it’s also yummy

  • @[email protected]
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    922 months ago

    There’s this great youtoobs channel I watch a lot. It’s this attorney who shows you how to select smoked salmon in the supermarket.

    It’s the Lox Picking Lawyer.

  • @[email protected]
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    772 months ago

    Super impressive since English is only 1,500 years old…

    And that it’s long before we even started using the modern alphabet…

    This seems more like words like sarcophagus, that exist in modern English, but are recently borrowed words.

    It’s not an English word, it’s just English as a language steals words from lots of existing languages

    • Hegar
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      772 months ago

      It’s not a loan word, it’s the word for salmon in the oldest constructable ancestor of English.

      • @[email protected]
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        382 months ago

        According to etymonline,

        Lax. Noun. “salmon,” from Old English leax (see lox). Cognate with Middle Dutch lacks, German Lachs, Danish laks, etc.; according to OED the English word was obsolete except in the north and Scotland from 17c., reintroduced in reference to Scottish or Norwegian salmon.

        It’s weird in that lax died ~400 years ago, then was borrowed back ~100 years ago into American English from Yiddish-speaking immigrants.

        It’s a weird loanword in that it was a loaned obsolete word that underwent some semantic narrowing in the loan.

      • @[email protected]
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        2 months ago

        Exactly it predates the English language, lots of words do.

        The English language is basically a neglected toddler by linguistic standards, it was left alone in a closet to fend for itself

        Edit:

        Also funny you just said it’s the word for salmon…

        Instead of you know, salmon…

        Laks just meant “fish” in the proto languages.

        Which is why OPs link doesn’t mention the spelling not changing, and why it’s wrong about the meaning not changing too

        Going from “any type of fish, living or dead” to “specific type of fish when prepared by smoking”

        Seems like a pretty significant change in meaning to me

        • Hegar
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          152 months ago

          I think by that logic almost all words in every language predate the language they are part of. Like saying that our noses aren’t really human because noses predate humans.

          a neglected toddler

          What do you mean by this?

          As island-based languages go English is probably the least isolated in history. It’s Germanic relatives are all nearby. Britain has had extensive links to the continent for the entire history of English and well before. It’s an international language and has been for hundreds of years.

          English also isn’t that weird just because it got a large infusion of (pretty closely related) Norman words after 1066. Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese all have over half their lexical items from Chinese, an unrelated language.

          • FfaerieOxide
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            12 months ago

            As island-based languages go English

            How is english ‘island-based’ if it came from the continent and now is hardly confined to an island?

            • Hegar
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              12 months ago

              Yeah for sure. Based on how conversation had been going I was accepting ‘english’ to mean english after 1066 as I was guessing what ‘neglected toddler’ might mean.

              I hear that it was possibly hunnic expansion that drove angles west to britain, which is pretty cool.

              • FfaerieOxide
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                12 months ago

                I hear that it was possibly hunnic expansion that drove angles west to britain, which is pretty cool.

                Dydw i ddim yn meddwl bod yr Ængles symud tua’r gorllewin oedd cŵl iawn.

          • @[email protected]
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            2 months ago

            What do you mean by this?

            The majority of the English language, it was only spoken by commoners with no formal education.

            Literally never went to school or learned how to read or write.

            Which is why it’s one of the hardest languages to learn, there wasn’t even a noble population who were helping rules be set logically, it’s a slang language.

            Which is why it’s almost impossible to credit the English language with any words except for things invented by English speakers.

            Other languages weren’t as bad at it

            And it’s not a huge deal…

            Until someone claims an English word has existed for 8,000 years unchanged.

            Then it’s worth pointing out how ridiculous that claim is.

            • Hegar
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              252 months ago

              Literally never went to school or learned how to read or write.

              You’re describing every language for the overwhelming majority of the last 150,000+ years. English is not unique in that.

              Which is why it’s one of the hardest languages to learn

              It’s not. English has a lot of irregularity to remember, but not the most. How difficult you find a language depends on your native language. English lacks things like elaborate case structures or grammatical gender which can be hard unless your native language has something similar. The ‘th’ sound is rare, but there are no clicks or tones. SVO is not the most common word order, but it’s not the rarest.

              there wasn’t even a noble population who were helping rules be set logically, it’s a slang language.

              Huh? That’s not how having a nobility works. Or what slang is. The rich aren’t more logical, and they aren’t concerned with making language easier. If anything nobles want more arcane language that takes longer to learn to better differentiate themselves from those with less free time.

              It sounds like you’re thinking of the prescriptive grammar movement where from the 1700s or so rich English speakers decided if it’s not possible in Latin then it’s uncouth in English, and started making up nonsense rules like no split infinitives or ending sentences with a preposition. They couched it in terms of being logical and correct but it was in reality a novel way of marking social class. And ~700 years after the English peasant/Norman aristocrat divide.

              • @[email protected]
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                -152 months ago

                You’re describing every language for the overwhelming majority of the last 150,000+ years. English is not unique in that.

                Name a single language that didn’t have an aristocracy that knew how to read and write and learned formalized Grammer for the majority of that languages history.

                I didn’t read anything else you didn’t understand after that first bit tho.

                I can help a little, but I’m not teaching an etymology class over here.

                • @[email protected]
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                  2 months ago

                  Name a single language that didn’t have an aristocracy that knew how to read and write and learned formalized Grammer [sic] for the majority of that langauges [sic] history.

                  You do realize more than half of the world’s ~7,000 languages still have no writing system, right?

                • Hegar
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                  152 months ago

                  Name a single language that didn’t have an aristocracy that knew how to read and write and learned formalized Grammer for the majority of that languages history.

                  😂 I’m going to be generous and assume you’re just trolling now and don’t seriously believe this.

            • @[email protected]
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              122 months ago

              Which is why it’s one of the hardest languages to learn, there wasn’t even a noble population who were helping rules be set logically, it’s a slang language.

              Which languages had nobles changing the rules of the language to be logical, and beat the peasantry until they repeated their absurd shibboleths?

              Proscriptivists have existed in many languages, English included. They’ve basically always been tilting at windmills.

              Governments tend to be most effective at killing languages wholesale, rather than systemically changing grammar. And it’s something that’s been far more effective in the past couple hundred years as part of nation- building projects. E.g. the efforts of France, Italy and Spain to squash minority languages like Occitan, Galician or Neapolitan.

              • @[email protected]
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                -112 months ago

                Which languages had nobles changing the rules of the language to be logical, and beat the peasantry until they repeated their absurd shibboleths?

                Is that what people aren’t understanding?

                When a language had nobles that knew the rules for the language, those rules were documented and maintained, even tho commoners didn’t use it.

                Later, when education caught on, the commoners were taught correct grammar, spelling, and usage. Not what earlier generations of commoners used.

                It’s not that they enforced grammar at the time, it’s that we know about those languages is primarily from nobles writing shit down in that language.

                No one was writing English for centuries

                • @[email protected]
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                  132 months ago

                  Ah, yes, that’s why the French still speak perfect Latin.

                  Yes, old grammar textbooks have been an incredibly important resource for linguists, particularly for reconstructing ancient pronunciations. They’re useful for teaching historians etc. Old French or whatever.

                  But we generally haven’t been terribly successful at beating students into using obsolete grammar rules and to stop using modern grammatical innovations.

        • @[email protected]
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          52 months ago

          The English language is basically a neglected toddler by linguistic standards, it was left alone in a closet to fend for itself

          Please stop with those silly linguistic allegories about English made by people who have no idea how other languages works.

      • @[email protected]
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        52 months ago

        Get out of here with your reasonable, scientific explanation!

        We want our outrage porn about smoked salmon, dammit!

        /s

    • circuitfarmer
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      Super impressive since English is only 1,500 years old…

      I’m guessing you mean “Old English” since it’s sometimes said to be that old, but realistically that version of English has very little in common with English now (it was verb-second, for example, like German still is today). Even the post-Danelaw version of a couple hundred years later (with Norse borrowings like “husband” and even the pronouns “they/them”) resembles modern English a lot more. Middle English was largely due to the influx of Norman French (both morphological and syntactic changes), and the whole thing isn’t really recognizable as quasi Modern English until around 1500-1600.

      Point is: language is a continuum, and a lot of these oldest this/oldest that claims in language just have to do with where someone is arbitrarily drawing a line.

      Modern German for lox is “Lachs” (same pronunciation really, and spelling ultimately doesn’t matter in linguistics). This makes sense, because the English of 1500 years ago would have been relatively close to German varieties of the period. But doesn’t that mean “lox/Lachs/however you want to spell it” goes back further than that, perhaps to some earlier parent of both English and German? Yes, it likely does.

      Edit: and yes, as others have said, that means lox is not a borrowing (vs. e.g. “husband”). Lox existed before anyone was calling English English. But that’s also true of e.g. pronoun “he” and a lot of other stuff: by definition, any word that is reconstructed in Proto-Germanic and still exists in English today is “the oldest” (but there will be many of them and they’re all roughly considered to be the same age, since proto-languages are ultimately abstractions with no exact dating).

    • NataliePortlandOP
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      192 months ago

      Yes that’s how languages evolve. It’s interesting, isn’t it?

      • @[email protected]
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        22 months ago

        Yep, 8,000 years ago laks meant any type of fish, living or prepared food.

        And even in modern times it means the same thing: a specific breed of fish when prepared for eating by smoking

        It is fascinating how words evolve and change instead of staying the same for that long…

        • @[email protected]
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          82 months ago

          Yep, 8,000 years ago laks meant any type of fish, living or prepared food.

          Citation?

          From what I’ve seen, 8000 years ago it meant salmon. Today, in English it means smoked salmon.

          It’s a surprisingly minor shift for 8k years.

    • Neato
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      122 months ago

      Oldest word [used] in the English language

      Not oldest English word.

      • @[email protected]
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        62 months ago

        Then it’s still not true because row (roe) is older…

        I don’t know why people keep jumping in this.

        There’s so much wrong with OPs link, defending it in one aspect just invalidates it another…

    • NataliePortlandOP
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      352 months ago

      Many people call it lox. You can too!

      • NataliePortlandOP
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        92 months ago

        Ya for sure it’s a difference. Both are awesome. I’m an east coast Jew, obviously raised in bagels and lox. But now I live on the west coast where Jews are rare and strange. People here don’t know words like “lox” or “shmear”, so sometimes I just call it smoked salmon the way you might call latkes “potato pancakes”.

        But now my new brother in law manages a salmon hatchery and gives us jars of smoked salmon he makes and it’s so unbelievably good. Is lox cured instead of smoked? Idk. Both great. It’s splitting hairs really, isn’t it? Salmon is so good!

  • Victor
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    272 months ago

    Lox means specifically smoked salmon? Odd. “Lax” is the swedish word for just “salmon”. I really thought lox was just another word for salmon.

    • @[email protected]
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      122 months ago

      The German word for salmon is “Lachs” but it’s pronounced “Lax”. I wonder who had the word first

      • @[email protected]
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        92 months ago

        A couple thousand years ago German and English hadn’t even split off from each other — they were the same language.

        • @[email protected]
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          22 months ago

          Yeah, English is a Germanic language. The same way Spanish and French are romantic, and derived from Romans.

        • Victor
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          12 months ago

          Yeah, it was called Gerlish. At least in Gerlish it was.

      • @[email protected]
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        42 months ago

        The Italian word for earth is la terra, while in Spanish it’s la tierra.

        Does it make any sense to say that one language had it first? Both are directly from Latin terra.

        English, German, Dutch, Swedish, etc. all descend from a common ancestor, Proto- Germanic. There’s a lot of vocabulary they all inherited from it.

    • @[email protected]
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      32 months ago

      Lox is a rap group. Lax is an airport.

      I don’t know what that means, but I think Big Salmon is behind it.

    • @[email protected]
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      32 months ago

      Same in Serbian, salmon is “losos”, could refer to the fish, and specifically “smoked salmon” is “dimljeni losos”.

      • Victor
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        12 months ago

        Thanks for chiming in! What’s the word for smoke?

          • Victor
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            12 months ago

            Wow, interesting. Thanks!

            In Swedish, it’s “rök”, like as in “Ragnarök”.

  • @[email protected]
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    2 months ago

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but English didn’t exist 8000 years ago. Olde English was synthesized from numerous Germanic dialects in the 5th century, which was about 1600 years ago. Not only that, but “lox” isn’t an English word, it’s Yiddish, and it wasn’t introduced into the English speaking world until 1934 when a wave of Jewish immigrants moved to Western Europe and North America.

    • @[email protected]
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      162 months ago

      Yes, English didn’t exist 8000 years ago. Instead, there was a language called Proto-Indoeuropean spoken on the steppes of Ukraine. Just like how Latin spread and local dialects slowly became Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian, etc., PIE spread out and its descendants became Greek, Sanskrit, Russian, Latin, German, etc.

      Part of what happened over time was sound shifts. For example, PIE p morphed into an f in Proto-Germanic. Father and the Latin word pater go back to the same PIE root word, but father exhibits the sound change of p -> f you saw in Germanic languages.

      Similarly, Spanish has a sound change where f changed into h. So the Latin word fabulari (to chat) became hablar in Spanish and falar in Portuguese.

      The point of the article is that the PIE word for salmon, laks, by random chance didn’t really morph much in Germanic languages. So you have lax, lox, lachs, etc.

      Interestingly, the Old English word for salmon was leax, and that made its way into Middle English and early Modern English as lax. It died out in favor of the French-derived salmon, and then we borrowed lox back from Yiddish.

      It’s like if beef entirely replaced cow, then we borrowed back koe or kuh from Dutch or German.

    • @[email protected]
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      72 months ago

      Try reading it differently.

      It’s a really old word (oldest) that is currently used in the English language.

    • @ILikeBoobies
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      Basically

      The islands would have something that eventually became (regional) Gaelic. But the Normans did a good job killing most of these people and replacing them with pale people

      If people were there 8000 years ago, this part didn’t happen until your time period

      I think it’s saying that it’s the oldest word that English speakers today use which might not be true

      So looking it up, the Yiddish word comes from an old German word and is around 1000 to 1500 years old. This makes a lot more sense and is in the time period for when they started killing Gaelic people

      • @[email protected]
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        22 months ago

        8k years ago, the distant ancestor of English was spoken on the steppes of Ukraine.

        Their word for salmon was laks.

        That became the English lox, Swedish lax, German lachs, Lithuanian lašiša, Russian losos, and Polish łosoś.

        • @ILikeBoobies
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          Yes I read the article that claimed people lived on the steppes 8000 years ago, however I didn’t read any links between that and the word to which I went elsewhere and still didn’t find any links to the word to that time period but did find that it is less than 1500 years old

          Anyone would be skeptic of this claim though given we don’t even know many Hittite words despite them having a writing system and being less than half that age

          • @[email protected]
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            12 months ago

            If you’d like to look up more about the origins of PIE, look up the Kurgan Hypothesis, which suggests that Proto-Indoeuropean originated on the steppes.

            Basically everything we know about PIE, we know from looking at its descendants. If a word appears in multiple unrelated branches, it’s probably from the common ancestor. Particularly if there’s consistent sound changes on one or more branches.

            For example, it seems that a lot of PIE words with a p morphed into f in germanic languages. So, given the English father, Dutch Vader, Old Saxon fadar, Latin pater, Sanskrit pitar, Old Persian pita, etc. we can figure out that father goes back to some original PIE word which was probably something like pəter.

            Similarly, we see similar words for salmon both in Germanic and Slavic. And in the extinct Tocharian language, the word for fish in general was laks. Lox originating only 1500 years ago means that the Slavic and Tocharian would be a pretty strange coincidence.

            • @ILikeBoobies
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              02 months ago

              So the article makes no links between the word and the theory

              It just says it’s the oldest word and cites the theory

              Not only do I point out that it’s an impossible connection but also through outside research find that it’s wrong

              So your response is to just rehash the article and even your example doesn’t fit with this word 1. Because it is impossible to say it’s the oldest word without written proof and evolving from another would disqualify it from being the oldest word 2. Somewhere between 8000 years ago and 2000 years ago the word disappeared and came back with supposedly the same pronunciation and spelling that we haven’t any proof of except from as you said “many languages use it today…even if they’ve been mingling the last 2000 years”

              Come on, even if we say it comes from the word Lak or Lakos. Why would you draw that to salmon over say… lake? And why would you say that’s pronounced the same…but but Lax means salmon as well and that’s closer, of course there’s regional differences in spelling

              That still isn’t any proof, take any modern word that is shares between languages, it disproves your whole widely accepted theory doesn’t it? Does the similarities of Pizza show there was one language 8000 years ago that branched out? Or does it prove that these people have been in contact with each other for the last hundred? If we assume it was one people then it must be even older because Koreans use the same word and that’s even further away

              Be realistic, there is no basis for what you are saying

  • daddyjones
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    182 months ago

    As a native English speaker who’d never heard of this word - TIL x2

    • @[email protected]
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      122 months ago

      Ancient Sumerian refrigeration technology was seriously underrated: -297°F was no problem for them

  • @[email protected]
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    This is cool enough that all Indo-European languages should start calling salmon Lox again.

    With the right strategy and current technology, we should be able to evolve all current Indo-European languages back to a singular language over a thousand years or so. That would unite half the world in language.

    A highly noble goal. We could call it, the Lox plan.

  • Firestorm Druid
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    112 months ago

    Now that’s interesting. The German word for salmon is “Lachs” [laks] which is basically the same as “lox” [lɔks]. The change from the “ɔ” sound to the “a” sound likely has to do with the Great Vowel Shift