Monday, 2 December 2013


I was given a copy of Picturesque Word Origins by the lovely people at Barter Books. One of the many etymologies I'd never noticed before is that of neighbour. It comes from neah-gebur, which means, essentially, nearby farmer. Neah as in modern English nigh or near, and gebur, which was Old English for farmer, or dweller. In its Dutch form, that's the origin of the Boers - the farmers in South Africa - and also of boor and boorish, which is the way that peasants behave.

1 comment:

  1. And also 'bor', which we say in Norfolk instead of 'mate'. As in: Hello, Bor, how’re yer gorn on, tergether?