Vaverite, or Latvian little birds  

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"Little birds" is the English mot-a-mot translation of bijboace, clampacioace, fofoloance. Just the other day, a Latvian friend visited me and brought me as a gift some candy from her native country. And as she explained laughing and blushing, the candy name had a dual meaning.

latvia-VaveriteI have recently met my Latvian friend and she had a present for me – something sweet called “vāverite” which she then proceeded to explain what it means. I interrupted her, telling her that we have exactly the same word in Romanian, veveriță, plural veverițe. According to the dictionary, in Romanian it means squirrel, but it also has the more figurative meaning of “vivacious girl.”

At first, I thought the word is so similar because it came in both languages from Russian, but she is fluent in Russian and told me that the Russian word is “Белка.” I found that hard to believe, but a bit of Google Translate showed that to be true (also, Ukrainian: білка and Belarussian: бялку).

Could this be a Dacian word that made it to Latvia via the Geats, meaning that Carolus Lundius was correct?

LE: Dacian was a Satem language, as shown in red Dacian_a_Satem_Language_map in the diachronic map showing the approximate extent of the centum (blue) and satem (red) areals. The origin of satemization according to von Bradke's hypothesis is shown in darker red (marked as the range of the Sintashta/Abashevo/Srubna archaeological cultures).

I looked it up frantically in other languages:

  • Hungarian: mókus, Estonian: orav, Finnish: Orava
  • Irish: iora, Welsh: wiwer, Basque: urtxintxa, Albanian: ketri
  • Lithuanian: voverė, Polish: wiewiórka
  • German: Eichhörnchen, Danish: egern, Dutch: eekhoorn, Afrikaans: eekhoring, Swedish: ekorre, Norwegian: ekorn, Icelandic: íkorna
  • Latin: inamabilis sciurus, Spanish: ardilla, Catalan: esquirol, Galician: esquilo, Portuguese: esquilo, Italian: scoiattolo, Maltese: iskojjattlu, French: écureuil
  • Bulgarian: катерица, Serbian: Скуиррел, Croatian: vjeverica, Slovenian: veverica, Slovak: veverička, Czech: veverka, Macedonian: верверица

I would have to say that the theory is not validated, but you cannot claim it’s invalid either based solely on this example. I then had to suspend this armchair detectivism in favour of an old-fashioned dictionary look-up, which told me that it comes from the Old-Slavonic “vĕverica”, itself “derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *werwer- (squirrel)” which resulted in the Classical Latin word viverra (ferret; ferret, similar animal).

My friend mentioned that she recalled me sharing with her another one of my new fears, which was based on this news (Wiki-Douglas):

In June 2013, Douglas told The Guardian that his type of cancer is caused by HPV, transmitted by cunnilingus, leading some media to report this as well. His spokesman denied these reports and portrayed Douglas's conversation with The Guardian as general and not referring specifically to his own diagnosis. Although Douglas described the cancer as throat cancer, it was publicly speculated that he may actually have been diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer. In October 2013, Douglas said he had suffered from tongue cancer, not throat cancer. He announced it as throat cancer upon the advice of his physician, who felt it would be unwise to reveal that he had tongue cancer given its negative prognosis and potential for disfigurement, particularly because the announcement came immediately before Douglas's promotional tour for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

Back then, I explained that oral sex, when performed by women, has amazing positive effects on their health. I was recently encouraged to discover that more and more heterosexual women take that research to their.. heart.

She then revealed to me that in Latvian, the correct translation is vāvere, the ~ite suffix, being, much like in Romanian, diminutival. And not only that, but it means mostly what in Romanian we mean by “pasarica” i.e., “little bird” (yet another diminutive!).

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To celebrate my new-found tolerance and acceptance of life, I created the above meme with memegenerator. And then I played the game and ate the candy.

LE: Interestingly, the Baltic Cycle opened with my friendship with the Estonian and Lithuanian girls (Saltibarsciai) is now complete.

Sources / More info: lick-meanings, mini-vaverite, wiki-Douglas, wiki-ca, inbo

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Friday, August 22, 2014 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
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