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From good wine to ivy

Last week’s post was about the proverb: “Good wine needs no bush,” and something was said about ivy as an antidote to good and bad wine. So now it may not be entirely out of place to discuss the
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Last week’s post was about the proverb: “Good wine needs no bush,” and something was said about ivy as an antidote to good and bad wine.  So now it may not be entirely out of place to discuss the origin of the word ivy, even though I have an entry on it my dictionary. But the entry is long and replete with off-putting technical details. Also, though I would like my dictionary to be on every word lover’s desk, this does not yet seem to be the case. Does anyone in the Ivy League know the origin of the word ivy? Whatever the answer, read this post! It grieves me to say that despite the medicinal qualities of ivy, the origin of the word ivy remains partly hidden, and the same is true of the plant’s name in quite a few other languages, for instance, Greek (kissós), Latin (hedera), and Russian (pliushch). Plant names are often borrowed from indigenous languages about which little else or even nothing is known, that is, from the languages of the people who inhabited the land now belonging to. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

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