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Linguatastic Language School


This month at Linguatastic, there will be a focus on dads, as we prepare for Fathers’ Day on Sunday 20thJune. Did you know that according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word “dad” was recorded in around 1500? It is, however, most likely significantly older, probably prehistoric, with researchers believing that the word originates from child’s speech. Interestingly, it is nearly universal. In Welsh, the word is “tad”, in Irish “daid”, in Sanskrit “tatah” and in Latin, it is “tata”. Readers will no doubt recall having heard a baby uttering something similar to those words, even without them necessarily being brought up speaking another language than English. It’s certainly a fun and playful word for little ones to reproduce. Talking of “fun words”, what about “thingamabob”, “thingamajig” and “whatchamacallit”? All wonderful words to use when we can’t quite remember the actual name of something. Intriguingly, other languages also have such terms. In Spanish, people might use the term “chingadera”, in Danish, “himstergims”, in Japanese, “naninani, in Turkish “zamazingo”, in German “Dingsbums” and in Dutch, “Huppeldepup.

If you know of such a term in another language, we’d love to learn it. Maybe you could e-mail info@linguatastic.com or post something on our Facebook page (search “Linguatastic”). In the meantime, Happy Fathers’ Day to all “papas” out there and we’ll be back again next month with more on our plans for September. Fiona, Linguatastic


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