Every Wednesday, I explore the linguistic origins of one word in different languages I speak.
How much control do we have over our own choices? Before this week, I would have said that moving to France was completely my idea, but it’s possible that’s not the case. It may be that the hair towel I’ve been using every day for at least five years has been brainwashing me through some sort of weird osmosis.
It took me a second to process the brand name, but once I did, I thought, “Get the Word Mystery out!”
EN → hairdo — the style in which a person’s hair is cut. ORIGIN Old English hǣr, related to Dutch haar and German Haar.
ES → peinado — Cada una de las diversas formas de arreglarse el cabello. [All of the various ways in which to wear one’s hair.] ORIGIN Peinar [to brush/comb] from Latin pectināre [comb].
FR → coiffure — Coupe ou arrangement des cheveux. [Cut or styling of hair.] ORIGIN Common Latin cofia [bonnet].
THE VERDICT: Well, English clearly loses today for making me think of goddamn hippies and their hippy musicals. Spanish is kind of lame due to its literalness so the win goes to French for making me think that I should figure out a way to make my hair look like a bonnet because that would be hilarious (hairlarious?).