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  • An egg-spitting hermaphrodite in Super Mario Bros. 2.

    September 9, 2009

  • Bear in mind, folks, that "birdo" is not pronounced "bird-oh", but rather "BEERrdo". In Esperanto, i sounds like "ee", r is slightly trilled, and o is short, without any trace of a w at the end.

    June 19, 2009

  • Nice tag. Will someone please put it on preggers? ;)

    June 19, 2009

  • I wonder if bird could be etymologically related to the Slovene word brdo, which means "hill, small mountain". According to Marko Snoj's Slovene Etymological Dictionary, this word comes from the Old Slavic *bъ"do, meaning also "comb" and more specifically, "weaver's reed" (a comblike tool for keeping the threads separated; this meaning has been retained in the Czech brdo and the Russian бёрдо / byordo. Snoj suggests that the original meaning was "something sharp, a sharp tool, or sharp rocks". He points out that in Latvian, birde means "loom" (the weaving machine), and birds means "weaver's reed". Strangely, he does not take the word back to its IE root, but he suggests that it is related to the Old English bord, meaning "board". I am wondering if the notion of "sharpness" could be behind the English "bird", as in the sharpness of the beak. Just a thought (and another, probably gratuitous, Slovene interpolation from me).

    June 18, 2009

  • Actually, learning that this is Esperanto for bird has elevated that language in my estimation. A proper language ought to have kinks - even a designed one. Otherwise we might as well all just talk in algol or cobol or fortran.

    June 18, 2009

  • Astounding!

    June 18, 2009

  • Amazing. I just checked OED too, and here's what it says: "ME. byrd, bryd: OE. brid masc. (pl. briddas), in Northumbrian bird, birdas ‘offspring, young,’ but used only of the young of birds. There is no corresponding form in any other Teutonic lang., and the etymology is unknown. If native Teut., it would represent an original *bridjo-z: this cannot be derived from BROOD, BREED, and even the suggestion that it may be formed like these from the root *bru- (see BROOD) appears to be quite inadmissible."

    June 18, 2009

  • According to the Online Etymological Dictionary, the English word bird is of "uncertain" origin and has no cognate in other Germanic languages. Now that surprised me.

    June 18, 2009

  • Or at least not as...bleh.

    June 18, 2009

  • I suppose avo was already taken as "grandfather" . . . foglo or fuglo could do; ornito would be suitable. I see Ido uses ucelo. Surely any of these are more international than birdo?

    June 18, 2009

  • I agree. But I added it to the list for the sake of completeness.

    On the other hand, maybe the list doesn't need to be quite so complete. ;-)

    June 18, 2009

  • also, what happened to universal phonological appeal? for all that it's short and common, almost all non-native speakers I've met have trouble pronouncing 'bird'.

    June 18, 2009

  • Also one of the main reasons Esperanto can't be taken 100% seriously.

    June 17, 2009