Saturday, July 29, 2006

For those who love words...

I just love words. English words and Polish words. I love knowing what they mean and where they come from.

In Poland, the ground floor is referred to as the parter, and what we Americans call the second floor is the "first floor" or "first level" (above the parter). This is a fairly common European practice.

In the course of reading War and Peace, I ran across the same word, except that it was spelled parterre. The alternative spelling revealed the meaning and origin of the word! "Par" means level or equal and "terra" means earth or ground. Both words are of Latin origin, and thus parter means "level with the ground."

I thought it was cool, anyway. I never would have thought about it if I hadn't run across that alternative spelling. Who would have thought reading War and Peace would help me figure out the origins of a Polish word?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home