Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Mar 11 14:43:05 UTC 2009

At 3/11/2009 10:33 AM, Bill Palmer wrote:
>I may be the last  one holding out against Frenchifying this word of Turkish
>provenance.  Is it now OK to pronounce it "sor-bay"?

Not if it's spelled "sherbet".

And more seriously (as I became curious), the OED claims that the
Turkish origin is "shorbet", which passed into French "sorbet":

sorbet:  [a. F. sorbet (Sp. sorbete, Pg. sorvete), ad. It. sorbetto,
ad. Turk. shorbet (see SHERBET), perh. influenced by It. sorbire to
imbibe. So Du. and Flem. sorbet, G. sorbet(t.]

sherbet:  [a. Turkish and Persian sherbet, a. Arab. sharbah, f.
shariba to drink. Cf. SORBET.]

Don't ask me what the difference in Turkish is between "shorbet" and "sherbet".


The American Dialect Society -

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