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Philological notes on ‘cupboard’, ‘assassin’ and ‘kitchen’ : English (Hons.), DSE 04

 Philological notes on 

‘cupboard’, ‘assassin’ and ‘kitchen’ 

Philological notes on ‘cupboard’, ‘assassin’ and ‘kitchen’ : English (Hons.), DSE 04

Philology is the study of language in written historical sources, including literary texts, manuscripts, and inscriptions. Philology is an interdisciplinary field that draws on methods and insights from linguistics, literature, history, anthropology, and other related disciplines. It involves the application of rigorous textual analysis, critical thinking, and theoretical frameworks to understand the nuances of language and its usage in different cultural and historical contexts.

    👉 Write a philological note on ‘cupboard’

    The word "cupboard" has its origins in the Middle English word "cupbord," which was a compound word consisting of "cuppe," meaning a small vessel for drinking, and "borde," meaning a table or flat surface. The word was used to describe a piece of furniture used for storing cups, plates, and other kitchen utensils.

    Over time, the meaning of the word evolved to include any piece of furniture used for storage, regardless of whether it was used in the kitchen or not. By the 16th century, "cupboard" had become a general term for any storage unit with shelves or compartments.

    Interestingly, the word "cupboard" has a cognate in other Germanic languages, such as the Dutch word "kast," the German word "Kasten," and the Old Norse word "kista." All of these words have a similar meaning of "storage unit" or "chest."

    In modern usage, "cupboard" typically refers to a piece of furniture with shelves or compartments used for storing dishes, food, or other household items. However, it can also refer to a built-in storage unit in a kitchen or other room. The versatility and long history of the word "cupboard" make it a fascinating example of the evolution of language over time.

    👉 Write a philological note on ‘assassin’

    The word "assassin" has a fascinating philological history. It comes from the Arabic word "hashshashin," which was the name given to a secret society of Muslim assassins that operated in the Middle East during the medieval period.

    The word "hashshashin" itself is believed to come from the Arabic word "hashish," which means "dried herb" or "dried leaves." The assassins were rumored to have used a potent concoction of herbs, including hashish, to induce a state of euphoria before carrying out their assassinations.

    The first recorded use of the word "assassin" in English dates back to the 16th century, when it was used to refer to members of the secret society. Over time, the word's meaning broadened to include anyone who carries out a murder or assassination, often for political or ideological reasons.

    The word "assassin" has since become a common term in the English language, and its original Arabic roots are not immediately apparent to many speakers. However, the word's history serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of language and culture, and how words can travel across time and geography, taking on new meanings and connotations along the way.

    👉 Write a philological note on ‘kitchen’

    The word "kitchen" is a common English term for a room used for cooking and preparing food. It has Old English roots and can be traced back to the Proto-Germanic language.

    The Old English word for "kitchen" was "cyċene," which is related to the Middle Low German word "küchene" and the Middle Dutch word "keukene." These words are derived from the Proto-Germanic word "kokina," which meant "cooking place" or "place for making food."

    The Proto-Germanic word "kokina" itself comes from the Proto-Indo-European root "pekw-" which means "to cook" or "to bake." This root is also the source of words related to cooking and baking in other Indo-European languages, such as Latin "coquere," Greek "péptein," and Sanskrit "pakván."

    The word "kitchen" has undergone some changes in meaning and usage over time. In Middle English, it was used to refer to any room where cooking was done, including the main room of a house. By the 16th century, it had come to refer specifically to a separate room for cooking, and this usage continues to the present day.

    Overall, the word "kitchen" is an interesting example of how words can evolve and change over time, reflecting the cultural and technological developments of the societies in which they are used.


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