loo (was: Come off the money (= get off the dime?))

Benjamin Fortson fortson at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Wed Apr 17 17:50:58 UTC 2002

I believe the -loo in Waterloo is Dutch or Flemish for 'tract of open
country', cognate with Eng. lea. Various German towns in -loh(e) have the same
element (e.g. Albersloh, Hohenlohe).

On Wed, 17 Apr 2002, Peter A. McGraw wrote:

> --On Wednesday, April 17, 2002 9:12 AM -0400 "James A. Landau"
> <JJJRLandau at AOL.COM> wrote:
> > (Somebody who pays the rental for use of a pay booth is therefore a "lieu
> > tenant"??)
> Not in Britain, unless they rent the booth on the left. :)
> > Does anybody know the origin of the name "Waterloo"?  The village of
> > Waterloo appears to be in a French-speaking area of Belgium, considering
> > that important places on the battlefield had names like Mont-Saint-Jean,
> > Chateau de Hougomont, l'Haye Saint, and the strangely prophetic "La Belle
> > Alliance" (I don't have a reference handy to check the spellings).  The
> > "w" and "oo" in "Waterloo" are definitely not French.  (But not too far
> > away is the initial-w town of "Wavre", which also played an important
> > part in the battle.)  An obvious guess is "Wasser-lieu", a Dutch-French
> > hybrid meaning "place of water", but then how did it acquire such an
> > Anglicized spelling?  Or did Wellington (who spoke French but not Dutch)
> > manage to misspell the name?
> Whatever the language spoken there now, Waterloo is definitely a Dutch
> name.  I don't know the etymology of the suffix -loo, but it's found in
> other place names, often spelled with just one o (e.g., Almelo) and in
> family names (which may have come from place names), e.g. Appello.
> Peter Mc.
> ****************************************************************************
>                                Peter A. McGraw
>                    Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
>                             pmcgraw at linfield.edu

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