Wednesday 15 June 2011

A Mosquito Canapé

I have recently made several fruitless attempts to capture a mosquito. My aims are not biological but culinary. I want to flavour the little pest with something, put it on a small piece of toast and eat it.

This may seem like simple inter-species revenge, but my concerns are more etymological than entomological. You see, the Greek for mosquito was konops. Guess the word yet?

The Greek for a couch with a mosquito net around it was konopeion? Getting warmer?

The Old French word for a bed curtain was therefore conope. That's where we get canopy from. But can you see the other word?

The modern French, Spanish and Italian words for a couch or sofa is a canapé.

The bit of toast that acts as the couch upon which a morsel of food rests is therefore....

Yes. Canapé. The things you are buffeted with at cocktail parties.

That's why I want to make a mosquito canapé. So my question is this: Do I need psychiatric help or do I just need a better method of catching mosquitos?

Lucky devil.


  1. If taquito is a small taco, can I infer that mosquito is a small mosque? :-)

  2. New Kid on the Block15 March 2012 at 21:08

    If I may say so, don’t worry! You do NOT need psychiatric help! Or at least, if you did… what would you say about these lunatics?
    Check this out! Don’t be afraid! We are (mainly) Greeks at this wonderful blog, yes! But it’s not ALL Greek to us. (Etymologically speaking…) :-)

    Greeks but not geeks! And word & literature lovers.
    And to put my money where my mouth is, let me contribute something. (Most of it provided by the ingenious blog administrator Nikos Sarantakos and his faithful followers and connoisseurs)
    The Greek mosquito= Konops (Κώνωψ) has most probably an Egyptian ancestor called: hnms=fly, mosquito (perhaps the word Κώνος (Konos) meaning Cone, played also a role)
    Sofa, (there is also the Greek equivalent σοφάς (sofas) but with a slight alteration of meaning, is a loan from Turkish (and from Arabic beforehand)
    One should not perhaps bypass the Latin step of the transition ladder.
    gr. Konopeion (Κωνωπείον)- Lat. Conopeum or Conopium- Fr. conopé- canapé
    Oh, and we‘ve got it back as: Καναπές (Kanapes)=couch, you know.
    Last but not least, perhaps you could provide some assistance in clarifying the differentiation in use (if any) between couch and sofa.
    A very dear to me commentator contributed this:
    Well, another one humorously remarked that a couch costs less than 500 quid. A sofa costs over 800. An in-between price classifies it as a settee.:-)
    What do you think?
    Keep up the good work, and visit our “Pub” at leisure! Even if you don’t have Greek, we have descent enough English!
    P.S It was nice to discover your cozy place!