Friday, June 17, 2011

Kahtsaai Word of the Day: Keilo'éík

Ok, so I'm not going to start a series on Kahtsaai words just now, but I thought I'd share this one...

When I arrived home today I noticed that the poor, ratty poppy I planted two years ago finally outpaced the bunnies and produced a single bloom. I decided Kahtsaai needed a word for "poppy," and I immediately thought of the vivid Homeric simile, when Gorgythion is hit by an arrow,

μήκων δ᾽ ὡς ἑτέρωσε κάρη βάλεν, ἥ τ᾽ ἐνὶ κήπῳ
καρπῷ βριθομένη νοτίῃσί τε εἰαρινῇσιν,
ὣς ἑτέρωσ᾽ ἤμυσε κάρη πήληκι βαρυνθέν.

His head fell to the side, just as a poppy, which in a garden
is weighed down with fruit and the rains of spring,
so his head nodded to the side, weighed down by his helmet.

(Please forgive the Old High Translationese. It is an occupational hazard of even the amateur classicist.)

So, the Kahtsaai word for "poppy" is keilo'éík, from keil soldier, fighter and éík head.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds to me like a story, I would like to know how the Kahtsaai came to valid the name for the poppy and its etymology. Maybe a story? Maybe a poem? Even a myth perhaps?