This day is a big day for Estonian linguistics. The first major etymological dictionary of Estonian language was published today. According to the news, the history of Estonian words includes 6 643 word entries. It took nine years to make the dictionary. Big, big hand for the job well done!
Etymology is definitely my favorite among linguistics. It combines so many aspects of human life. History of words tells us history of ourselves. A tiny little word can have an amazingly interesting story to tell.
Some parts of linguistics can be pretty hard to explain for a man on the street. But ta-dah: start to talk about etymology of a word and you immediately get interested looks and people want to find out more. Etymology is hard core linguistics in a public-friendly form.
Let's take an example.
The Finnish word for tulip is tulppaani. It has come to Finnish language from Swedish tulpan. Swedish has got its word from Dutch tulpaan.
The Dutchmen started to grow tulips in the 17th century. Because of their powerful flower business the Dutch word found its way to many European languages. In written Finnish language tulppaani has been used for the first time in 1773.
Aren't these kind of pieces of information just awesome! (I found the info about tulppaani in The Etymological Dictionary of Contemporary Finnish by professor Kaisa Häkkinen).
I had a great morning visiting the Tallinn TV Tower. I'll tell more about it later. The tulips were blooming in front of the tower entrance and they were begging me to take pictures of them. Spring has reached its most beautiful point here in Estonia.