the irish apple and the english apple...

Michael Quinion TheEditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Fri Jan 17 09:31:05 UTC 2003

Nobody would deny the impoverished status of Irish, even lower than
that of Welsh. It is surely true that the Irish influence on English
has in the past been underrated and under-acknowledged.

However, members of this list know that it is astonishingly easy to
find apparent similarities between languages that can lead to false
beliefs about origins - for example, that "OK" comes from one of a
variety of languages ranging from Finnish "oikea" to Wolof "waw kay".

Members will also know my willingness, when the trail of evidence
runs out, to be prepared to strike out into the unknown in the hope
of picking up leads to a new line of enquiry. But, as I said in my
last message, when seeking to discredit a mass of evidence to the
contrary - as with "Big Apple" and "bootlegger" - rather more than
flat assertions and wishful thinking are required.

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: <TheEditor at>
Web: <>

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