March 24, 2010

Unusable factoid of the week: Barbarians

Not long ago, I ran across an extremely interesting factoid. I can't remember where exactly (I think I know, but that book has since left my possession), so let me quote the All-Powerful Oracle, Wikipedia:

"The word 'barbarian' comes into English from Medieval Latin barbarinus, from Latin barbaria, from Latin barbarus, from the ancient Greek word βάρβαρος (bárbaros). The word is onomatopoeic, the bar-bar representing the impression of random hubbub produced by hearing a spoken language that one cannot understand, similar to blah blah and babble in modern English."

I confirmed this by running it by an extremely smart friend of mine, who happened to know it offhand. That was good enough for me—this is the way I roll, trivia fans.

So the word barbarian basically comes from ancient Greek gibberish. I spent a good 20 minutes trying to form this into a usable Big Quiz Thing question, but didn't manage to get satisfactory results. Closest I came was this:

"Q: What word is derived from the ancient Greek for a foreign person, meant to sound like the babbling of a foreign language?"

Not the worst thing I ever wrote, but not good enough for the big show. Might as well offer it here, a little extra value for those of you who have given in to my entreaties to read the blog.

It's pretty fascinating, though. It got me thinking about some of my favorite barbarians in history. There's Conan, of course, and Thundarr (who certainly didn't babble, sounding more
like a pretentious actor in small-town Shakespeare in the Park production). Finally, there's this dude:


the kevin scurry blog said...

I think that technically actor Channing Tatum counts as a barbarian as well.

Anonymous said...

-- generic cialis
-- [url=] cialis no prescription
[/url] -- buy generic cialis no prescription

Anonymous said...

Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering
if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite
some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

Also visit my blog post Harley

Anonymous said...

discount ugg boots
ugg boots on sale
uggs on sale uk
ugg boots uk
cheap uggs for sale
ugg boots uk
ysl shoes
ugg boots outlet
mulberry bags
ugg boots outlet
ugg uk
ugg boots sale
cheap uggs
kobe bryant shoes sale
parajumper jacket
ugg boots for kids
ugg boots sale
uggs black friday 2014
ugg boots uk
fendi bags
moncler jackets
ugg boots cheap
ugg boots cheap
ugg boots outlet
ugg boots sale uk
oakleys sunglasses
moncler jackets
mcm backpack
ugg australia sale uk
true religion outlet
vera bradley black friday

Unknown said...

clippers jersey
nike factory outlet
chargers jerseys
cheap oakley sunglasses
michael kors handbags
off-white clothing
ralph lauren uk
ultra boost
christian louboutin outlet

Joyce Burke said...

Goood blog post