What’s your favorite word etymology?

By: | Post date: 2016-01-13 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

This is NSFW. Kinda.

The Greek word for a porn film is tsonta.

The word comes from the Venetian word zonta, which is cognate with Italian giunta and English joint.

The original meaning of tsonta was the same as Louisianan lagniappe: it’s an extra helping, an extra portion of the merchandise you’re buying, that the vendor throws in for free.

The cultural loading of the etymology is just startling. Have you guessed why porn was called tsonta?

And why you can infer from it that Greek movie audiences in the 50s were predominantly, if not exclusively male?

Leave a Reply

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Join 291 other subscribers

  • October 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Sep    
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    3031  
%d bloggers like this: