WOTY candidate: schadenfreude

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Sat Apr 12 01:50:15 UTC 2008

On Fri, Apr 11, 2008 at 2:25 PM, Dan Goodman <dsgood at iphouse.com> wrote:
> Mark Mandel wrote:
>  > She said "Germanic", not "German". German borrowed it from French (or
>  > another Romance language), just as we did.
>  However, according to http://etymonline.com, French got it from Frankish
>  -- which was a Germanic language.
I was relying on OED Online, which says:

[a. F. blond, blonde yellow-haired, 'a colour midway between golden
and light chestnut' (Littré), = Sp. blondo, It. biondo:--med.L.
blondus, blundus yellow (explained in a passage quoted by Du Cange
'flavus qui vulgo dicitur blondus'). Origin uncertain: see Diez and
Littré. In English used by Caxton (in form blounde); reintroduced from
mod.Fr. in 17th c., and still sometimes treated as French, as to be
written without final e when applied to a man, esp. substantively, a
blonde; in N. Amer. commonly written blond like the Fr. masculine, but
in Britain the form blonde is now preferred in all senses.
  Cf. OE. blanden-feax, blonden-feax having mixed or grizzly hair,
grey-haired, old; also beblonden, given in Bosworth as 'dyed', both
from blondan to mix, BLAND v. Hence Du Cange, s.v. Blundus,
conjectures the original sense to be 'dyed', the ancient Germans being
accustomed to dye the hair yellow.]

Mark Mandel

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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