Originally, it is from the Latin word "taliare" (cut), and then from French "talloir" and Italian "tagliere". After that, from the Low German diminutive "tallorken", it became "tallerken" in Danish and "tallrik" in Swedish.
The Danish word always makes me laugh, but obviously they are "more right" than we are. The Swedes removed the -en ending because of a misunderstanding. They thought it was a definite form ending :).
Btw, note that there is also a Swedish word "talrik" (numerous): http://sv.forvo.com/search-sv/talrik/
Tack så mycket!
As tracing back, the meaning of tallrik according to the etymology seems to be "some little thing with which one cuts", is that right? Very interesting!
Åååååh, talrik! >_<. Ikea har talrika tallrikar.
Edit: I realized the final sentence above is incorrect. I suppose it should be something like: Det finns talrika tallrikar i ikea.
Interesting, I never considered "many" to mean much more than three. To me, both "many" and "several", and similar words like "plenty", "a lot", "a bunch", "a few" map to three or more items. Expressions like "a couple" or "a pair" usually map to two items for me, but can occasionally mean three. I guess I must be culturally or otherwise inclined to think this way but I defer to your expertise of course! :D Thank you!
It's a good question, yes I think I would (have), though I see that it can be ambiguous in some cases (if you start taking into account how plentiful or massive the subject is) but really, on second though, I'm just wrong.
I guess I have always failed to grasp the magnitude of "many"