These Fascinating Maps Show The Origin Of Words We Use All The Time

U.S. playwright Rita Mae Brown said: “Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.”

That quote comes to mind looking at these fascinating European etymology maps of various commons words posted by reddit user sp07, which provide a kind of cultural commentary on Europe.

The word for “church” shows the influence of ancient Greece:

“Bear” appears to be influenced by Russia, where largest brown bear population in Europe can be found. Notice the dominant word literally means “honey-eater.”

Another reddit user
notedthat “pi” is a prefix for “beer” in several European countries while the “pi” in the Mandarin Chinese word for beer, 啤酒 pi jiu,
is a loan wordfrom Europe.

“Apple” has a lot of diversity: Notice how the word in Finland and Estonia may come from a Indo-Iranian origin.

“Orange” is an interesting one. In the west it comes form Sanskrit while the dominant word in much of eastern and northern Europe comes from a word meaning “apple from China.”

“Garoful,” the ancient Greek word for “rose,” only remains in northeastern Italy.

Most of Europe derives “pineapple” from the native Tupi people of Brazil, the Britain (and consequently the U.S.) get the word from Latin.

Tea comes from China, naturally, except for a few Latin holdouts in eastern Europe.

This one says “bear” again but it is actually the words for “cucumber,” which may be even more diverse than “apple”:

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