para 3 below: oops!: 'humorous' i/o *'humerous' (or 'hummus' or
'homerisch...' or [dutch] 'Homerus')...
--On 10 September 2003 19:16 +0100 Michael Rigelsford
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> alan deighton's remarks indicate for my money the more likely derivation;
> still, we need also to remember, i venture, that the 'primitive
> biological' (cf 'cuckoo' in engl. and many elsewheres!) euphonic
> appeal/catchiness of 'i/a' is conceivably' from an 'early' stage of
> language evolution onwards 'behind' both this 18c coinage from ?'Zacke'
> as well as the 'later' grammaticalised 'i/a' of verb Ablaut and possibly
> also of akkadian (> sumerian) 'ziggurratu'.
> bearing this 'euphonic/symbolic/ono...ic' background in mind, i wonder
> how to explain the first repetition of the following loud and jocular
> chant which i heard 16-19 yr pupils use a few times in its
> 'stadtschwaebisch' form when i was a guest pupil at a stuttgart gymnasium
> for boys in ... 1961; i don't know how widespread it is in the german
> language area but when i've occasionally used it to L1 D-speakers in
> broadly similar contexts, it seems to have been recognised; it is:
> "zicke-zacke, zicke-zacke, heu, heu, heu!!". i assume basic euphony but
> is there also 'Zacke'/ 'Zickzack' here somewhere, OR 'Zicke'(cognate
> 'Ziege') with mildly humerous derogatory intent, OR even 'Zack', as the
> chant seemed (also) to have a phatically alerting function.
> groeten uit/Grue3e aus liverpool, michael rigelsford
> --On 10 September 2003 15:24 +0100 "A.R.Deighton"
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> How's this:
>> Kluge: Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, 11.
>> Auflage, Berlin 1934:
>> Zickzack M. zunächst ein Wort der Belagerungskunst für die
>> Annäherungsgräben: Nehring 1710 "sicsac, ein neu Wort, so erst bey der
>> Belagerung Landaus (seit 1703) bekandt gemacht worden" .... Das
>> Verhältnis von i zu a geht nicht auf den idg. Ablaut zurück, wenn Z.
>> auch zu Zacken nach Vorbildern wie singe - sang (- gesungen) gebildet
>> sein mag. Vgl. Kribskrabs, Krimskrams, Mischmasch, Schnickschnack,
>> Tingeltangel, Wirrwarr.
>> Couldn't the defences of 17th century towns be described as a series of
>> "Zacken"? Landau's defences were apparently built by the French in
>> 1688, which may explain the existence of the word "zigzag" in French.
>> I can't see that the word should offend Rastafarians, but what about
>> Alan Deighton
>> Department of German
>> University of Hull
>> On Wed, 10 Sep 2003 12:47:52 +0100 "Niven,
>> William" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> Dear Colleagues:
>>> I have just received this email from Nottingham City Council. Can anyone
>>> Subject: Etymological query relating to zickzack
>>> The City council is on the point of launching a major campaign on
>>> harassment and discrimination for our 14,000 employees. The principle
>>> campaign vehicle is a fold-up leaflet that opens out like a zig-zag and
>>> is therefore called 'the Zig-zag'. The whole campaign is to be called
>>> the zig-zag campaign.
>>> At the last minute someone has suggested that the term zig-zag may not
>>> be appropriate because it may be derived from the the name of the tower
>>> of Babel, which was a stepped pyramid, or ziggurat. The suggestion is
>>> that if this is the case the campaign may be offensive to Rastafarians
>>> as any mention of Babylon would be very negative for them.
>>> The Oxford Dictionary of English etymology says that the term zig-zag
>>> came into English via French from German in the c18th. It describes the
>>> German work zickzack as a 'symobolic formation', which I have taken to
>>> mean something to an onomatopaeia. But a symbolic formation could
>>> possibly be an academic coinage deriving from the Akkadian word
>>> ziggurat, could it?
>>> I am not a German speaker and I have no way of getting further to the
>>> heart of this arcane issue. Can anyone help with this? I am sorry but we
>>> have print dealines waiting for an answer to this, so if you can shed
>>> any light on the point it would need to be today if possible.
>>> Thank you,
>>> Industrial Relations Officer
> Michael Rigelsford
> (Dutch - Honorary Senior Fellow, University of Liverpool, UK)
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