Translation:To sweep

March 3, 2016


[deactivated user]

    The Irish word is scuab which is somewhat similar.


    It bears a surprising resemblance to the Spanish "escobar," too. I wonder what the origin is.


    According to GPC, ysgubo "sweep" is from ysgub "broom", which is from Latin scōpa. (Welsh has a number of Latin words, which I think came into the language during Roman Britain times.)

    Presumably the Spanish word goes back to that as well.


    A lot of Latin words were for new ideas and technology too. I hate to think how dusty our houses must have been before the Romans arrived ;P


    Maybe you used to clean with a vacuum cleaner before? :P

    • 1005

    Maybe you meant escoba


    I have never heard the verb "escobar" myself (even if there's a Wiktionary entry for it). However, the most used Spanish word for sweeping is "barrer". But, yes, we sweep with a "escoba" (broom).


    Is that possibly where swab came from--as in "Swab the deck, matey"?


    Wiktionary says English swab comes via the word swabber from early modern Dutch zwabber, from a Germanic base meaning "splash" or "sway".

    Irish scuab, on the other hand, is from Latin scōpa, which is a branch of a plant or a broom.


    The national card game of Italy is "Scopa" meaning "sweep"


    I'm intrigued by the resemblance to 'ysgubor'; 'barn', which I assume to be related to 'ysgub'; 'sheaf'.


    I looked it up and apparently ysgub is borrowed from Latin scōpa "branch of a plant; broom, besom". You can see from their shape how "branch, sheaf, broom" are all related. So in Welsh ysgub has given us both ysgubo "sweep" and ysgubor "barn (place for sheaves)" so now you can ysgubo'r ysgubor "sweep the barn"!


    That is interesting. As noted earlier the Irish for brush is scuab, but in addition the Irish for barn is scioból. So perhaps the same relationship exits there. I must check it out.


    It says that 'sweep' is wrong and that the answer is 'brushing'.


    As for verbs, the instructions say that you should use either the infinitive ("to sweep; to brush") or the gerund ("sweeping, brushing"), to avoid confusion with nouns.

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