The word "aubergine" comes from Arabic
You have made it a principle, by stininess or ecological awareness: at the restaurant you prefer the carafe to the water bottle. But do you know the origin of this word? It dates back to the 16th century, introduced by the Italian “caraffa”, which was borrowed from the Arabic “gharraf”, meaning “drinking pot”. Cheers!
No one will blame you for being lame when it comes to algorithms. But you can always show off to your math friends by mentioning the origin of the word “algorithm”. It comes from the Arabic Al-Khawarizmi, named after the eponymous Persian mathematician, distorted into the ancient Greek “arithmós”.
Ratatouille enthusiasts will have enough to keep their debates busy at the table. For a long time, it was thought that the aubergine took its name from the words “auberge” or “alberge”, which is of Germanic origin. The vegetable historically comes from the East, where it is called “al bādinğān” in Arabic. Imported into Spain, the word was distorted into old Spanish to become alberengena then berenjena and alberginia in Catalan. The “al” was vocalized and switched to the vowel “o” as it slowly moved up to northern Europe.
We all hated that odd green dish our mums used to cook fo us when we were younger. The word itself sounded weird: “spinach”. Does it involve someone’s spine? No, the word “spinach” dates to the late 14th century. The traditional view derives it from Old Provençal espinarc, which was probably derived from Catalan espinac, and from Arabic al-sabānikh.
The word “hazard” comes from Arabic. It originated in the Andalusian Arabic “az-zahr”, a dice gambling game whose name would be translated as “flower”, the winning side of the dice bearing the design of a flower.