Wordmaster: alligator


“The Spanish name for a lizard is lagarto. When the Spaniards first came across the alligator during their travels in the New World, they called it el lagarto or “the lizard” because of its lizard-like features. To English ears the two words el lagarto sounded like a single word. Hence the English name alligator.”

From The Penguin Wordmaster Dictionary, Martin Manser and Nigel Turton, eds., 1987.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. billarends
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 12:24:08

    Interesting –

    How about this one –

    The City of Zaragoza in Spain (formerly in the Kingdom of Aragon) was originally called Caesaraugusta after the Roman emporer then when it fell into Arab hands the city was renamed Saraqusta and over time became Zaragoza.

    Source – Some tour guide I met in Spain – confirmed via Wikipedia 🙂


  2. billarends
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 12:25:18

    Another example of “Transformation” ?


  3. billarends
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 12:40:34

    I realise that your blog title is more about the coexistance of Tradition and Transformation but here is an example of Tradition requiring transformation (also from Europe)

    The oldest bridge over the Seine in Paris is Pont Neuf You might think that the word Neuf being used here means nine, but the real meaning is New. So the oldest Bridge in Paris is the New Bridge.:-)


  4. Bridgett
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 14:59:32



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