nicholas at makyo.org.uk
Mon Sep 12 18:07:18 EDT 2011
On 12 September 2011 15:53, Elizabeth Parks <henx19 at gmail.com> wrote:
> "Rapeseed" sounded really strange and aggressive to me the first time I
> heard it. . .
It does, yes, and I've often wondered why those pretty fields of bright
yellow flowers are called that. You've inspired me to go and look it up in
the OED and it turns out that there are two different words here, which just
happen to be spelled and pronounced the same but have different
etymologies. One derives from the Latin verb rapere (= to seize or carry
away), and which also gives us the word rapt. The other derives from the
Latin noun rapa or rapum (= turnip) and refers to a plant related to
turnips, cabbages and mustard. Canola, apparently, is the name of a
particular hybrid variety popular in Canada and the USA.
Regarding the Great Chronological Rereading Project - I think it's a
splendid idea, and will try to join in if I can find the time.
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