April 16, 2010

Wiki Friday: Roses

In Andalusian choir, we sang a song:

...fi kul alward, alward, wa susani
min afnani, bustani
ughanilak, ughanilak, ughanilak

The last line is, "I sing for you, I sing for you, I sing for you," and before that, "in each rose, each rose," and other flowers in the garden. "Kul" is each. "alward" is "the rose."

Imagine my surprise today, in discovering that these two words, "rose" and "ward," have the same root. Rose comes from French, itself from Latin, rosa, which was borrowed from Greek, rhodion, which in Aeolic was wrodion, which came from Old Persian, wurdi. In Arabic, ward is the singular (one rose), and wurud is the plural (roses). You can see the word morphing along with time. So cool.

Rose trivia:

In Rome, a wild rose was placed on the door of a room where secret of confidential matters were discussed. The phrase sub rosa, or "under the rose," means to keep a secret.

Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses.
--James Oppenheim

Here in Morocco, I buy a lot of bread, and a lot of roses.

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