Every Wednesday, I explore the linguistic origins of one word in different languages I speak.
I’ve done almost 70 Word Mysteries and have a list of nearly 130 waiting to be researched on my computer but this week’s entry doesn’t appear on it because I am an idiot. No other possibilities exist.
EN → eat — put food into the mouth and chew and swallow it. ORIGIN Dutch eten [food, eat] and German essen [eat].
ES → comer — Masticar y desmenuzar el alimento en la boca y pasarlo al estómago. [Act of chewing and making smaller of food in the mouth and passing it to the stomach.] ORIGIN Latin comedĕre [consume, devour].
FR → manger — Absorber un aliment, par opposition à boire. [Absorb food through means other than drinking.] ORIGIN Latin manducare [chew, masticate].
French note #1: the second definition for manger is the one you’d expect (it includes chewing) but the example provided is “to chew one’s nails,” which is not what I think about when eating. (Nail chewing is totally disgusting, on par with people who clip their nails in public. What makes anyone think that’s okay? That is *not* okay.)
French note #2: I took enough science classes to understand that food is actually absorbed by the body during the process of digestion, but I still feel like the French is suggesting that osmosis is a viable way to take in calories.
Today’s Winner: I’m going to go with English as that definition is the only one that didn’t make my stomach turn.
Just for funzies
Nauseous — causing nausea.
Nauseated — affected with nausea.
Both come from the Latin nauseosus [seasickness] but the difference in usage is one that’s important (to pedants like me, at least).
I am nauseous = I make people vomit.
I am nauseated = I am going to vomit.