Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Feb 11 22:24:05 UTC 2003

>On Tue, Feb 11, 2003 at 03:27:29PM -0500, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>  Hey, that was a great place.  It was still going strong in the
>>  mid-to-late 1960s, and was my first exposure to gado-gado, rijstaffel
>>  (many google hits but no results in the OED!)
>Well, there are the results in the entry for _rijsttafel_, which
>has citations from 1889 and is defined, in impressive detail,
>as "A South-East Asian rice dish."
>Jesse Sheidlower

oops.  Silly me.  Like my 2000 google-mates I forgot the double T.
(I did try it with both single and double F, but google didn't ask me
whether I really meant "rijsttafel" with double T.  There's also the
double-F and double-T version, but that's the least popular of all.)
And its not just googlers; the OED cites contain four instances of
_rijsttafel_, three of _reistafel_  (the first from W. S. Maugham),
and one of _rijstafel_.  There is an OED entry for _reistafel_ as a
variant--a German variant, presumably.

The AHD4 gloss is slightly more detailed:

'A traditional Indonesian meal in which a wide variety of foods and
sauces are served with rice.'

I'm still puzzled about where that first T came from.  Apparently it
wasn't gemination; the modern Dutch word for rice is indeed "rijst",
according to the AHD, but it doesn't tell me why, since the Middle
Dutch was just plain "rijs".  Maybe the Dutch colonizers knew they
would be getting hold of that yummy rijs(t)tafel soon, and added the
extra T in anticipation.


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