Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Mon Jul 29 16:52:07 UTC 2002

On Sun, 28 Jul 2002, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:

#Now of course it's possible that the Romanian word was adopted into Ottoman
#Turkish and spread throughout the Ottoman territory after modification.
#However, J. A. C. Greppin's paper "The Etymology of _pastrami_" (J. English
#Linguistics 21:125-6 [1988]) (upon which I am leaning heavily) makes the
#following arguments against the Romanian/Latin origin:

I am not arguing FOR the Rom/Lat origin, about which I know only what I
have seen in this thread, but I find some of these arguments against it

#(1) There is no productive "-ma" suffix in Romanian.

Is there a non-productive suffix "-ma", or even a number of words that
happen to end in "-ma" with no common synchronic or diachronic origin?
ISTM, albeit without examining the matter in a scholarly way, that folk
etymology is willing to seize on even a chance resemblance in form, so
this lack, circumscribed as it is in this description, means little.

#Note that the Balkan/Ottoman/Middle-East referent is not like our pastrami.
#The modern Romanian-English dictionary translates "pastrama" as "pemmican".

And many of the products that pass in the US as frankfurters and wieners
would probably not be accepted as the corresponding Wursts by residents
of the German-speaking lands. For that matter, how much does Romanian
pastrama really resemble genuine aboriginal North American pemmican?
"Not like" is much in the eye (or tongue -- heh, take that as you like!)
of the, um, whatever.

-- Mark A. Mandel

More information about the Ads-l mailing list