A Conversation for The Strange Case of the Missing 'N'

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Post 1

Malabarista - now with added pony

An adder is still "eine Natter" in German smiley - smiley


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Post 2

AlexAshman


Whereas in English, 'natter' is another word for chat. Weird, huh?

(Another good entry by Mr North, btw smiley - applause)


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Post 3

Malabarista - now with added pony

Oh, no, I just realised I mistranslated! smiley - online2longsmiley - sorry

Nattern are colubrids, not adders - so still snakes, but a different kind. Adders are Otter, as in "Kreuzotter", Vipera berus, the common viper or European adder. So the "n" has been dropped there, too! Oddly enough, otters are Otter as well. smiley - cdouble


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Post 4

AlexAshman


"otters are Otter as well." smiley - laugh


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Post 5

Icy North

Otter derives from the same root which gave us 'hydra' (the sea serpent) of course.


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Post 6

AlexAshman


Is this a QI question, or do you intend to elaborate? smiley - tongueout


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Post 7

Icy North

'of course' means I won't insult your intelligence by elaborating, Alex.


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Post 8

AlexAshman


Ok, I've looked it up. It goes something like:

hydra (English) <-- y'dra (Greek) --> udra (Lithuanian) --> utter (Swedish) --> odder (Danish) --> otter (English)


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Post 9

Icy North

Something like that.

Hydor was Greek for water, wasn't it?


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Post 10

AlexAshman


That's what I gathered. I don't think it is any more, though.


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Post 11

Icy North

Where's a modern Greek when you need one?


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Post 12

Malabarista - now with added pony

They're probably all busy catering to the tourist industry.


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