Our friend Zythophile is at it again. This time with the first part of an article that explores the origins of the word “beer” with explorations of its equivalent in other languages. Etymology fascinates me; I think maybe I should have been a linguist.
Here’s an excerpt:
In Britain, as on the continent, that change from m to v meant that the old Brythonic (British Celtic) word for “beer”, *korm, altered its form, becoming *cwrf (pronounced “coorv”) in old Welsh, then cwrwf, before losing the f to become modern Welsh cwrw, pronounced “cooroo”. (Welsh being what is known technically as a “mutating” language, incidentally, certain initial consonants change when nouns are used with prepositions, and that includes hard “c”, which becomes hard “g”: I am grateful to a young woman called Kat for imparting the information that the essential order at the bar in grammatically correct Welsh would be “Dau peint o gwrw ac baced crisps, plis.” This is particularly important in the Lleyn peninsula, where you wouldn’t want the locals to think you were from Swansea.
He promises to actually get to the word “beer”, and “ale” as well, in a future article.