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spongetaro
22-04-12, 14:47
I was quite surprised when reading the etymology of the French adjective "joli" that means "pretty" or "cute" on wiktionary, I found this:

from Old French joli (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/joli#Old_French), jolif (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/jolif#Old_French) (“pretty, smart, joyful, merry”), possibly of Germanic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_languages) origin, from Old Norse jōl (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/jól#Old_Norse) (midwinter festival)

because I don't see the link between something pretty and a midwinter festival. Hasn't "joli" any cognates in Latin?

Selwyn Greenfrith
24-04-12, 15:39
English yule and Old Norse jōl (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=jolly&allowed_in_frame=0)
French jolif and Italian giulivo

jolly (adj.)
c.1300 (late 13c. as a surname), from O.Fr. jolif "festive, merry, amorous, pretty" (12c.) of uncertain origin (cf. It. giulivo "merry, pleasant"). Perhaps a Germanic loan-word from a source akin to O.N. jol "a winter feast" (see yule (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=yule&allowed_in_frame=0)), or from L. gaudere "to rejoice," from PIE *gau- “to rejoice” (see joy (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=joy&allowed_in_frame=0)). For loss of -f, cf. tardy (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=tardy&allowed_in_frame=0), hasty (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=hasty&allowed_in_frame=0). Related: Jollily; jolliness.

Kentel
21-07-12, 17:42
English yule and Old Norse (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=jolly&allowed_in_frame=0)jōl (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/j%C3%B3l#Old_Norse)
French jolif and Italian giulivo

jolly (adj.)
c.1300 (late 13c. as a surname), from O.Fr. jolif "festive, merry, amorous, pretty" (12c.) of uncertain origin (cf. It. giulivo "merry, pleasant"). Perhaps a Germanic loan-word from a source akin to O.N. jol "a winter feast" (see yule (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=yule&allowed_in_frame=0)), or from L. gaudere "to rejoice," from PIE *gau- “to rejoice” (see joy (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=joy&allowed_in_frame=0)). For loss of -f, cf. tardy (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=tardy&allowed_in_frame=0), hasty (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=hasty&allowed_in_frame=0). Related: Jollily; jolliness.

You would be surprised to discover how much French etymologies are absurd - and germano-centered. This one is a good example, but there are many others (I made a list).

One of my favorite is "chenille" (caterpillar), supposedly from vulgar latin *canicula, meaning "little female dog" - sorry I cannot write the right name, it's not admitted by the moderator - (canis + dim. ulus/ula; the specy isn't specified, unfortunately); if you actually consider the head of a caterpillar () and the head of a dog, or a *****(little female dog) considering you can make the difference, which is not my case, you'll find it hard to see any convergence...

joli

IMO the etymology of "joli" is certainly not the norse "jol", it's semantically absurd; it is however the proposition of the Bloch & Wartburg etymological dictionary of French, and of the Robert Etymologique. According to my etymological dictionary of Danish (Gyldendals Etymologi), "Jul" (Jol) comes from proto-Nordic (urnordisk) *iuhula meaning "celebration" (højtid) about which it says that this etymology is "difficult and controversial" (ordets etymologi er vanskelig og omstridt) but proposes a PIE etymon *kwekwlo meaning "turn" and "change of season", but this is uncertain.

According to the Old French dictionary (Greimas), "jolif" means "pleasure", "chearfullness" and the etymological notice says "maybe from scand. jôl, name of a pagan celebration" (peut-être du scand. jôl, nom d'une fête païenne).

In any case, the proto-nordic *iuhula has reflexes in Germanic (gothic and old Saxon) which designate approximately the month of december, i.e. the month of the winter solstice, with which Christmas ("Jul" in Danish) is originally connected. Hence, the basic semantic compounds are "season" or "month" and "celebration occuring during this season". None of these are to be found in "joli", neither in Old nor in Modern French.

Phonetically however, "jol" can possibly yield the Old French "jol" since the loan occurs after the phase of diphtongation of the accentuated vowels.

But for obvious semantic reasons, I don't think that the germanic etymology can be considered seriously. Moreover, the affixation tends to indicate that the Nordic origins is a blind way (see below).

The PIE *gau- through latin gaudere ("rejoice"), is much more acceptable from the semantic point of view (joy/pleasure etc.).

But afterwards you need to add a latin suffix -ivus (see eg. *retivus/rétif, nocivus/nocif, activus/actif, etc.) in order to get the -if of "jolif", imagining a vulgar latin etymon *gaulivus. Such manipulation can only occur before the 6th century AD, and the Vikings arrived in Normandy only during the 9th century, thus it rules out completely the "jol" hypothesis.

However, the question of the origins of the [l], absent from "gaudium" or "gaudere" still remains an enigma - unless you accept the "jol" etymon. But there is an obvious connection between latin gaudium (which yields "joie" - "happiness" in French) and "joli", IMO.

My guess : maybe there was a Gaulish word with a *gau root and a L of which no trace has been recovered so far. It happens quite often that Gaulish and Latin words share the same origins.

I hope it helps a little...

MOESAN
26-07-12, 17:41
[QUOTE=Kentel;397246]You would be surprised to discover how much French etymologies are absurd - and germano-centered. This one is a good example, but there are many others (I made a list).

One of my favorite is "chenille" (caterpillar), supposedly from vulgar latin *canicula, meaning "little female dog" - sorry I cannot write the right name, it's not admitted by the moderator - (canis + dim. ulus/ula; the specy isn't specified, unfortunately); if you actually consider the head of a caterpillar () and the head of a dog, or a *****(little female dog) considering you can make the difference, which is not my case, you'll find it hard to see any convergence...

thanks for your contribution concerning 'joli(f)' I am tempted to think as you -
"for canicula" I think we can figure out some little heary short legged (short pawed?) dog as we can see nowaday (in ancient times I am anaware of it but???) -" the little doggy of its mummy..."

Yetos
26-07-12, 22:45
I wonder could joli describe a girl so ancient Greeks give that as girl name?
Ιολη ioli ιολι

shannonwells830
20-09-12, 06:57
Wow so that's what it meant! Would like to know more words like this one. Thanks for the information.

Estel
29-12-13, 14:33
It also exists in Italian giulivo, giuliva and Catalan joliu, joliva, as well as in English jolly, but in all languages, even if old, it's said to come from Old French jolif, jolive, in which it is attested even earlier. Apparently the suffix -if/ive would have been added to that and I find it quite right. But the origin of the root is difficult to know for certain. I also don't quite see the supposed connection with the Germanic relationship here, although not impossible. And from an etymological evolution it doesn't really look like coming from gaud-ere/ium, Latin for '(en)joy', even if the meaning is close.

martiko
09-02-14, 14:41
[QUOTE=Kentel;397246]You would be surprised to discover how much French etymologies are absurd - and germano-centered. This one is a good example, but there are many others (I made a list).

One of my favorite is "chenille" (caterpillar), supposedly from vulgar latin *canicula, meaning "little female dog" - sorry I cannot write the right name, it's not admitted by the moderator - (canis + dim. ulus/ula; the specy isn't specified, unfortunately); if you actually consider the head of a caterpillar () and the head of a dog, or a *****(little female dog) considering you can make the difference, which is not my case, you'll find it hard to see any convergence...

thanks for your contribution concerning 'joli(f)' I am tempted to think as you -
"for canicula" I think we can figure out some little heary short legged (short pawed?) dog as we can see nowaday (in ancient times I am anaware of it but???) -" the little doggy of its mummy..."

they also can ' Joliver ' or to 'enjoliver '; which means be productive nicer. Therefore jolif the best proposal seems.

khaled2504
26-04-14, 15:44
I was quite surprised when reading the etymology of the French adjective "joli" that means "pretty" or "cute" on wiktionary, I found this:


because I don't see the link between something pretty and a midwinter festival. Hasn't "joli" any cognates in Latin?





:good_job:

Maleth
26-04-14, 17:57
In Italian (latin) there is the word Gioia which is used to mean Happiness / Joyful. Maybe its co related