tuum?” “Are you bringing your horse?”

An ordinary, uneducated infantryman would speak in the Vulgar Latin of Roman soldiers and he might have asked the same question by saying something like “*Duc’s caballu(m) tu(um)” “You bringin’ yer nag?”

A few hundred years later, say, 700 CE, as the dawn of Romance languages approaches, as spoken Latin evolves into Romanz, the earliest French, that question might have sounded more like his: “*Duse t’ chavalle?” and we can see the first forms of what would become the Romance languages where the word horse is: Spanish caballo, Italian cavallo, and French cheval.

 

Caballus Derivatives

It is of modest ironic interest that the Latin word for broken-down nag gives us such elevated terms as chivalry, originally French as chevalerie ‘ability to ride a horse well.’ The great French singer Maurice Chevalier had, perhaps, an ancestor who was a chevalier, a knight.

From another French word, cavallery, English took the term cavalry.

The French borrowed cavallery from Italian, where it is cavalleria, well known in the title of a great Italian opera, an 1890 masterwork by Pietro Mascagni, Cavalleria Rusticana ‘countryside chivalry.’ The Italian word descends from a Late Latin word for horseman, caballarius. Mascagni found the plot in a popular short story by Giovanni Verga. About one hundred years later, film director Francis Ford Coppola ended his mafia saga in “The Godfather III” with a long, exquisitely edited opera house sequence in which the concluding scenes of the Mascagni opera are intercut with the deaths of members of the Corleone family. “Godfather III” is a deeply flawed film but this terminal sequence is brilliant, as moviegoers watch Coppola’s masterful employment of some of Sergei Eisenstein's ‘montage as collision’ techniques.

Quebec Note

Canadians will take note that cheval, the French word for horse gives les Québécois the name of their provincial slang, joual. The name of the patois, joual, is a Quebec pronunciation of the standard French word cheval.

Equisetum: Equus Derivative

Beyond equestrian and equitation, there are few common derivatives of equus in English, a testament to how thoroughly caballus replaced equus in all the Romance languages and in the words English borrowed from Romance languages. But one delightful exception is the botanical name of the marsh horsetail, the widespread ‘scouring rush’ found in most boggy or mildly damp areas of the northern hemisphere. The botanical genus of horsetail is Equisetum, literally ‘horse bristle,’ from equus Latin ‘horse’ + saetum Latin ‘bristle,’ or ‘hair of a horse’s tail.’ The common North American English name of scouring rush points to its use by the earliest European pioneers of North America as a pot cleaner. Grease could be cleaned out of iron frying pans by wadding several horsetails together and scrubbing and scouring with the bristly weed.

Equisetum or horsetail

 

Three Surprising Horse Etymologies

Bidet

That mainstay of French bathrooms, the bidet, now slowly conquering North America too, comes from a French word for a small pony, that is, an object easily straddled or mounted.

Tacky

Now meaning offensive to taste or in disrepair or cheap, the adjective tacky began as an American noun tackey, a nag, an inferior horse, much like a caballus. Tackey first appears in American print in 1800 meaning ‘a cheap pony.’

Easel

This word for a wooden frame that supports the canvas as a painter works on it entered English from the Dutch word ezel ‘ donkey’ or ‘ass.’ It is similar to the German Esel and the etymology consists of *es, one of the early Germanic words for horse plus the common Indo-European suffixal diminutive l, so that the essential meaning of Esel is ‘small horse.’

Is that sufficient horseyness for today, class? Yea or neigh?

Neigh?

Then how about. . .?

(hippos)

the Attic Greek Word for Horse

Ancient Greek Horse Culture Affected Naming Customs

Were those ancient Greeks gaga about horses? One has merely to learn the meaning of many aristocratic Greek personal names, while noting that the Greek word for horse is hippos.

Hippopotamus is Greek for ‘horse of the river’ (Greek potamos ‘river’). A hippodrome is a place where horses run (dromos Greek ‘racetrack, running track for men or horses’).

Part of the human brain is named after a sea-horse. It is hippocamp or hippocampus, from the name for a much larger ancient Greek sea-monster called hippokampos. It had the head and front part of a horse and the tail of a dolphin.

        

First hippocampus became the name of the little aquatic fish cuties, the sea-horses. Then anatomists, picking apart a brain, decided that ridges running along the bottom of the lateral ventricles in the brain looked a bit like little wiggly sea-horses.

 

Horse & Human Names

As you will see below, the given names of the ancient Greek upper classes were indicative of having enough wealth to be the equivalent of a knight, that is, rich enough to supply a horse or two during wartime. The highest of the four Athenian social classes was composed of persons who could bear the rank of hippeus, sometimes translated ‘knight’ but it meant the family could afford to maintain warhorses in time of conflict.

 

HIPPEASTRUM

        

hippeastrum in bloom and below  morning star weapon

The botanical name of the amaryllis, a large beautiful bulbous flowering plant, derives from the Greek word for knight. It is Hippeastrum ‘knight's star’ from Greek hippeus ‘knight’ + astron ‘star.’

Contrary to the scribblings of many gardening amateurs, it does NOT mean 'horse-star' in reference to the flower's large size. That would have been *hippoastrum, an ungainly verbal clumsiness. Hippeastrum was named to suggest the status of the bloom, a flower worthy of a knight. How do we know it is knight's star, aside from the obvious linguistic clues? We know who named the plant. In 1837 the Honorable Reverend William Herbert, Dean of Manchester, dubbed it hippeastrum.

Wikipedia says “It seems likely however, as William Herbert was both a clergyman and something of an expert on early medieval history, that he chose the name because of the plants striking resemblance to the morning star, a medieval weapon used by horsemen. A version of the weapon was also called a holy water sprinkler, an ecclesiastical object the Dean would have been familiar with.”

I think that is a preposterous guess, Wiki. First of all, a flower-loving English parson would have been well-enough acquainted with classical Greek to pluck a Greek term for morning star from his reading both of the classical Greek canon and of the New Testament in Koine Greek. Venus is the morning star and one Greek word for the planet is the lovely Eophoros, literally ‘bringer of the dawn.’ Another term, but one already too widely used perhaps to become the flower name, was Phosphoros, literally ‘bearer or bringer of light.’

Venus as the morning star, bringer of dawn

Secondly, just look at that brutally ugly weapon, invented to shatter human skulls. No peony-sniffing parson worth his garden spade would ever even think of that hideous weapon while contemplating the glory of a newly bloomed amaryllis. Really! Quite unaccountably stolid of that Wikipedia contributor. Quite Wik-dick-ulous.

 

One-upmanship in Ancient Greece

Horse ownership jibed with ancient Greek social status. History's first, known, great comic playwright was the Greek dramatist Aristophanes. In his comedy “The Clouds” a character named Pheidippides is a pushy nouveau riche and wants to appear of aristocratic orgin. So the upstart inserts the Greek root for ‘horse’ into his peasant grandfather's name, and plain old Pheidos becomes Pheidippos, so that he, the grandson, is Pheidippides, a noble and dulcifluent moniker indeed, and phoney as a chastity affidavit from Zeus.

Aristophanes

This elongation of a personal name by spurious addenda is still with us. Von (it means ‘of [the family of]’) may betoken a German family who were medieval knights. Some of these Reiterfamilien had magnificently pompous names for their individual family members who were christened with names like Gotboldus Benedictus Gumprecht von Hohenstolz! Yes, he was a three-foot dwarf who followed mares into the stable, but he owned the castle.

And that little German genitive preposition von was important. Consider the German pig farmer who adds von to his last name in hopes of elevating his ancestry by means of language instead of noble birth, so that Fritz Scheisskopf becomes Fritz von Scheisskopf. How much more pleasing to a not-very-bright vanity! Many a French de in a surname was added to family papers one dark night in a cowshed. In the annals of arriviste duplicity there is nothing new under the sun.

 

Greek Personal Names of Horsey Provenance

Philippos - Greek philos ‘lover’ + hippos ‘horse,’  hence lover of horses, and this bestows to posterity the still common given name Phillip, used in almost all the languages of the West and also an element in hundreds of western surnames like Philipson, Phipps, Filipacci, Philippopoulos and de la Philippe.

Hippolyta – literal Greek meaning ‘she who looses the reins of horses; developed meaning ‘a fine horsewoman, a fine rider’

Hippocrates – The father of Greek medicine has an old horse-culture tribal name that means literally ‘he who rules horses.’ The acquired meaning implies that he is a good rider or that he owns plenty of horses, a certain sign of wealth in ancient Greece. Another common Greek name that signified similar equine mastery was Hipparchos ‘horse-leader.’

Hippias – Greek ‘horse-guy’

Dorippe – Greek ‘horse gift’ from doron ‘gift’ + hippos ‘horse,’ perhaps an early dowry name for a Dorian girl about to marry

Kratippe – Greek kratos ‘power’ + hippos ‘horse’ literally ‘she who has power over horses,’ a valuable lady in ancient Greece.

Aristippos - Greek aristos ‘best’ + hippos ‘horse = ‘he who owns the best horses’

Xanthippe - That nag of a wife to the philosopher Socrates had a name that means literally ‘yellow horse’ but the semantic implication is a horse with a notably beautiful off-white coat, so a better English translation of Xanthippe would be mine, ‘buttermilk mare.’ One of history's most notorious scolds may have been the daughter of a man named Xanthippos or she may have been christened with the name because of fair skin or hair, a modest novelty in ancient Greece.

 

Extinct Horse Names

The technical names in paleozoology of several extinct ancestors of the modern horse are formed from the Greek root hippos too. Eohippus is an early horse (Greek eos ‘dawn’ ‘early time’). An extinct relative of the horse is the tiny hipparion (Greek ‘pony’ from hippos ‘horse’ + arion a common diminutive suffix for nouns, hence literally ‘small horse.’

 

Okay, pardners, Wild Bill thinks we've ridden that pony to the end of the trail. See yuh soon! Next new word column on May 28, 2015

 

 

 

For a selection from the free archives of my 400 previous word columns, click here

 

 

  

copyright © 2015 William Gordon Casselman

 

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Description of Site Contents Bill Casselman's Canadian Word of the Day™ & Words of the World features thousands of entries about Canadian phrases, words, expressions, and folk sayings. Canadian French expressions, idioms and folk sayings are featured and explained in English. The latest, newest French Canadian slang is deciphered. Québécois joual phrases and jokes are explained in English. My newest, latest, unpublished word stories and studies appear here on this website. Canadian English is the focus but English spoken and written all over the world and throughout the history of the language interests me as well. Words of the World spotlights non-Canadian English words and their origins from languages all over the world and permits me to venture on etymological journeys well beyond the pleasant confines of my native Canada.

Copyright © 1996 -2013 William Gordon Casselman

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Head of Selene's horse from the east pediment of the Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens, 447-432 BCE, now in the British Museum. Selene was the ancient Greek goddess of the moon who drove her horse-drawn chariot across the skies all through the night then stabled her proud chargers at dawn.

 

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Horse Senses

Equus caballus is our starting phrase today, the zoological name of the common horse. Both the genus name, Equus, and the species name, caballus, are Latin. Later a flurry of fascinating equine trivia will startle you with horse facts you never knew!

Equus is the classical Latin word for horse, from which descend English words like equine, equestrian and equitation ‘the art of riding on horseback.’

Caballus is Vulgar or Street or Low Latin and meant ‘nag,’ spavined old wretch of a horse, the only kind of bedraggled horse poor people might afford in ancient Rome. Caballus is not a native Latin word but was an early borrowing into Latin from a Celtic language encountered during a first incursion by Roman legions into ancient Gaul, heard by soldiers, brought back to Rome as a useful word for nag, and then centuries later exported back to Gaul where it eventually became the French word for horse, cheval.

Equestrian statue of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in the Piazza del Campidoglio, Rome

Equine Delvings

An equus was a healthy, well-kept mount bestrode by a free citizen or an aristocratic rider, a horse that a Roman knight might ride into battle in a war of conquest. There was indeed a class, an order, a stratum of Roman society, called equites ‘knights.’ They belonged to an order between the senatorial and the ordinary citizen and were the class from which originally the cavalry was drawn. Incidentally the English word cavalry stems from caballus, as we explain below. The equites’ reward for supplying mounted warriors was exclusive right to certain financial and judicial offices in the government of Rome. However lofty the social heights they attained later under the Roman empire, equites began in the earliest days of the kingdom of Rome as citizen members of a Roman family who could afford, when summoned by their king, to send at least one horse and one rider into military service.

Equus, the classical Latin word, gained currency in English because of British dramatist Peter Schaffer’s 1973 play and 1977 film “Equus,” an examination of the quite modern madness of a stableboy who blinds six horses. The play is a very dubious defense of schizophrenic excess, here labeled as an act of worshipful ecstasy by the usual perp, an artistic British liberal, namely, playwright Shaffer, busily romanticizing insanity as a brave exceeding of the humdrum bounds of daily life. Such a creaking, 300-year-old Romantic fallacy is pernicious nonsense spread by those who have never watched a loved one’s life dissolve in madness, and so, as artists, they can lounge on the comfy couch of non-involvement and fire forth cavalier suppositions about insanity, tin-foil darts untempered in the forge of reality. But for all that, “Equus” is a play worth seeing and reading. Below is a poster for a recent British staging.

So caballus was soldiers’ common Latin for ‘nag,’ a broken down horse. Around 500 or 600 CE most Latin speakers who used caballus to mean ‘horse’ would also know the ‘upper-class’ word, equus. So why did they choose to use caballus instead of equus? They were Roman army grunts. Through all of history, in every language we know of, rough soldiers’ slang criticizes and grouses about everything concerning their army and its supplies. In that mode of complaint, any army horse is ‘a nag,’ a caballus. Soon all horses are caballi and the word equus fades from daily use, left behind and forgotten in the older stalls of the verbal stable.

The Romans called their best Latin urbanitas ‘Latin spoken in the city,’ from urbs ‘city,’ hence English words like urban and urbanity. The urbs, above all others for Romans, was of course Rome. The word is still heard and seen in our times in the traditional beginning of papal proclamations from the Vatican, Urbi et Orbi ‘to the city (Rome) and to the world,’ originally shouted by a herald before certain Easter and Christmas blessings by the pope at St. Peter's Square.

Latin Transforms into Early French

A Roman general, speaking what the Romans called urbanitas, might say in formal Latin, “Duces equum tuum?” “Are you bringing your horse?”

An ordinary, uneducated infantryman would speak in the Vulgar Latin of Roman soldiers and he might have asked the same question by saying something like “*Duc’s caballu(m) tu(um)” “You bringin’ yer nag?”

A few hundred years later, say, 700 CE, as the dawn of Romance languages approaches, as spoken Latin evolves into Romanz, the earliest French, that question might have sounded more like his: “*Duse t’ chavalle?” and we can see the first forms of what would become the Romance languages where the word horse is: Spanish caballo, Italian cavallo, and French cheval.

 

Caballus Derivatives

It is of modest ironic interest that the Latin word for broken-down nag gives us such elevated terms as chivalry, originally French as chevalerie ‘ability to ride a horse well.’ The great French singer Maurice Chevalier had, perhaps, an ancestor who was a chevalier, a knight.

From another French word, cavallery, English took the term cavalry.

The French borrowed cavallery from Italian, where it is cavalleria, well known in the title of a great Italian opera, an 1890 masterwork by Pietro Mascagni, Cavalleria Rusticana ‘countryside chivalry.’ The Italian word descends from a Late Latin word for horseman, caballarius. Mascagni found the plot in a popular short story by Giovanni Verga. About one hundred years later, film director Francis Ford Coppola ended his mafia saga in “The Godfather III” with a long, exquisitely edited opera house sequence in which the concluding scenes of the Mascagni opera are intercut with the deaths of members of the Corleone family. “Godfather III” is a deeply flawed film but this terminal sequence is brilliant, as moviegoers watch Coppola’s masterful employment of some of Sergei Eisenstein's ‘montage as collision’ techniques.

Quebec Note

Canadians will take note that cheval, the French word for horse gives les Québécois the name of their provincial slang, joual. The name of the patois, joual, is a Quebec pronunciation of the standard French word cheval.

Equisetum: Equus Derivative

Beyond equestrian and equitation, there are few common derivatives of equus in English, a testament to how thoroughly caballus replaced equus in all the Romance languages and in the words English borrowed from Romance languages. But one delightful exception is the botanical name of the marsh horsetail, the widespread ‘scouring rush’ found in most boggy or mildly damp areas of the northern hemisphere. The botanical genus of horsetail is Equisetum, literally ‘horse bristle,’ from equus Latin ‘horse’ + saetum Latin ‘bristle,’ or ‘hair of a horse’s tail.’ The common North American English name of scouring rush points to its use by the earliest European pioneers of North America as a pot cleaner. Grease could be cleaned out of iron frying pans by wadding several horsetails together and scrubbing and scouring with the bristly weed.

Equisetum or horsetail

 

Three Surprising Horse Etymologies

Bidet

That mainstay of French bathrooms, the bidet, now slowly conquering North America too, comes from a French word for a small pony, that is, an object easily straddled or mounted.

Tacky

Now meaning offensive to taste or in disrepair or cheap, the adjective tacky began as an American noun tackey, a nag, an inferior horse, much like a caballus. Tackey first appears in American print in 1800 meaning ‘a cheap pony.’

Easel

This word for a wooden frame that supports the canvas as a painter works on it entered English from the Dutch word ezel ‘ donkey’ or ‘ass.’ It is similar to the German Esel and the etymology consists of *es, one of the early Germanic words for horse plus the common Indo-European suffixal diminutive l, so that the essential meaning of Esel is ‘small horse.’

Is that sufficient horseyness for today, class? Yea or neigh?

Neigh?

Then how about. . .?

(hippos)

the Attic Greek Word for Horse

Ancient Greek Horse Culture Affected Naming Customs

Were those ancient Greeks gaga about horses? One has merely to learn the meaning of many aristocratic Greek personal names, while noting that the Greek word for horse is hippos.

Hippopotamus is Greek for ‘horse of the river’ (Greek potamos ‘river’). A hippodrome is a place where horses run (dromos Greek ‘racetrack, running track for men or horses’).

Part of the human brain is named after a sea-horse. It is hippocamp or hippocampus, from the name for a much larger ancient Greek sea-monster called hippokampos. It had the head and front part of a horse and the tail of a dolphin.

        

First hippocampus became the name of the little aquatic fish cuties, the sea-horses. Then anatomists, picking apart a brain, decided that ridges running along the bottom of the lateral ventricles in the brain looked a bit like little wiggly sea-horses.

 

Horse & Human Names

As you will see below, the given names of the ancient Greek upper classes were indicative of having enough wealth to be the equivalent of a knight, that is, rich enough to supply a horse or two during wartime. The highest of the four Athenian social classes was composed of persons who could bear the rank of hippeus, sometimes translated ‘knight’ but it meant the family could afford to maintain warhorses in time of conflict.

 

HIPPEASTRUM

        

hippeastrum in bloom and below  morning star weapon

The botanical name of the amaryllis, a large beautiful bulbous flowering plant, derives from the Greek word for knight. It is Hippeastrum ‘knight's star’ from Greek hippeus ‘knight’ + astron ‘star.’

Contrary to the scribblings of many gardening amateurs, it does NOT mean 'horse-star' in reference to the flower's large size. That would have been *hippoastrum, an ungainly verbal clumsiness. Hippeastrum was named to suggest the status of the bloom, a flower worthy of a knight. How do we know it is knight's star, aside from the obvious linguistic clues? We know who named the plant. In 1837 the Honorable Reverend William Herbert, Dean of Manchester, dubbed it hippeastrum.

Wikipedia says “It seems likely however, as William Herbert was both a clergyman and something of an expert on early medieval history, that he chose the name because of the plants striking resemblance to the morning star, a medieval weapon used by horsemen. A version of the weapon was also called a holy water sprinkler, an ecclesiastical object the Dean would have been familiar with.”

I think that is a preposterous guess, Wiki. First of all, a flower-loving English parson would have been well-enough acquainted with classical Greek to pluck a Greek term for morning star from his reading both of the classical Greek canon and of the New Testament in Koine Greek. Venus is the morning star and one Greek word for the planet is the lovely Eophoros, literally ‘bringer of the dawn.’ Another term, but one already too widely used perhaps to become the flower name, was Phosphoros, literally ‘bearer or bringer of light.’

Venus as the morning star, bringer of dawn

Secondly, just look at that brutally ugly weapon, invented to shatter human skulls. No peony-sniffing parson worth his garden spade would ever even think of that hideous weapon while contemplating the glory of a newly bloomed amaryllis. Really! Quite unaccountably stolid of that Wikipedia contributor. Quite Wik-dick-ulous.

 

One-upmanship in Ancient Greece

Horse ownership jibed with ancient Greek social status. History's first, known, great comic playwright was the Greek dramatist Aristophanes. In his comedy “The Clouds” a character named Pheidippides is a pushy nouveau riche and wants to appear of aristocratic orgin. So the upstart inserts the Greek root for ‘horse’ into his peasant grandfather's name, and plain old Pheidos becomes Pheidippos, so that he, the grandson, is Pheidippides, a noble and dulcifluent moniker indeed, and phoney as a chastity affidavit from Zeus.

Aristophanes

This elongation of a personal name by spurious addenda is still with us. Von (it means ‘of [the family of]’) may betoken a German family who were medieval knights. Some of these Reiterfamilien had magnificently pompous names for their individual family members who were christened with names like Gotboldus Benedictus Gumprecht von Hohenstolz! Yes, he was a three-foot dwarf who followed mares into the stable, but he owned the castle.

And that little German genitive preposition von was important. Consider the German pig farmer who adds von to his last name in hopes of elevating his ancestry by means of language instead of noble birth, so that Fritz Scheisskopf becomes Fritz von Scheisskopf. How much more pleasing to a not-very-bright vanity! Many a French de in a surname was added to family papers one dark night in a cowshed. In the annals of arriviste duplicity there is nothing new under the sun.

 

Greek Personal Names of Horsey Provenance

Philippos - Greek philos ‘lover’ + hippos ‘horse,’  hence lover of horses, and this bestows to posterity the still common given name Phillip, used in almost all the languages of the West and also an element in hundreds of western surnames like Philipson, Phipps, Filipacci, Philippopoulos and de la Philippe.

Hippolyta – literal Greek meaning ‘she who looses the reins of horses; developed meaning ‘a fine horsewoman, a fine rider’

Hippocrates – The father of Greek medicine has an old horse-culture tribal name that means literally ‘he who rules horses.’ The acquired meaning implies that he is a good rider or that he owns plenty of horses, a certain sign of wealth in ancient Greece. Another common Greek name that signified similar equine mastery was Hipparchos ‘horse-leader.’

Hippias – Greek ‘horse-guy’

Dorippe – Greek ‘horse gift’ from doron ‘gift’ + hippos ‘horse,’ perhaps an early dowry name for a Dorian girl about to marry

Kratippe – Greek kratos ‘power’ + hippos ‘horse’ literally ‘she who has power over horses,’ a valuable lady in ancient Greece.

Aristippos - Greek aristos ‘best’ + hippos ‘horse = ‘he who owns the best horses’

Xanthippe - That nag of a wife to the philosopher Socrates had a name that means literally ‘yellow horse’ but the semantic implication is a horse with a notably beautiful off-white coat, so a better English translation of Xanthippe would be mine, ‘buttermilk mare.’ One of history's most notorious scolds may have been the daughter of a man named Xanthippos or she may have been christened with the name because of fair skin or hair, a modest novelty in ancient Greece.

 

Extinct Horse Names

The technical names in paleozoology of several extinct ancestors of the modern horse are formed from the Greek root hippos too. Eohippus is an early horse (Greek eos ‘dawn’ ‘early time’). An extinct relative of the horse is the tiny hipparion (Greek ‘pony’ from hippos ‘horse’ + arion a common diminutive suffix for nouns, hence literally ‘small horse.’

 

Okay, pardners, Wild Bill thinks we've ridden that pony to the end of the trail. See yuh soon! Next new word column on May 28, 2015

 

 

 

For a selection from the free archives of my 400 previous word columns, click here

 

 

  

copyright © 2015 William Gordon Casselman

 

French Canadian Translation Services

 

 

 

 

------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click to Read My Most Recent Columns

 

1. Alchemy Words like Alembic & Retort

2. Hunchback Words

3. Sheriff as a Word

4. Ubicity?

Any comments, additional word lore or book orders?

Please email me at

lutrine@rogers.com

 

 

 

Hundreds of links to more word essays; click below.

 

 

If you enjoyed this column, please tell your word-loving friends about my site

and ask them to visit it.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Learn Some Quebec French Sayings

 

Quebec French Sayings -1

On Twitter, I am BillCasselman. Check me out!

 

 

Order new or used online from amazon.com

“The book is wonderful!” says a buyer of my Dictionary of Medical Derivations at amazon.com

 

 

If you can't find my books online or in stores,order them directly from the author. Just send me an email

 

wordguy@shaw.ca

 

 

Description of Site Contents Bill Casselman's Canadian Word of the Day™ & Words of the World features thousands of entries about Canadian phrases, words, expressions, and folk sayings. Canadian French expressions, idioms and folk sayings are featured and explained in English. The latest, newest French Canadian slang is deciphered. Québécois joual phrases and jokes are explained in English. My newest, latest, unpublished word stories and studies appear here on this website. Canadian English is the focus but English spoken and written all over the world and throughout the history of the language interests me as well. Words of the World spotlights non-Canadian English words and their origins from languages all over the world and permits me to venture on etymological journeys well beyond the pleasant confines of my native Canada.

Copyright © 1996 -2013 William Gordon Casselman

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