Monday, February 6, 2012

More on: Did We Name Thing the Right Way?

      I had a part that I forgot to put in on my previous post on naming living things. Since I remembered it I thought I would add it in a separate post.

      The names aboriginals gave living things varied a great deal. Names changed with different tribes . And then there were many different native languages. Names were variable since they had an oral culture and history rather than things written down. These differences would have certainly caused some problems. I'm sure that some solution could have been arrived at to overcome the variety of names.

      In some cases we have several  common names  given to living things. Again the reasons for different names are similar to the reasons in the above paragraph. For example, in Western Canada we have Amelanchier alnifolia which we call Saskatoons. Americans call Saskatoons June berries as well  a few other names.. Americans wonder what we're talking about and Canadians wonder what their talking about. The Cree name for Saskatoon was Misaskutum.

     Now my friend Bobby, who is a treasure of humor and wit, asked me for the aboriginal name for dandelions. I don't think Bobby likes dandelions. It might have something to do with his lawn. I should tell him about dandelion wine!  I  wasn't going to let him down with this information so I tried to look it up. I found more than I bargained  for. Dandelions are native to North America and Europe. I couldn't find any aboriginal name but I found a long history of dandelion names from many languages. In English dandelion comes from the French who called it dent-de-lion which became dandelion. Dent de lion means tooth of the lion. The French also called it pis-en-lit which means "piss in the bed."  the English didn't use that name.

     So you see  living thing names can take us many places. If you're looking at dandelion names you may get off the search at Portugal and travel through Portugal for a while before you get back to names.

    I had more fun with this post than I expected because it took me on a bit of a trip.


  1. I love names. I bought a book about interesting Canadian place names. It is a hoot!

    Cheers from Cottage Country!

  2. Jenn, I like the same thing only it's Sask. names.

  3. You are right about going off on tangents. I do it all the time here on the computer, and I sometimes find out the most amazing things. So do you, apparently, like curious names for dandelions.

  4. DJan we can get on a roll with the way the internet is set up to give you links. Even I have found out how to use links!!!!LOL

  5. I love this little trip one can take while looking for more information on a subject...

  6. I am quite a fan of giving things different names in different circumstances. I have always tried to call my son by a different name every time I see him, I find it helps to keep him on his toes and it does occasion some amusement among his friends. The remarkable thing is that he always seems to know when I am addressing him - it must be my tone of voice.

  7. I was a teacher and sometimes called kids by the wrong name....sometimes by design and sometimes by accident! Funny how the design always caught their attention like it worked with your son.

  8. Woohoo, this Ozark Farm Chick names everything here on the Ponderosa, machinery, plants and animals. (Even if daddy told me never to name anything we might eat someday. Heck, I just throw caution to the wind.

    That's just the way I fly.

    I sure enjoyed pokin' around in here today. Wonderful blog.

    God bless ya and have a wonderfully blessed day straight from the happy hills and hollers of the Missouri Mountains!!! :o)

  9. The happy hills and hollers of the Missouri mountains sounds like a fun place to be. Yes, there are some people who name most things. so whatever makes sense to them is fine with me. Thanks for taking a look at my blog.