Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dictionaries are Fun!

One of my favorite pastimes is trying to determine the origins of an English word without having to look it up. Or I should more plainly state that I "guess". If I am motivated enough I'll go see if I am right.

Last night, whilst waiting for my 8 year old child to extricate himself from his bath, I pondered the origins of "pajamas". I am not kidding when I say that it is the next day and I was still plagued. I had no guesses. I could eliminate French, German... Latin... as any kind source of the derivation. Hmm... perhaps Greek? Finally the need to know got he better of me and I checked the online dictionary. Apparently it could be either Hindi or Persian! Who knew?

Here's what the dictionary said:
British, pyjamas
Origin: 1870-75; plural of pajama <Hindi, variant of payjama <Persian pay (leg) + jama (garment)

Cool huh? Learn something new every day!

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