Richard Jensen rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU
Mon Jul 16 12:45:45 CDT 2001

That is being done, to some exent, in the Flora North America, e.g, northern red
oak & chene rouge; Emory oak & bellota; water oak & chene gris;  butternut &
noyere cerdre; little walnut
& nogalito; witch hazel & cafe du diable; osage orange & bois d'arc (or, as they
say in Arkansas, bodark!).

To be honest, I find the etymology of common names a fascinating subject in its
own right.  As for the origin of "Jerusalem artichoke," I offer an alternative
to Tom Lammer's explanation (the most oft-cited, but perhaps least likely
explanation).  Apparently, use of the Italian "girasole" as a generic word for
sunflower (it translates literally as "turn-to-the-sun"), post-dates the use of
Jerusalem artichoke (the latter arising from Champlain's description of a tuber,
eaten by North American natives, that tasted of artichoke).   The Jerusalem
artichoke was known in early 17th century Holland as the "artichoke-apple of Ter
Neuzen, Ter Neuzen being the hometown of one Petrus Pontius who was among the
first to grow this succesfully in Europe.  Thus, the Dutch "artichocken Ter
Neuzen" was coopted by the English as "artichoke Jer usalem" (English speaking
peoples are very adept at bastardizing other languages - does the same happen in
reverse?).  As for those of you who know this tuber as "topinambour", that's
another story!  In all honesty, I think "artichocken onder d'eerde" is the most
mellifluous choice name for this interesting plant.

Robin Leech wrote:

> Wouldn't a lot of the problems regarding common names in relation to a
> scientific name disappear if the common names for a species were given in as
> many languages as it is known to refer to the same scientific name?
> For example for Turdus migratorius: the English is American Robin, and the
> French (from Quebec) is Rougegorge.  I do not know what the Mexican Spanish
> equivalent is.
> Robin Leech
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Thomas Lammers" <lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU>
> Sent: Monday, July 16, 2001 10:35 AM
> Subject: Re: ICBN or BS
> > At 10:10 AM 7/16/01 -0600, Mary Barkworth wrote:
> > >One of the contributors to
> > >the Grass Manual objected to my changing the phrase 'common name' to
> > >'English name'.  Of course, I should probably change it to 'American
> > >name', to which non-English speaking Americans could reasonably object,
> > >or English language name, one more word - but greater accuracy.
> >
> > I think the phrase "vernacular name" gets around such objections.  Even
> > many of our "English" names (as are so many English words in general) are
> > loan words from Spanish, French, and other languages.  Sometimes they
> > remain recognizable (e.g., mignonette), sometimes they are corrupted
> beyond
> > recognition, e.g., "Jerusalem artichoke" for Helianthus tuberosus is a
> > corruption of the Italian word for sunflower, girasole.
> >
> >
> > Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.
> >
> > Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
> > Department of Biology and Microbiology
> > University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
> > Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA
> >
> > e-mail:       lammers at uwosh.edu
> > phone:      920-424-1002
> > fax:           920-424-1101
> >
> > Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and
> > biogeography of the Campanulaceae s. lat.
> >
> > Webpages:
> > http://www.uwosh.edu/departments/biology/Lammers.htm
> > http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Resort/7156/lammers.html
> > http://www.uwosh.edu/departments/biology/herbarium/herbarium.html
> > -----------------------------------------------------------
> > "Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
> >                                                  -- Anonymous

Richard J. Jensen              TEL: 219-284-4674
Department of Biology      FAX: 219-284-4716
Saint Mary's College         E-mail: rjensen at saintmarys.edu
Notre Dame, IN  46556     http://www.saintmarys.edu/~rjensen

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