Mondays are for etymology


Here's an interesting thing I learned today: you know how you're told to murmur "rhubarb? rhubarb, rhubarb!" to imitate the sounds of a fake conversation? Apparently, the word rhubarb comes from "Rho Barbaron", which in Greek means "the barbarian river". And barbarians were so called because the Greeks though that a lot of barbarians talking sounded like "bar bar bar".

3 comments:

Mister Vertigo said...

I don't even want to know what you were looking for that caused you to come across this info.

OleNelson said...

OK. I was all prepared to mock your "murmuring rhubarb" nonsense. But I looked it up, and apparently that is a thing people do! Who knew?

Also? "Rhubarb" was once baseball slang meaning "loud squabble on the field."

I feel like Noah Wylie delivering an NBC "The More You Know..." lesson of the day.

Sophist said...

And did you know that barber comes from shaving beards, because barbarians always had beards? That I learned in 7th grade Latin. Of which I remember nothing but that story.

Durka durka durka!