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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Since when did Murky Death become Cut-Throat?

Conversation with a Swede:

Swede: I find this hilarious. Because the fact that I’m a Swede, I can make this into a double joke.
"Killing" means, well, killing, in English. But in Swedish "Killar" means tickling. so if you want to say that you are both tickling and killing "me", you can say killing me XD
Oh well, its funnier if you’re a Swede.

Non-Swede: Cool...Does Killar mean 'killing' and 'tickling' then?

Swede: noooot really..
Killar = Guys AND tickling

Non-Swede: Oh! I see.

Now look deeper!
Suppose one says:

Hej, stark killar!

This should sound like a complement. If it does not, you are probably suffering from the paranoid influence of Arabic: قاتل (qātel). The English word is murder: From Middle English murder, murdre, mourdre "murder", alteration of earlier murthre "murder" (See murther) from Old English morþor "dark death" and Old English myrþra "murder, homicide", Akin to Gothic (maurþr) "murder"and Swedish mördar, Old High German mord "murder", Old Norse morð "murder", Old English myrþrian "to murder".

The -d- in the Middle English form may have been influenced in part by Anglo-Norman murdre from Medieval Latin murdrum from Old French murdre from Frankish *murþra "murder", from the same Germanic root, though this may also have wholly been the result of internal development. Personally, I always see the roots as "Murky Death" in all these languages.

The idea that there should be a word, such as, killer, cut-throat, etc. in civilized language would be repugnant to the sensibilities of our ancestors. What have we come to?

Only Arabs, etc. should talk of killing. It is their word. We are not paranoid.

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