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Subject: Which came first? rss

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¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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No chickens or eggs here; I'm thinking about words that the military has borrowed that now have a different modern meaning. It is difficult to find a way to describe this, since most words have an origin before the military got around to specializing them.

Examples: Cadre-- first used as Military or Non-military?

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Non-military. Originally it was literally a picture frame.


Barrage-- first used as Military or Non-military?

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Non-military. Originally it was simply a barrier across a river.


Tatoo-- first used as Military or Non-military?

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Military. From the sound of a drum or a tapping noise, and quickly taken by the military. The "ink" and picture version has later Tahitian origins.


Got any other military examples that you can think of?
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Billy McBoatface
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Battery - First use as military, or electronics?

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Neither. It first came from the word "to strike" in French, which survives in English mostly in the phrase "assault and battery." But the French comes from the Latin word for things hammered together, which described early electric batteries connected in series, hence they got the name. The military term came into use much later.
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Robert Wesley
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Re: Which came first and became worst?
FUBAR or "Uniform Code of Military Justice"?
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¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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GROGnads wrote:
FUBAR or "Uniform Code of Military Justice"?

Uniform-- that's a good one!

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Non-military. It was an adjective before it was a noun.
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Daniel B
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MABBY wrote:
Examples: Cadre-- first used as Military or Non-military?

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Non-military. Originally it was literally a picture frame.


Barrage-- first used as Military or Non-military?

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Non-military. Originally it was simply a barrier across a river.


Since I speak French these were pretty obvious to me, but it made me wonder; are English speakers aware that approx. a third of all English words are of French origin? (and is there possibly a difference in awareness between Americans and British?)

While living in Provence I realized something that I was completely oblivious to before. I knew a lot of words in Swedish were borrowed from French, but I had no idea we pronounced them with the southern French dialect. The Provencal dialect is pretty funky compared to "regular" French, especially all the nasal sounds, but the following words (French/Swedish) are pronounced exactly the same with the dialect:
Point - Poäng
Bassin - Bassäng
Gratin - Gratäng
 
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Billy McBoatface
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Deebs wrote:
Since I speak French these were pretty obvious to me, but it made me wonder; are English speakers aware that approx. a third of all English words are of French origin? (and is there possibly a difference in awareness between Americans and British?)

I definitely knew it, and I suspect most English speakers do. My understanding is that pre-1066, English was pretty much a German dialect, but after the Normans came in they brought a lot of their language with them.
 
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Gary Heidenreich
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