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Word for the Wise June 25, 2007 Broadcast Topic: English words with a Slavic origin

Civil war broke out in the country then known as Yugoslavia on this date in 1991. Over the ensuing 16 years, the term Yugoslavia has faded from use, replaced by (among others) Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzogivina, and the republic of Croatia. (来源:英语麦当劳-英语快餐EnglishCN.com)

Today we mark the anniversary with a look at a few English words claiming kinship in the languages of that region.

We begin with slave, which entered English from Greek and Latin, but which has ancient kin in the Serbian Slavnica, a river. The term slave recognizes the frequent enslavement of the Slavs of central Europe during the Middle Ages.

Then there's vampire, which made its way into English from French and before that German, but which is ultimately of Slavic origin, specifically from the Serbian term vampir, designating a figure very popular in Slavic folklore.

We have time for only a few more. Consider cinder, which entered English through Middle English but has kin in the Serbo and Croatian sedra meaning "calcium carbonate;" and cravat, the band or scarf worn around the neck, which comes from the French word for Croatian; and finally, the verb weep, with an ancestor in the Serbian and Croatian verb meaning "to cry out."

 
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