Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 26 17:24:41 UTC 2012

On Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 1:13 AM, Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at nb.net> wrote:
> ... a lot like English "spook" (which apparently came from the Dutch,
> after all). Covers supernatural beings, also various persons and also
> scarecrows.

> op zich al een mysterie_

Then, we can take this to mean not that the word, _spook_. is a
mystery, but, rather, the mystery lies in why this little street in
what was once the heart of Amsterdam is called "Spooksteeg," as
opposed to something more logical, like "Zeesteeg" or even
"Herensteeg," or whatever.

Nobody ever explained it to me that way, before.;-)

Indeed, there are offered, in The  Dam, "spook tours" that purport to
take people to ghost-ridden areas of town, murder sites, dungeons,
museums of horror, and, of course , Spooksteeg. "Can you guess how it
got its name?"

But the on-line brochures don't offer any answers, clearly(?) assuming
that English-speakers will make the connection all by themselves.

(The Britspeak, _on his own_. has, sadly, wormed its way into my
speech. Now, I have to go out of my way to ensure that I continue to
use my native _(all) by himself_. <sigh!>)

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list