The Herald - - OPINION - NEUK

Words with a com­mon an­ces­tor are known as “cog­nates” (Latin co- plus – gna­tus) mean­ing “born to­gether”. Scots neuk “cor­ner” has an English cog­nate nook, but we don’t re­ally know what their mother-form is. There is a Nor­we­gian di­alect-word nok mean­ing “bent with age”, but that seems rather dis­tant, and the me­dieval Latin word noca “cor­ner”, first recorded in a twelfth-cen­tury doc­u­ment, seems ac­tu­ally to be a bor­row­ing from English. Gaelic niuc seems to be a bor­row­ing from Scots. All very mys­te­ri­ous.

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