Cat is an ancient word, and has traveled down many branching language trees. Older than dog.
Felt bored, so here is the full etymological tree for anyone who might be interested:
Modern English - cat; comes from:
Old English - catt(e)
Modern Irish - cat; comes from:
Old Irish - catt
After here, both join the same branch:
Latin - catt(us/a); comes from:
Egyptian (~1069-700 b.c.e.) - čaute; comes from:
Early Egyptian - tešau;
As for cognates
Scottish Gaelic (a close friend of Irish) - cat (again...);
Welsh (a less close friend... let's say aquaintance of Irish) - cath;
Swedish + Norwegian+ Dutch - katt;
German - Katze;
Armenian - Katu
I agree. The word cat has very deep, old and strong linguistic roots, and a lot of friends (I only listed a few cognates; there are many more).
I hope that this will be interesting to anyone curious about the etymology of the word cat.
Gato in Spanish and gatoa (phonetically spelt) in Arabic. I had some Saudi students and they taught me that. Our minds were blown. :-D
Don't Spanish and Arabic share a lot of similarities (mostly in vocabulary)? Due to Moorish influence on the Iberian peninsula from the 8th to 14th centuries.
Yes, absolutely. Most Spanish words that start with "al" are of Arabic origins. I love etymology!
I believe nobody is entirely sure where "dog" comes from. The "canine" and "hound" etymological trees are well established, but "dog" sort of appears in Middle English apparently out of nowhere.
It goes back at least as far as Old English docga, referring to an unidentified breed of dog; -ga is a known diminutive, and doc- is thought to come from docce (“muscle”), so perhaps it was some sort of proto-bulldog.
It's thought that at one the most point common breed of dog was called docga, and since everyone had docgas it replaced the preciously used words...Very similar to the names Carl once meaning a generic term for man such as huscarl, or Guy becoming a generic term for man.
We also have a "dogue" in French, it refers to breeds now but traditionally to powerful guard dogs, whatever their breed. Our "bouledogue" obviously derives from bulldog but there could have been successive loans (see bacon or flirt/fleurette-fleureter for instance).
It is quite funny that in a language I've never looked at before (I know French and Italian much better) that is completely strange to me that this is exactly the same as it is in English. Freaking cats.
At least there's audio for the word English speakers already know how to say. :-)
Why is the word "cat" so similar in nearly every European language? French-chat, German- katze, Italian- gatto... Is there a Latin cognate or something??
Okay, so actually the word "cat" comes from Late Latin "cattus", which probably came from Late Egyptian "caute" (the c has an accent on it.)
No. The ancient Greek word was αἴλουρος, from which we get the English word “ailurophobia” (fear of cats).
Αίλουρος is feline, the word describing the housecat was γαλή, which also refers to the weasel. They were both used for hunting mice, so the people called them with under one name.
From γαλή, in combination with the latin cattus, originates the modern word, γάτα.
What about the line from Sophocles’ Ἰχνευταί :
ὡς αἰέλουρος εἰκάσαι πέφυκεν ἢ τὼς πόρδαλις;
It seems to me that “(house)cat” would make more sense than “feline” there.
Some irish words sounds a bit swedish... Or, they're pronounced like, swedish... Haha, I don't know
When I hear it said in Irish, it sounds like "Cot". Lucky me the computer accepted it as a tyo
Yeah, don't get TOO comfy with words like "cat" and "bear"....just wait for "butterfly", "mouse", "deer", and "seal".....
You have to remember that this particular word doesn't have to be memorized, though! (And that cat isn't pronounced "cat").
Do you think it sounds like she's saying 'cait'? To me, the t sounds a bit palatalised.
I just could not get that one. Does anyone know a good way for me to remember it?
Excuse me please, but i know that the pronunciation of " cat ", in the lesson, is not the same as in Ireland. The speaker's pronunciation, has the emphasis with the vowel: á ( cát ). This is NOT the same situation, as in Irish pronunciation. See here, please. http://it.forvo.com/word/cat/#ga
I take it you mean the pronunciation of the Irish word 'cat' by native Irish speakers is different from the pronunciation of the English word 'cat' by speakers of Hiberno-English?
This isn't about the pronunciation of the English word "cat". It's about this speakers regional dialect pronunciation of cat. This is not how all "native speakers" of Irish dialects pronounce cat, and isn't the way most non-native speakers are taught to pronounce cat (and those non-native learners in Ireland don't pronounce it like "cat", either).
did anyone else find the pronunciation hard to understand? I had no idea what the audio was saying and ultimately skipped it.
this word looks like english one but sounds like Polish for cat with is ''kot'' :) it's pronounced just like in Irish
That moment when I write it in polish... Kot and Cat sounds alike... anyone in same situation ?
No, it doesn't. The "t" sound in this exercise is clearly broad, not slender.
You can hear "cait", with the distinctly different slender "t" sound, in the following exercises:
"Cait an fhir" - https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4639391
"Cait na bhfear" - https://www.duolingo.com/comment/11516633
"We like cats and you like dogs." - https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5812479