dr_whom: (Default)
[personal profile] dr_whom
I stopped at the highway rest stop in Port Hope, Ontario this afternoon. But I kept wanting to read "Port Hope" as "Porthope", and I convinced myself that Porthope—i.e., Πορθόπη—could conceivably be an Ancient Greek nickname for a woman with facial hair. Behold, the fake etymology:

The -ope part is easy. Ops means 'face', as in tri-cerat-ops ('three-horn face'). The suffix makes it a derived feminine noun.

As for porth-, well, this appears to reflect a hypothetical Indo-European *bhordh-. (Why initial *bh instead of *p? Because Indo-European didn't allow voiceless stops and voiced aspirates in the same morpheme for some reason. But fortunately Grassman's Law in Greek converts IE *bh into p when another aspirate follows in the same word.)

From words such as English beard and Latin barba, it is possible to reconstruct an Indo-European *bhardh- 'beard'. The o-grade of this morpheme, if it existed, would have to have been *bhordh- and the zero-grade *bhrdh-; and both of these ablaut grades would have come out as porth- in Greek. Thus the (not real, as far as I know) Greek morpheme porth- must mean 'beard', and Porthope must be a bahuvrihi compound 'beard-faced', as an epithet for a woman.
From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

June 2017

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11 121314151617
18192021222324
25262728 2930 

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 23rd, 2017 04:46 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios