11.29.2007

Kirtle and Kittel?

Kirtle apparently means "tunic." Is it related to "kittel"? Merriam-Webster online tells me that it comes from the Old English cyrtel. I don't know where kittel comes from, or how one would spell it in English (or any other language), but it sounds vaguely Yiddishy to me, so maybe they are related. (It sounds Yiddishy to me mostly because I think that root would mean something like "kill" or possibly something as specific as "chop off the head" in Hebrew. KTL? I think it just means kill but I always associate that root with chopping off of heads.)

What? Have I been spending time at Freerice.com? Why would you think that?

I am at about 47 now, but only recently so. (I could easily slip back to 46 or 44.) That's only because I've been going much more slowly and carefully, though. A friend of mine broke through to 49, which is quite impressive.

2 comments:

Dave (Balashon) said...

This should be a good start, but I can get you more if you'd like...

http://www.balashon.com/2006/04/cotton.html

Gabriel Wasserman said...

"Kittel" is Eastern Yiddesh. We in Western Ashkenaz (which is centered around 185th St. in Manhattan) refer to the garment as a "sárgenes". I have heard that this work is of Greek origin, but (despite having studied Ancient Greek), I cannot think of what the original Greek word might have been.