Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I Thought It Was Scandanavian

Matthew came in the kitchen asking for a definition of the word "svelte". It raised the question where the word comes from -- Svedish?

Actually, it comes from Latin, by way of Italian and then French. The original word is exvellere, meaning "to pull out of". And in the transition to Italian, somewhere the /ek/ was left off /eks-vel-ler-e/ ... leaving, in effect, 'svellere, which became first svelto and then svelte.

So who took the "ek" out of "x" ?

No comments: