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?

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