Subject: folk-etymology
From: (John Leonard)
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 1996 13:08:55 +1000 (EST)
Ian Fraser recently mentioned various place-names and bird-names (toponomy
and ornithonomy I suppose) that had been corrupted by folk-etymology.

My favourite example of this with bird names is the northern hemisphere
group of the Wheatears. Wheatear might be interpreted as something to do
with the colour of the species found in Britain, yellowy buff, but in fact
the two elements in the name are now the modern words 'white' and 'arse', a
reference to the prominent white rump. 


Dr John Leonard
PO Box 243, Woden,

"a major part of the work of praeter-modernity
will be the refabrication of authenticites."


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