Although the transformation of a Calo term into flamenco may represent a folk etymology
on the part of Castilian patrons and publics of Gypsy music, I judge it more likely that it was the interaction of Gypsy entertainers with tavern-owners, their initially lower class publics, horse traders, the bull-fighting community, in short, the speakers of germania or cant, that effected the final shaping of the word, and this through a conscious and jocosely cryptolalic appeal to a known ethnonym, flamenco, "Flemish.
And indeed, it is the rarebit and not the rabbit that represents folk etymology
, or more precisely etymythology.
I would like to propose now to slightly extend this definition and to define folk etymology
more generally as any kind of better motivation of a word, motivated or unmotivated.
Technically speaking, the term folk etymology
is not entirely correct because we are not dealing with etymology.
According to linguists the names are motivated by the red or reddish-brown feathers of the birds, even though folk etymology
sometimes associates them, erroneously, with the alder tree (Suolahti 1906 : 141-142; Mager 1967 : 166-167).
An alternate explanation is that it is a folk etymology
of gyros (pronounced yee-roh; phonetics experts and those fluent in Greek may feel free to pick at my representation of the proper pronunciation.
back-formation) IV Semantic pseudo-loan from +/- -(-) 0 another language or variety V Partial folk etymology
, - + - blending, truncation (incl.
In common practice, folk etymology
attributes to jiu, homophonous with the word meaning "nine," the sense "nine birds," because the left and right components of the graph can be separated out as "nine" and "bird" But this equivalence need not detain us.